Florida Sister Society Happy Hour


Florida Sister Society Happy Hour - 2022-6-14 Recap

Sister Society Chapter: Florida

meeting_location of Meeting: Suite at Waldorf Astoria, Orlando

Sponsor of Meeting: FL Sister Society & OM Financial Group

Meeting Topic: Happy Hour -- no speaker

Speakers: NA

Number of Attendees: 22

Community Charity Supported: NA

Dollars or Resources Donated: approx $500 from OM Financial Group


The Uganda Sister Society had both online and physical meetings.
The meeting was interactive with sisters from across Africa. The focus was on how women in various communities have adapted to the new normal, from online beginners sewing lessons to mask production. Simple innovations which started as survival gimmicks are now enterprises with backup loans from the cooperative sector. Apex's representation in these meetings is always welcomed. Society welcomed He for She representation and wrapped up with the cutting of cake and visitation to the display counters of merchandise made by women.

The Arizona and Colorado Sister Societies welcomed 60 attendees at the GWLN Breakfast Meeting held at MWCUA's Annual Meeting & Convention on April 27, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The group heard GWLN and WOCCU updates, including how to support the Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund.  Next speaker Melanie Spring spoke on the topic of Rock Your Life, providing tools on owning your personal brand and planning for your best future.  Then a panel of credit union management and board female leaders answered questions on leadership through different lenses.  Finally, we wrapped up a service project benefitting Colorado Children's Hospital, with attendees sending nearly 100 encouraging e-cards to patients and staff, as well as $2000 in gift cards for patient families.  We were joined by the Young Professionals group, as well as several "he for she" colleagues.  It was wonderful to be together!

Fall in Arizona - Sister Society Zoom Call Recap

We held our fourth Zoom networking event of 2021 with a joint Phoenix - Southern Arizona Sister Society call on Thursday, October 28, 2021.  The call was facilitated by Karen Bejarano (VP - Arizona Branch Operations) and Sarah Hancotte (VP of Strategy) both with TruWest Credit Union, and Leah Friedenberg (SVP of Operations) with Pima Federal Credit Union.  In terms of community support, the team heard from Leslie Croy, Stewardship Manager with Maggie's Place, about her organization's efforts to provide resources pregnant women in the community and how we can help.  Additionally, Dr. Dan Santangelo, SVP of Association Services and Executive Director of MWCUA Foundation, discussed professional development opportunities and the exciting CUs for Hunger Relief Initiative.  Finally, Sarah Marshall, founder and principal of Profound Hope Industries, led a discussion on authenticity in leadership.  All 34 attendees benefitted greatly from the content, enthusiasm, and networking and look forward to future opportunities to meet in-person.

North Texas Sister Society


North Texas Sister Society - 2021-8-18 Recap

Sister Society Chapter: North Texas

meeting_location of Meeting: zoom

Speakers: Meeting Recording: Click here
Access Passcode: F=^1dDsM

Number of Attendees: 22

Arizona Sister Society Networking Recap

The Phoenix and Southern Arizona Sister Societies partnered for a joint Sister Society Zoom call on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.  Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee shared her leadership journey as the first Asian American woman elected to statewide office in Arizona's history, as well as her efforts to include financial literacy curriculum in state high schools.  Next, Rainy Theon, CEO of Community Choice Credit Union discussed her path to personal and professional growth and self-care.  Finally, the group of 65 participants enjoyed a roundtable discussion on positive occurrences and 'silver linings' as we navigate through the pandemic environment.  Several themes emerged - the need for empathetic leadership, female peers lifting one another up, and women increasing our confidence to take the leap for career and growth opportunities.  Karen Bejarano, VP of Branch Operations at TruWest Credit Union, and Leah Friedenberg, SVP of Operations at Pima Federal Credit Union, facilitated the networking event.  The teams look forward to rounding out the year with a fall/winter meetup with community non-profit component. 

Sacramento Sister Society addresses the Elephant in the Room


Ronaldo Hardy is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at CU Strategic Planning and the former CEO of Southwest Louisiana FCU.  Ronaldo shared an important presentation and lead a discussion on the topic of race and gender. 

We all know this can get a little awkward, but it’s a conversation we can’t avoid. What conversations do minorities in your organization desire to have with you? Does your leadership communicate exclusion or inclusion? Learn how to build a diverse team, and an organization where everyone feels both welcomed and a chance at equal opportunity.

North Texas Sister Society


North Texas Sister Society - 2021-5-11 Recap

Sister Society Chapter: North Texas

meeting_location of Meeting: zoom

Meeting Topic: Technology Driven CU's

Speakers: Becky Reed - CEO Lone Star CU

Number of Attendees: 49

GWLN Meeting at MWCUA Annual Meeting - CO, AZ, WY Sister Societies

Coordinators with the Colorado, Arizona, and soon-to-come Wyoming Sister Societies hosted a meeting via the virtual event platform of the Mountain West Credit Union Association annual meeting on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.  Teresa Freeborn spoke on GWLN's activity and her goals and vision going forward; the discussion was inspiring and delved into closing the wage gap and supporting women in leadership, C-suite, and board positions.  The group also heard from Desiree Cook with IAmYou360, a Pima County, Arizona-based non-profit that support at risk and homeless women and youth.  Desiree shared her personal story of resilience and self-worth and provided an Amazon wishlist of hygiene items needed by her organization.  Finally, Jay Hanses with PSCU, the event sponsor, closed with his own appreciation for his mother's example of self-sufficiency and strength in his life.  Lisa Hagins of OneAz and Leah Friedenberg of Pima Federal Credit Union served as Zoom hosts/facilitators. It was truly an inspiring discussion for all 51 attendees!  

North Texas Sister Society


North Texas Sister Society - 2021-4-14 Recap

Sister Society Chapter: North Texas Sister Society

meeting_location of Meeting: zoom

Meeting Topic: GWLN - Then and Now

Speakers: Susan Mitchell - Teresa Freeborn - Eleni Giakoumopoulos

Number of Attendees: 49 attendees

Southern Arizona Sister Society Meeting Recap

The Southern Arizona Sister Society of the GWLN hosted it's first Zoom call of the year on Tuesday March 30, 2021.  Leah Friedenberg, SVP of Operations at Pima Federal Credit Union, facilitated the call and opened with a discussion on GWLN's mission and objective in areas such as wage disparity, networking resources, and professional development for women in the credit union movement.  Founders of the Sister Society including Elisa Ross, VP of Marketing, Sales, and Service at Hughes Federal Credit Union, Cindy Campano, Chief Retail Lending Officer at Pima Federal Credit Union, Linda Kennedy, Board Secretary at Pima Federal Credit Union, Vanessa Alfaro, Program Manager at OneAZ Credit Union, and Lisa Hagins, Regional President at OneAZ Credit Union were introduced.

The coordinators hosted three wonderful guest speakers, including coordinator Lisa Hagins who shared the inspiring story of her leadership journey across the globe and overcoming challenges, both personal and professional, as a woman.  Next, the group heard from Suzanne McFarlin on the topic of Resilience and Agility in Turbulent Times and broke out into groups to discuss the PERMA happiness model and differentiating between items under control or influence as leaders.  Finally, Andrea Carmichael with Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse shared information with the group on the significant increase in domestic abuse during the pandemic, a well as ways the group can help to donate funds, needed items for the shelter, and volunteer in the future.  The team closed with brief thoughts on their objective in forming a Sister Society in 2020 and hopes to meet in person when safe to do so.

For further information, please contact Leah Friedenberg at lfriedenberg@pimafederal.org.

Iowa Sister Society Women's Summit Recap


On Thursday, November 19, 2020, credit union peers across the state of Iowa gathered for the third annual Iowa Sister Society Summit. Women and men from over 20 credit unions or credit union-related organizations joined forces for a day of networking, inspiration, and advancement of our industry.

We kicked off the day with opening remarks from Iowa Sister Society leaders Stefanie Rupert, President and CEO of Collins Community Credit Union, and Mai-Linh Hoang, Vice President Marketing of Collins Community Credit Union. GWLN Ambassador Zach Christensen also provided an update on GWLN progress and the vision for the future as the network continues to grow.  

The summit’s keynote speaker was Stacie VanDenBerghe, CEO of CU Innovate Corp., who is an engaging credit union consultant with expertise focused on increasing credit union growth and innovation strategies. Stacie shared her personal journey to leadership and the top lessons she’s learned along the way. Her discussion hit on the importance of women “running their own race”, by focusing on what they’ve got (not what they don’t), on the future and not the past, and keeping their eyes on the prize.

We also held a Guest Panel Q&A, with speakers Monica Belz, President and CEO of Kaua‘i Government Employees FCU, Lisa Meadows, Leadership, Career, and Business Coach, and Erin Wolf, Managing Partner of Suite Track. The panel session was moderated by Jaimie Miller, Executive Director of the Iowa Credit Union Foundation.

The panel shared a dynamic conversation with the group on a variety of topics, including common misconceptions about women and how men and women can work together to overcome them, advice for those stepping into leadership roles for the first time, and tips to remaining agile and focused through the rapid elements of change we’ve experienced in 2020.

Although moving events to a virtual setting brings a new set of challenges, the summit turned out to be a wonderful break for our sister society members to connect, share their experiences and wisdom, and find inspiration from one another to carry with them back to their credit unions. For further information, please contact Mai-Linh Hoang at mhoang@collinscu.org.

Arizona Sister Society Chapter Meeting: March 20, 2019


Arizona Sister Society met at Arizona Central Credit Union on March 2O. It was an outstanding opportunity to network and learn, be inspired and to inspire others, advance the credit union industry and help the community!

Our host, Traci Spears, talked about her Leadership Journey. She showed us how the journey can have many twists and turns, but she prevailed to create a career in credit unions that enables her to develop her own strengths and contribute in ways that reflect her values. Arizona Central – and the credit union industry – is fortunate to have people like Traci! 

The meeting’s guest speaker was Tyler Valentine, President/CEO of Laramie Plains FCU who presented "Overcoming Perceptions, Stereotypes and Generalizations to Build Stronger, more Inclusive Credit Unions." His comments, with discussion and group engagement, highlighted the strengths we all bring to the workplace -- and the biases, as well!

The group donated a total of $610 to Ryan House, a local charity service that provides respite and palliative caregiving program for children in Phoenix. Pepper Kincaid, a dynamic volunteer who has also been a caregiver in her own family, represented the organization. She told about her experience as a volunteer and how essential this kind of support is in helping families with critically ill children.

GWLN Ambassadors Martha Rozen and Marquetta White provided an update on GWLN progress, celebrating the 10-year anniversary.

Chapter Leader Karen Bejarano invited volunteers with connections to local museums or institutions to consider hosting or helping with a wine or artistic evening gathering for the group in July.



On the 14th December 2019,Uganda Sister Society first outreach program to the community in WAKISO district Uganda, donated grocery items and washable diapers to mothers during the festive season .Our ''petite'' way of identifying with mothers of children with special needs as we shared a meal together.
God willing we intend to keep up with yearly outreach programs in various communities in Uganda.

Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society Meeting November, 2019


On Saturday November 9th, 2019 the Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society (TTSS) of the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) hosted its November Sip and Paint Networking event. This event was held as the culmination of the Society’s Credit Union Month events. Over twenty (20) persons from ten (10) credit unions came together at Neal and Massy Credit Union’s Rooftop facility to participate in the event.

Guest speaker Camille Selvon-Abrahams, Animator, Multimedia Producer and UTT Lecturer encouraged participants to embrace the power of Art especially in these times when especially our young people are looking for unique avenues to express themselves. Specially invited guest, Dr. Monica Davis, Honorary Consulate to The Bahamas, was also presented with the efforts of fund raising done by the TTSS for the Bahamas Sister Society, in their rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Dorian.

The main activity for the afternoon was led by local Artist Paulette Narinesingh, who brought out the hidden artists in those present.

Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society’s Co-Founders Gail Rajkumar and Jamila Draper strongly believe that credit union women can play a major role in helping women and girls. They can be agents of change- helping them to develop themselves, achieve their ambitions and lift themselves out of poverty, or unhealthy situations. There is a collective responsibility to Credit Union members and communities to move the needle of the sustainable development goals using the co-operative principles of co-operation among co-operatives, by caring for community and continuous education.

GWLN Strategic Planning

Excellent engagement with GWLN Leaders around the world. Talking mission and purpose! Developing initiatives that will be implemented in 2019! Celebrating results and building scale! -Sue Mitchell

Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society- June 16, 2018


Credit Union Women discuss Economic Development 

On Oct. 18, 2018, credit union members around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day®, an annual event to commemorate the credit union movement’s impact and achievements. This year marks the 70th anniversary, a platinum celebration and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Find your Platinum Lining”.

The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the tremendous work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more engaged.

As a lead up to this year’s celebrations, the Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society (TTSS) of the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN), hosted its inaugural Women’s Forum on Saturday June 16, 2018. This event was held in partnership with the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) as part of the CCCU 2018 convention, held at The HYATT Regency Hotel. In keeping with the theme for International Credit Union month, this Forum brought together over seventy (70) persons from twenty-five (25) credit unions including regional Co-operative Societies, at Paradise Villa, Paramin to participate in the forum titled “The Role of Women in Economic Development”.

The objective of the forum was to provide an opportunity for women in all stages of their professional credit union journey to network; gain new insights on credit union trends; develop new skills and participate in the global credit union movement. 

Guest speakers Tammy O’Hara, VP Sales & Member Relations, CUES; and Angelique V. Nixon, PhD, UWI, built on this platform. They encouraged participants to embrace “Women Empowerment”. The overarching theme among the presenters was the importance of empowerment, gender equality and equity – in both professional and personal capacities. Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon was also a guest at the function and she addressed the group on the issue of women and their impact on sustainability and national development. 

Sister Societies serve as autonomous chapters of the GWLN. They further the Network’s global mission by making a local impact in their credit union communities. The purpose of the groups are to get local credit union women together, exchange ideas, impact local credit unions, and share information with other network members.

Trinidad and Tobago Sister Society’s Co-Founders Gail Rajkumar and Jamila Draper strongly believe that credit union women can play a major role in helping women and girls. They can be agents of change- helping them to develop themselves, achieve their ambitions and lift themselves out of poverty, or unhealthy situations. There is a collective responsibility to Credit Union members and communities to move the needle of the sustainable development goals using the co-operative principles of co-operation among co-operatives, by caring for community and continuous education.

We hope that the participants were able to gain and apply knowledge from this forum when they returned to their credit unions. For further information, please email TTCUSisterSociety@outlook.com or call 1(868)759-3292.

Congratulations GWLN

Thank you to Elevations Credit Union for donating the development of our new GWLN app! Excellent news for our members, worldwide! Sue Mitchell

Fund Raising Program By Sister Society Narayani, Chitwan Nepal



  Pramita Dhakal

  GWLN Sister Society Narayani, Chitwan Chapter  


GWLN Sister Society Narayani, Chitwan Chapter , Nepal  organized  fund raising program on July 16.  Fund was raised by putting on Heena Tattoo on women's  palm. Those who put on the heena on their palm  donated  fifty rupees (Nepali Currency) for the task to be done.  Nearly one hundred  women participated in the program  and  Seven thousand Five hundred and fifty rupees ( Nepali Currency)  was  raised. Though this seems a little amount, but  the way  the event was able  to call all the women in one place and change the traditional fashion statement a way of earning is remarkable.

The concept of organizing Mehendi ( Heena) function came from the traditional values and practice in Nepal. In Nepal  there's a ritual of decorating hands and feet by a particular herb  whose scientific name is  Lawsonia inermis  in the last day of the month Ashar according to Nepali Calender which falls in July . Nepal, being a nation whose near about half of the citizen depend on traditional agriculture for livelihood has its own typical reason to celebrate this ritual. People  work on muddy and wet land to grow paddy "the main food" in the month of Ashar ( June/July). People's  hands and feet used to get infected , different itchy diseases and rashes  were seen as the result. Thus to get rid of those ugly looking hands and feet our ancestors  used the herbal product Heena which works as  ayurbedic medicine too. It was believed after working near about a month in the field i.e late June to early third week of July which is the last date of Nepali month Ashar , the next month Shrawan was welcomed with colorful beautiful hands and feet and celebrated the festive" Shawane Sankranti" also known as first date of the month.  It has a long history of the practice here in Nepal. By now the tradition is followed to put on Heena/ Mehendi on hands though most of the people don’t work in the field like before. Though male and female both used to put on the herb to decorate their palms and feet in earlier days now adays most of the female only put on the heena. It has become like a fashion statement too. People specially women put on Heena in different pattern and in different form. Special courses of Mehendi design is run to train students so that they can start as a profession too.

Thus, GWLN Sister Society Narayani, Chitwan Chapter  thought of raising the fund among women by giving their traditional belief a professional and business  touch.  Those women who were for sure to put on  heena in the evening  to celebrate the festival were even more happy to gather socially and participate in the program . Women leaders  Parbati Silwal and Reena Gurung were the guest in the program. They were followed by  renowned  business women, activist, social worker and influencer whose presence made the program a big one. 

San Francisco Bay Area Sister Society celebrates 6 years!

On April 5, the San Francisco bay Area Sister Society held our first meeting of 2018. Patelco Credit Union in Pleasanton, California graciously hosted 25 attendees, including our special guest, Sue Mitchell. We took the opportunity at our meeting to celebrate our 6th Anniversary as a Sister Society (the first Sister Society formed)!
In keeping with our goal of education, our meeting also included a guest speaker who led a discussion on Sexual Harassment at the workplace.  We discussed the two definitions of unlawful harassment and what is not harassment, what companies can do in the #MeToo movement to discuss and respond to conduct in violation of their policies, as well as some ideas for how to respond to unwelcome conduct if it happens to you.
The local charity chosen for this meeting was New Day for Children Organization. New Day for Children seeks to recover children caught in the despair of child sex trafficking and to restore their stolen childhoods. In partnership, New Day for Children provides housing, school, medical and mental health care, horse therapy and more. They operate from safe and secure locations in the western United States (in our case, San Leandro, California). Working with law enforcement other faith based community organizations and families themselves, they provide for the needs of American girls ages 10 to 18 and 18+ (in separate programming) suffering from the desperation of human trafficking.  We are pleased to say that our Sister Society members donated $1150.00 to the New Day for Children Organization.

AZ Sister Society GWLN - A Leadership is Learning!


43 members of the The Arizona Sister Society gathered in Tucson, AZ on 8.23.17 including 2 female board members. Since we are focused on becoming better leaders within our respective roles, we spent the morning learning the importance of how we communicate in the workplace (verbally and non verbally) and it's impact on how the message being delivered is received.

Business Communications Lecturer, Lesli Pintor from The University of Arizona Eller College of Management presented on the topic "From Competence to Confidence" which provided real life applications to show the value of intentional communication and it's positive impact/outcome or it's negative impact/outcome in the workplace. (Intention vs Perception) We left with concrete tips and techniques to help all us manage intention vs. perception in our every day communications.

To maintain and/or grow our CU Financial Literacy, training was provided in the areas of "Understanding Credit Union Financials" and "Understanding Credit Union Key Ratios" and delivered by CEO, Margaret Hunnicutt. Our goal is to help participants gain and apply knowledge from these sessions when they return to their credit union.

Impacting a charity is a foundation of GWLN and at this event we collected over $100 and 12+ boxes of donations for: Treasures 4 Teachers of Tucson, a non profit established to help provide supplies to teachers and their classrooms.

Sister Society of Tagum Cooperative, Tagum City,Philippines

The Sister Society of Tagum Cooperative visited the school children of Kuyas, Sto.Nino , Talaingod , Davao Del Norte , Philippines last March 17, 2017 for the feeding of the underweight children. There were around one hundred  school children who gained weight after 6 months of continuous feeding. Tagum Cooperative also distributed toothbrushes to the children which the later were so happy and thankful.....

Education a Key To Success

On 22nd October during Celebrations of ICU Day, Malawi Sister Society donated learners books and Teachers Guides to two schools in Thyolo District, Southern part of Malawi. We encouraged young girls to work hard in school because education is the key to success. 2015 in December, we donated several items to children's ward at Queen Elizabeth Refferal Hospital in Blantyre.  This is part of Community Outreach, we always plan for a charity activity each year.


Sisters Society Tagum Cooperative (TC) Chapter convened on August 30, 2016 at the 4th Floor Function Hall, TC Main Office, Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Philippines, to re-orient its members on the objectives and commitments of the movement. The election of new set of Officers also took place. Moreover, the society spelled out the scheduled community development programs for the year.

TC BOD Chairperson MONICA L. SALIDO is elected as the President while TC BOD Vice-Chairperson FE J. ADLAWAN is elected as the Vice-President of the Sisters Society (Tagum Cooperative Chapter).



Recently in Malawi we had our sister society meeting whereby our theme was career Woman Of Impact. I enjoyed a presentation from our Guest Speaker Maureen Masamba, who said, "Women we should not give ourselves limits, we should always focus on our future, identify our strengths and core competencies, build and nurturing our self-esteem; brain storm. If we fail to achieve something we should always search our souls, know what we are, have confidence, change strategy and try something different"