Jim Nussle
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle greets attendees at the CUNA Councils breakfast. (Photo by

Fab 5 rock Councils breakfast

Credit Union Rock Stars impart leadership wisdom.

February 28, 2023

Five Credit Union Rock Stars dispensed life and leadership lessons Tuesday morning during the CUNA Councils breakfast at the 2023 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

Jan Page, CEO at $193 million asset Community South Credit Union in Shipley, Fla., learned the values of honesty, family, and hard work while growing up in a family of beekeepers. “It takes the whole family to make it work,” she says.

While her father was a busy bee farmer, he still made time to get involved in industry groups and share his knowledge, adds Page, who offered these leadership lessons: Understand your core values and purpose, realize it’s not all about you, and be ready to pivot when disruptors arise.

“Disruptors come from every direction,” she says. “Leaders look for opportunities in disruption.”

Jason Buchanan, chief credit and risk officer at $1.5 billion asset Blue Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, Wyo., finds his true north in his diverse family and embraces authenticity.

“We help our members best when we’re our authentic selves,” he says. “Authenticity creates trust and establishes credibility.”

Buchanan also supports diversity and self-care. “If we don’t embrace the diversity of our members, we won’t be good advocates for them,” he says. “And when you take of yourself, you’ll be a better advocate for your members.”

Ami Iceman-Haueter, chief research and digital experience officer at $6.8 billion asset MSU Federal Credit Union in East Lansing, Mich., is a passionate connector.

“Connecting with one another is a credit union superpower,” she says. “Connecting professionally makes us stronger as an industry, and connecting internally brings our team together to achieve our goals.”

While technology is an enabler, the passion behind it is the most important factor, Iceman-Haueter adds.

Her top three leadership lessons: Cultivating connections drives great experiences, people power pushes innovation, and there’s strength in connections.

Tiffany Goforth, vice president of business development at $200 million asset United Southeast Federal Credit Union in Bristol, Tenn., aims to help members live better lives, whether that’s buying a home or improving their financial well-being.

The credit union partners with people from all walks of life, from students to nonviolent offenders, to improve their financial futures.

Her primary focus: Be kind. “Throw kindness around like confetti.”

David Murphy, president at $87 million asset Marshfield (Wis.) Medical Center Credit Union, set four goals for himself: 

  1. Incorporate self-love. When you’re kind to yourself, you’re better able to serve members and employees.
  2. Be present. It’s easy to get lost in looking ahead. Enjoy and understand what’s going on now.
  3. Set boundaries. Taking care of yourself sometimes means saying, “no.”
  4. Be intentional. “It’s easy to get caught up in things that don’t matter, like TikTok,” Murphy says. “Focus your attention on what really matters.”

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle congratulated these and other Credit Union Rock Stars for their accomplishments.

“The credit union movement is filled with those who inspire,” he says. “Rock Stars make a difference for their members and communities. We want to inspire future Rock Stars.”

The nomination period for the 2023 Credit Union Rock Stars runs from April 10 to June 9. Nominate a Credit Union Rock Star at

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