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Smart Financial CU Exec Virginia Smith Retires; Deitz Promoted
Friday, February 3, 2017 6:50 AM

Virginia Smith

Houston-based Smart Financial Credit Union’s long-time executive Virginia “Jenny” Smith has retired, effective Jan. 7, 2017. Smith held two high-profile roles concurrently within the organization: president/CEO of the credit union’s subsidiary Smart Financial Resources and president/CEO of Smart Financial Foundation.

“Leading both the Smart Financial Resources and the Smart Financial Foundation has been one of the top highlights of my career,” said Smith. “I am grateful to Smart Financial Credit Union for the opportunity to take on both of these roles and for its continued support of the Smart Financial Foundation’s ongoing work. I believe we have truly made a positive impact on the lives of the communities in which we serve and under Jason Deitz’s guidance will continue to do so for years to come.”

Smith dedicated her 43-year career to the credit union movement, starting as a branch manager for the San Diego Navy Federal CU branch in Iwakuni, Japan. From there, Smith relocated to Houston to work with the Houston Area Teachers Credit Union, which later in 2004 changed its name to Smart Financial Credit Union.

For 29 years, Smith was the president/CEO of Key Federal Credit Union, which served 7,500 members across two states and maintained eight branches prior to merging with Smart Financial Credit Union in 2008. Since then, Smith held various positions with Smart Financial Credit Union’s executive team, including senior vice president of medical operations and senior vice president of business development and facilities.

As noted, for the past six years, Smith served as the president/CEO of Smart Financial Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart Financial Credit Union. Formed in 1996, Smart Financial Resources operates its own board of managers and offers non-traditional financial products such as investments, property and casualty insurance, and supplementary insurance products through its various contracted third-party vendors. A highlight of Smith’s time leading Smart Financial Resources included the formation of its own insurance agency, the Smart Insurance Group, under its umbrella.

Smith also served concurrently as president/CEO of the Smart Financial Foundation since 2013, when it was formed by Smart Financial Credit Union for the purpose of giving back to the community. Under Smith's leadership, the Foundation awarded more than $170,000 in scholarships to local Houston high school students through the Smart Financial Ruby Sue Clifton Scholarship Fund, funded by the organization’s annual community golf tournament.

Dedicated to changing lives, improving communities, and achieving dreams, Smart Financial Foundation continues to be instrumental in supporting other local Greater Houston Area charities that further the education of youth, adult students, and the medical community. As a result of the organization’s ongoing work, the Cornerstone Credit Union League recognized the Smart Financial Foundation with the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Award for the past three years.

Jason DeitzSmart Financial Credit Union has appointed current vice president of Smart Financial Resources and Smart Financial Foundation Jason Deitz as Smith’s successor, effective immediately. With more than 23 years of financial services experience, including the past three with the Foundation, Deitz specializes in marketing, business development, public relations, facilities strategy, insurance, investments, and philanthropy.

Since 1993, Deitz has held previous positons with Smart Financial Credit Union, including marketing manager, VP of marketing, and VP of business development and facilities.

“It has been an honor to work side-by-side with Jenny Smith in her roles with the Smart Financial Foundation and Smart Financial Resources," said Deitz. "I admire her passion for giving back to others and look forward to building on the strong foundation she has created for our institution."

Deitz holds a Bachelor’s in business management from LeTourneau University and is a graduate of the National Association of Federal Credit Union Management Development Institute, an intensive five-day program for emerging credit union leaders. In 2014, Deitz was named a participant of the Filene Institute's i3 program.

About Smart Financial Foundation
Dedicated to giving back to communities the “Smart” way, the Smart Financial Foundation was formed in 2013 with the purpose of giving back to communities that Smart Financial Credit Union serves. A registered 501c(3), the Smart Financial Foundation strives to change lives, improve communities and achieve dreams by donating time, money and other resources to not only individuals but also to organizations that help raise credit union awareness. For more information, visit www.smartcu.org/Home/SmartFoundation, call  713-407-1923 or engage with the Smart Financial Foundation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.