By Donya Parrish, MCU VP–Risk Management
When Shirley Chesterfield-Stanton hung up her whistle after teaching physical education and coaching track for years, she didn’t dream her new role as “potential whistleblower” would be as co-chair of a credit union supervisory committee. Going from the routine and busy schedule of teaching and coaching into retirement meant Shirley needed something new to do. Not one to twiddle her thumbs, she reached out to Eddie Black at her credit union (Vocal CU) when she heard they had a volunteer opening. She was quickly recruited as a member of the credit union’s supervisory committee.
It was a whole new world for Shirley. Learning the industry acronyms was a challenge, and the position was so different from the job she had done for years. But she was fortunate to have great mentors in the co-chairs she came in under. They had strong processes and systems in place and when she was given CUNA’s Credit Union Supervisory Committee Handbook as a resource, it all started to click. The best advice Shirley has for new committee members is that you are not going to know everything for quite a while. With a steep learning curve, you have to be patient with yourself. Relying on those who have been on the committee longer is also worthwhile.
A few years into her committee assignment, unexpected circumstances led to Shirley and her fellow committee member Jon Runnalls becoming co-chairs and taking the reins. While it was sooner than they expected, the two have found a good balance. They find success in working to their individual strengths and communicating well. They are now training newer committee members and pushing forward with a goal to move all their processes and communications to electronic records.
Vocal CU President/CEO Eddie Black notes that “it makes a difference for me to have an engaged and organized committee that is looking to try and help the process.” As the credit union continues to evolve and grow, they are fortunate to have an engaged supervisory committee co-chair at the helm to help with the process. Thanks for your dedication Shirley – I do hope they at least let you coordinate a few calisthenics before your meetings!