Cornerstone Credit Union League honored Eugenia Guajardo, director of Compliance & BSA officer at American Airlines Federal Credit Union, with the 2019 Compliance Professional of the Year award. The award was presented during the Aug. 7-9 Enterprise Risk Management Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Cornerstone SVP Credit Union Relations Mike Delker presents American Airline Credit Union’s Eugenia Guajardo with the Compliance Professional of the Year award at the 2019 Enterprise Risk Management Conference in San Antonio.
The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding compliance professional’s achievements and contributions to the advancement of compliance in our movement. This individual must demonstrate leadership and vision for compliance initiatives, illustrate a commitment to furthering the compliance profession, and serve as a positive role model and mentor to other compliance professionals.
Guajardo oversees the compliance and Bank Secrecy Act /Anti-Money Laundering areas and is responsible for their strategic direction. She collaborates with the senior and executive leadership teams. She also handles discussions with federal regulators, internal and external auditors, compliance consultants, and counsel in review of regulatory compliance and BSA.
She has worked for $7.5 billion credit union for 23 years. During this time, Guajardo has elevated the importance of compliance at her credit union through communication, engagement, and participation. Because of her efforts, the compliance group is now included in meetings, projects, and in the review of marketing materials and member communications.
“During my time in compliance we've had many successful NCUA examinations, audits, and compliance reviews,” she said. “When risks are identified, I am able to find solutions, working alongside with business owners, to mitigate the risks by implementing the necessary controls. I have worked to implement various processes, and compliance has a key role in the review of many items across the credit union.”
Guajardo has influenced the decision-making at her credit union by actively partnering with business owners to ensure compliance in its application is better understood and is included in projects that drive the credit union’s strategic goals and objectives. Based on this, business owners and all levels of management now understand the importance of engaging the compliance team early on to ensure input is provided and decisions are made in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Education is important to Guajardo. “I am a firm believer in continued learning and education to maintain compliance proficiency. I attend webinars and conferences throughout the year and have participated in various compliance committees, special projects, presentations and provided recommendations and suggestions to other credit unions and industry organizations, such as CUNA, NAFCU, ACAMS and Cornerstone.”
She added, “I strive to always learn so that we can continue evolving and challenge the way we do things. This helps us be prepared for the future and be proactive in our initiatives.”
Guajardo has also helped shape future leaders. “I've developed future compliance leaders at our institution, by being a mentor, sharing knowledge, and providing guidance. I am also actively involved in peer groups and share ideas and input when possible as well as seek to learn from others.”