‘Distinctly and uniquely me’
New BECU CEO Beverly Anderson values authenticity and diversity.
Beverly Anderson is several months into her role as president/CEO at BECU in Tukwila, Wash. While she’s still getting her feet wet at the $30.5 billion asset credit union, she’s intentional about the authentic way she approaches life, leadership, diversity, and her career.
Anderson recently spoke with Credit Union Magazine about her early days at BECU; what Black History Month means to her; the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and her approach to leadership.
Credit Union Magazine: What’s your main focus early on in your new role?
Beverly Anderson: Our focus is on growing the value of BECU membership and enhancing the service we provide to our members, while also scaling our reach and impact to more members.
As we look toward the future, my focus will be on working with our teams to identify innovative solutions, develop partnerships to serve the needs of more people in reimagined and meaningful ways, and ensure we have the best talent to deliver our best for the members and communities we serve.
Q: What skills and qualities led you to the CEO role?
A: I have been distinctly and uniquely me, approaching leadership in an authentic way. It has also been important for me to take risks and tell my story. If you’re going to be successful, you have to be willing to share your successes, worth, and value.
My authentic approach to leadership has served me well in delivering results and creating followership. I have a natural ability to move organizations forward in support of their mission, purpose, and goals, and I look forward to continuing that work at BECU.
Q: What does Black History Month mean to you?
A: Black History Month is a time of remembrance, celebration, and inspiration. It is so important to pause and remember the struggle—literally the blood, sweat, and tears—my ancestors endured to enable the life I am blessed enough to experience.
I love the celebrations that honor the lives and legacies of a proud, successful, and resilient people whose brilliance and endurance helped build our great nation. I stand on the mighty shoulders of slaves, abolitionists, freedom fighters, civil rights leaders, and corporate “firsts.”
Their journeys fuel my every step.
Q: How is BECU recognizing Black History Month?
A: We have an integrated program in place to support history heritage months that includes creating content and programs for employees and members to learn from community leaders.
For Black History Month, our Black Alliance Cooperative Employee Resource Group is hosting several events and programs for employees. Externally, members see content through the BECU Blog, our monthly newsletter, and our social channels.
Additionally, we partner with Intentionalist for our “Equity in Action: It's on Us" initiative to encourage spending and investment in BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of color]-owned small businesses. In support of Black History Month, BECU will open tabs at eight local Black-owned restaurants and shops in our service area so members and employees can try a tasty treat on us.
Q: Why is it important for BECU to recognize this month and others like it?
A: It’s important to celebrate the moments and events that our employees and members care about. Our goals are to highlight diverse communities, perspectives, and issues, and encourage investment in BIPOC-owned businesses.
Q: Why is diversity and inclusiveness essential in credit unions?
A: BECU must reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. A diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization builds deeper and more meaningful relationships with its members and delivers better business results.
We strive to embed equity and inclusion into every aspect of the way we operate. We are proud of the commitment and progress we are making and strive to get better every single day.
Q: How do you spend your time outside of work?
A: I spend time mentoring and volunteering, and serving on the boards of Expedia Group, Accion, Sword Health, and the Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association.
I have a passion for travel, including vacationing in Hilton Head, S.C., with my siblings and their children every summer. I’m looking forward to discovering the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.