The World Council of Credit Unions announced that The Global Women’s Leadership Network received the Council’s Distinguished Service Award, the industry's “top global honor for great contribution to further the credit union movement” during the opening ceremonies of the 2017 World Credit Union Conference on July 23 in Vienna, Austria.

Susan Mitchell, chair of the Network and CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates; and Calyn Ostrowski, executive director, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, accepted the award on behalf of the group.

The Global Women's Leadership Network is the industry's only international platform “dedicated to addressing and facilitating greater gender balance among leadership positions” and this year opened its doors to male members.

 GWLN with Brian Branch, WOCCU
GWLN with WOCCU Chairman and CEO Brian Branch

“We are changing lives and making a measurable difference in the lives of women,” said Mitchell. “This is a human initiative. We need all people of the world to come together as a cooperative movement."

Ostrowski stated that the Network “has moved from just an initiative to a world-changing, and now award-winning program sparking dialogue, action and real solutions to advance women in the credit union leadership space.”

In addition, on Sunday July 23, the conference hosted the ninth annual Global Women's Leadership Network Forum. For the first time, the Network welcomed non-members and male attendees from all over the globe to connect, focus on professional development, engage in interactive dialogue, attend educational sessions and hear from keynote speaker Sandra McDowell, vice president of communication and culture at First Credit Union, Canada.

The Network also presented its Athena Award to Shana Richardson, CEO of Ser Technology Corporation.

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