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CO-OP Financial Services commits $500,000 to Global Women's Leadership Network

by Carrie Buchholz | Aug 01, 2019

CO-OP Financial Services stole the show during the Global Women’s Leadership Network's (GWLN) 10-year Celebration Reception—committing to donate $500,000 to GWLN over the next 10 years.

Samantha Paxson, chief experience officer for CO-OP, made the surprise announcement to a crowd of Global Women supporters near the end of the reception.

Global Womens Leadership CO-OP award
CO-OP Financial Services CEO Todd Clark embraces GWLN Volunteer Chair Susan Mitchell as Samantha Paxson announces the $500,000 gift.

"50% of our workforce is women. 63% of our management team, from senior up, is women. And it's something we think is important. We were the founding sponsor of Global Women 10 years ago, and we think it's important on the 10-year anniversary to continue that," said Paxson, indicating CO-OP CEO Todd Clark felt strongly about making the commitment.

CO-OP plans to make its first donation of $50,000 in 2020, and then in each of the next nine years after that.

GWLN reaches goal of 100 Sister Societies worldwide
Prior to CO-OP's announcement, Susan Mitchell, GWLN volunteer chair and CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates, offered the first surprise of the evening by stating Global Women had reached its goal of adding 100 Sister Societies worldwide. The goal was met with the addition of a Sister Society in Cambodia.

Sister Societies are local Global Women chapters established around the world to further the Network’s global mission by making a local impact. The purpose is to convene credit union women, discuss credit union issues, exchange ideas, network with neighboring credit union leaders and share lessons learned with Network members worldwide. 

2019 Athena Award goes to Elevations Credit Union
Another GWLN sponsor made headlines at the 10-year Celebration Reception, as Elevations Credit Union took home the 2019 Athena Award.

World Council President and CEO Brian Branch presented the award to Elevations Credit Union Board Member Nancy Herbert, recognizing the organization’s donation of time, money, and effort in creating the GWLN mobile app.

The award, inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology who stands for strength, courage, and wisdom, is presented to an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to women's leadership in the international credit union movement. 

Recipients of the 2019 GWLN Scholarship were also on hand for the celebration. Each year, GWLN awards scholarships to female leaders within the credit union industry so they may acquire new skills, tools, and resources to make an impact and further their professional development. 

The 2019 scholarship winners are:

  • Rene Gayle, assistant general manager, First Heritage Co-Operative Credit Union Ltd. (Jamaica)
  • Habiba Kent, board member, Windsor Employees SACCO (Uganda)
  • Barbra Mchenga, youth advisor, Malawi Police Service SACCO (Malawi)
  • Rose Vanessa Nyambi, microinsurance manager, Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO) (Malawi)
  • Bettyrose Okiri, project manager, African Confederation of Co-operative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) (Kenya)
  • Jovitta Sakwiya, HR, administration and marketing executive, Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO) (Malawi)

GWLN Scholarship Award Winners
Pictured are five of the 2019 GWLN Scholarship Award winners.

Source: World Council of Credit Unions