Diana Dykstra Named President of Western CUNA Management School

The Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) Board of Trustees have announced that California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra will serve as the next president of WCMS, taking over the role from Dr. James D. Likens, who will retire at the end of 2015 after 44 years of exemplary service.

In addition, the Board of Trustees are pleased that Dr. Michael Steinberger has agreed to expand his role and will now serve as the Dean of Academics.

In this new role, Dykstra will help guide WCMS as the school moves into a new era of credit union leadership development. She will serve as the executive lead and as a direct connection between the school and the credit union movement throughout the Western United States. Partnering with Diana in this effort Dr. Steinberger will serve as the academic lead and be the primary driver in the development of future focused leadership development programs for the students of WCMS.

“The Board of Trustees is honored that Diana has agreed to serve as the President of WCMS as we make this important transition from 44 years of Dr. Likens’ leadership. Her work on campus and her leadership role in the credit union movement will be critically important as the school works to meet the ever changing leadership development needs of today’s credit unions,” said WCMS Board Chairman and Rogue Credit Union President and CEO Gene Pelham.

Dykstra is a 1992 Honors Graduate of WCMS and has served as the President and CEO of the California Nevada Credit Union Leagues since 2010. She has been a Project Reader and popular instructor at the school for 18 years. Diana is a sought-after speaker and an influential voice in the credit union movement.

Dr. Steinberger, a highly regarded associate economics professor and recent department chair at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, joined WCMS in 2006 as Associate Dean. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with majors in economics, political science, and statistics, earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2004 joined the faculty of Pomona College. His research has been cited in cases before the US Supreme Court, and he has made research presentations at several government agencies, including at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Dr. Steinberger also serves on the Supervisory Committee of First City Credit Union in Los Angeles and on the board of TRUST for Credit Unions in Washington, DC.

Dr. Likens—recently appointed by the board of trustees as Dean Emeritus—commented, “This is great news. Michael will bring to WCMS academic leadership of the highest order. How lucky we are to have him.”

“Michael has been instrumental in building a strong academic program for our students,” said Diana Dykstra. “Under Dr. Likens’ mentorship he has been fully immersed in the school’s ethos and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him to build upon the legacy of Dr. Likens.”

“At 13 years of age I followed in the footsteps of my parents and opened my first credit union account. I am a beneficiary of and sincere believer in the credit union ideals of people helping people,” said Dr. Steinberger. “I am honored that the Board of Trustees has chosen me to partner with Diana in carrying on Dr. Likens’ work at WCMS preparing the next generation of credit union leaders.”

“We are fortunate to have a credit union movement icon like Diana leading our administrative efforts and an award winning educator like Michael leading our academic efforts,” said Pelham. “Diana and Michael have been instrumental in WCMS’ past success and we are so excited about what this partnership means for the future success of the students and faculty of WCMS.”

Dr. Likens’ official retirement date is December 31st, and Dykstra and Dr. Steinberger are already at work building the strategic plans and curriculum for the 2016 session of Western CUNA Management School.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in CUNA.