Global Women’s Leadership Network Makes Northwest Strides


A full house of CU professionals turned out for the GWLN event in Portland. Each attendee received a copy of Allison Clarke’s book on the power of kindness.

Sister Societies of the GWLN are well-established around the world, and last fall marked the launch of the first group of Sister Societies in our region. The Northwest Chapter of Sister Societies, which is a part of a network of 49 Chapters across 16 countries, works to encourage, prepare, promote, and develop women for credit union executive leadership roles.

Recently, the chapter held several Northwest events to offer members the opportunity to network, gain insights on credit union trends, develop new skills, and participate in the global Credit Union Movement. The meetings provide practical tools for women to continue to grow in their personal and professional lives. Here’s a recap:

Treasure Valley

The March event at Icon Credit Union in Meridian, Idaho, featured author and speaker Terri Hughes who wrote Simple Shifts: Effective Leadership Changes Everything. Hughes’ talk focused on identifying blind spots and how that can make a great impact in leadership. The group also participated in a collaborative exercise called Feed Forward, in which each participant identified an area they would like to improve upon, such as increased confidence, talking less and listening more, and time management techniques. Fellow attendees then shared ideas and recommendations for improvements.

ICON Credit Union President and CEO Connie Miller says that gathering women together from the same industry provides a collaborative value to the Sister Society members.

“The meetings offer a continued focus on providing tools in areas where women may lack leadership experience or skills, the courage to step into a leadership role for the first time. The information also helps polish their leadership skills as their organizations change and cultivate new teams and strategies,” Miller said.


Guest speaker Allison Clarke spoke about the power of kindness during the March event. Thanks to the generous support of Unitus Community Credit Union, each participant received Clarke’s book, The Kindness Habit: 5 Steps to Maximize Your Happiness and Impact. The Sister Society raised $315 for Women’s Housing and Transition at the even.

Western Washington

The group held its inaugural meeting this past January, with approximately 40 credit union professionals from the Seattle and Puget Sound area attending. The next meeting will take place later this spring and will feature guest speaker Carol Schillios, a credit union consultant. Schillios is a three-time winner of the Silver Award from the World Council of Credit Unions for her work in developing countries.


The Professional Credit Union Women (PCUW) organization, now a regional Global Women’s Leadership Network Sister Society, held its first 2018 event in February, which featured speaker Ashley Stepp, an aesthetic RN. The Sister Society also held a meeting in April with a panel of female credit union leaders that included Carla Cicero, CEO of Numerica Credit Union, Wendy Duncan, Director of Retail Services at Horizon Credit Union, Alisha Benson, COO of Greater Spokane, Inc., and Dana Morris, Director of Development at Spokane’s YWCA.

Editor’s note: To learn more about the Global Women’s Leadership Network, please visit For more information about the Northwest Chapter, contact Carmen Vigil, NWCUA Director Cooperative Momentum, by emailing

Posted in Around the NW.