Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Kay Stewart, president and CEO of North East Texas CU in Lone Star, to the Credit Union Commission. The commission supervises the Credit Union Department, which regulates all credit unions organized and chartered under the laws of the State of Texas.
Stewart tells the LoneStar Leaguer that she is excited and honored to have received this appointment.
“I am looking forward to this new chapter in my professional life, and although it will be a challenging role, I am confident that I can bring new blood and a fresh perspective to the commission,” says Stewart.
Stewart is a true success story. At 17 years of age, she was hired by North East Texas CU to serve as a file clerk.
“They put me in a back room and told me to start filing statements,” she recalls.
Of course Stewart didn’t stay behind the scenes for long. Through hard work and dedication, she worked her way up to vice president, branch manager. In 1992, Stewart left the credit union to work for local bank. But in 1996, she returned to North East Texas CU as its president and CEO.
“When I returned to the credit union in 1996, it had only two branches and was just $23 million in assets,” notes Stewart. “Today our credit union is $130 million in assets, and has seven branches serving over 15,000 members.”
An eight branch will be built this year. In addition to growing in assets, branches and membership, under Stewart’s leadership, the credit union has expanded its product and service offerings as well. Stewart is particularly excited about the credit union’s mortgage, agriculture and commercial lending programs.
“Lone Star is a vibrant community and our members depend on us to be responsive to their needs; therefore, having the right lending products available to them is imperative,” she says.
An honor’s graduate of Southwest CUNA Management School, Stewart pursued her education while balancing the demands of her personal and professional life. She earned her associate’s degree in applied science from Kilgore College in 1989, and went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from LeTourneau University in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
She also received her CCUE designation in 1991.
Prior to receiving confirmation of her appointment to the commission, Stewart served on the Texas Credit Union League’s (TCUL) board of directors. She was also first vice chair of TCUL’s Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC). Considered to be a conflict of interest, Stewart had to resign from the board and the committee.
Stewart will serve a six-year term on the commission.
Missy Morrow, president and CEO of Harlingen Area Teachers CU, was re-appointed to the commission. The two will serve alongside real estate professional Vik Vad.