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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

WOCCU President and CEO Elissa McCarter Laborde to Speak on CUNA GAC Main Stage March 1

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions will also host sessions and events during the week of CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference

MADISON, Wis.—World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde will address U.S. credit union leaders on the strategic priorities facing the global movement and thank them for their support of WOCCU’s work in Ukraine during a March 1 main stage address at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.

“Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ (WFCU) launch of its Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund during the week of CUNA GAC 2022 got the attention of U.S. credit union leaders, who responded with overwhelming generosity. They are responsible for driving nearly $2 million dollars in donations to date, which have gone to support Ukrainian credit unions and to keep their member farmers solvent. I can’t think of a better place to say, ‘thank you’ than at GAC 2023,” said McCarter LaBorde.

WOCCU and WFCU will also highlight their work in Ukraine at several other sessions and events during the week of CUNA GAC 2023.

WOCCU Senior Vice President of International Advocacy and General Counsel Andrew Price will host a GAC breakout session on Tuesday, February 28: Why International Advocacy Matters – A Ukraine Case Study, which will focus on how regulatory issues being faced by credit unions in wartime Ukraine are tied to advocacy efforts here in the United States. Other speakers will include:

  • Rafal Matusiak, WOCCU Board Director and President of the National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU – Poland).

  • Alisa Stetsyshyn, Consultant, USAID/WOCCU Credit for Agriculture Producers’ (CAP) Project.

  • Anatoli Murha, Senior Vice President, Ukrainian Selfreliance Federal Credit Union

Admission to this breakout session is included with registration to GAC. It will be held in Room 207B of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 9:30 a.m. EST.

WFCU to host two events during week of GAC

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (WFCU) will host its second annual Cooperative Voices’ celebration on Sunday, February 26, at Planet Word Museum. This year’s event will feature presentations from three women with distinct voices.

  • Esther Rajadurai (Australia), a WYCUP member, will speak on bridging leadership gaps.

  • Triza Magreta (Malawi), a GWLN Sister Society leader, will speak on bridging gender gaps.

  • Alisa Stetsyshyn will speak on how WFCU is bridging safety and inclusion gaps in Ukraine.

Rajadurai will also join other WYCUP members at CRASH the GAC 2023, a credit union young professionals’ program put on by The Cooperative Trust, an initiative of Filene Research Institute.

Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) will round out WFCU’s events with its GWLN Luncheon at GAC on Wednesday, March 1. The luncheon will feature another presentation by Triza Magreta, along with and a Fireside Chat on “Data, Inclusivity and Innovative Research” with Elissa McCarter LaBorde and Melissa Koide, Founder and CEO of FinRegLab, a non-profit innovation center whose research promotes responsible use of AI and machine learning systems across financial services.

Branch, Cheney to receive Herb Wegner Awards

WOCCU and WFCU leaders will also pay tribute to the work of former WOCCU President and CEO Brian Branch and WFCU Board Chair at The National Credit Union Foundation’s 34th annual Herb Wegner Memorial Awards—the U.S. credit union movement’s highest national honors.

Branch enjoyed a career that spanned 31 years with WOCCU, finishing as one of the longest-serving chief executives in the organization’s history (2011-2021). Cheney has served on WFCU’s Board of Directors since 2017 and is the President/CEO of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

Each will receive Herb Wegner Outstanding Individual Achievement awards.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 87,914 credit unions in 118 countries serve 393 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


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