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Celebrating 40 Years: Texoma Educators FCU CEO Reflects on Past; Looks Forward to Future
Monday, February 24, 2014 6:45 AM

Texoma Educators FCU
Dr. Jack Noble of the Texoma Educators FCU board of directors presents Williams with a plaque honoring her 40 years of service at the credit union.

Louella Williams, president and CEO of Texoma Educators FCU is celebrating 40 years with the Sherman, Texas-based credit union. Hired in 1974 as an assistant manager, Williams has illustrated her commitment and dedication to the credit union, its members and the movement as a whole.

Prior to joining Texoma Educators FCU, Williams worked as a manager for four years at Denison City Employees CU. Throughout her illustrious credit union career, Williams has always found time to give back. She has served on various committees, including the Wesley Village Board, Texas Tech Prep Board, Veterans Affairs Advisory Board, Texas Credit Union League (now Cornerstone Credit Union League) Legislative and Regulatory Advisory Council, and many others.

While working at Texoma Educators FCU, Williams found time to pursue her education not once, not twice, but three separate times. Going to school on a part-time basis, Williams managed to complete a Bachelor and Master’s degree, as well as earn a certificate from Southwest CUNA Management School. 

When asked what drives her ambition, she said, “That anyone in America can be successful. It may take us a little longer, but we should never accept a “no”.  I love being the go-to person to make someone’s life easier, whether it’s financial, spiritual, counseling, or family.”

What Williams does best, though, might just be making people feel at home. Employees and members alike know her not as Mrs. Williams, but simply Lou. This friendly, casual demeanor has become a trademark of Texoma Employee FCU over the years thanks to her influence. 

“When grandparents bring their children, and now grandchildren, in to see me for financial advice, it warms my heart,” says Williams. “They have so much trust in me and in the credit union.”

Keri Steele, security officer at Texoma Educators FCU, says, “Lou loves this credit union and each of its members. She is commonly seen in the lobby speaking to members who are seeking a loan or just waiting in line to make a deposit. Lou is loved for her open door policy and small town welcome as she personally takes care of each member.”

Angela Bollier, vice president at the credit union adds, “Lou always takes the time to take care of each member individually, looking beyond their credit reports and account balances.  To her, members are not just customers. They are people.” 

A seemingly natural transition, Williams recently began her pastoral studies at SMU and took on a part-time position as pastor at Virginia Point United Methodist Church in Savoy.

“I think I have always been in ministry; financial ministry, that is,” Williams says. “I want to believe that we are all called to serve one another.”

Donna Bell, branch manager of the credit union’s Denison office, wholeheartedly agrees. 

“When my mother was in the assisted living facility, Lou would come see her once a week and visit and pray with her. I always appreciated the comfort and prayers that she shared with my mom,” notes Bell.

Williams often jokes about working forty more years. She admits that the thought of retirement and the chance to spend more time with her husband, three sons, and seven grandchildren is extremely appealing.  However, she is always looking toward the future at Texoma Educators FCU.

“I’ve seen so many changes over the years from hand-posted ledger cards, to Burroughs posting machines, to electronic data entry, and now online banking. While the tellers used to enter all transactions by hand, now the members do it all themselves,” recalls Williams. “Unfortunately, I see it leading to a disconnect between the member and the employee. I love the technology changes because this allows time to spend with others who need more assistance, but I’m not sure that good decisions are being made in handling finances. Members seem to be in more financial stress. Banking is very complex, and predators are robbing the untrained.  Still, exciting times are ahead in the credit union world, and I am very proud to be a part of the solution.”