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COLUMBUS, Ohio – There are people who really enjoy playing golf, and then there is Paula Edwards, CEO of Nationwide Federal Credit Union. For three years, Edwards has competed in a marathon golf tournament, in which golfers play at a pace of one hole every six minutes for 10 hours. In each of the three years, Edwards has gone the distance, playing at least 100 holes. One year, she completed all 100 holes in only nine hours and 20 minutes. The tournament benefits the Central Ohio Arthritis Foundation, of which Edwards sits on the Board of Directors. Edwards has personally raised at least $10,000 for the organization by gathering pledges in support of her tournament play. Many pledges come from her credit union colleagues across the country, with whom Edwards has served on various industry boards. One of the highlights of her marathon play was during her second year, when Edwards shot a hole-in-one on her 99th hole of the day. “I had a really fluid, loose swing by then, and I had played that hole five times that day, so I already knew what club it took,” the CEO recalled with a laugh. Edwards said she did not compete in this year’s tournament, in order to give her peers “a rest from the pledging.” However, the golf buff said she would probably play next year to support the cause. “It’s just a dreadful disease, and I’ve learned so much about it since I’ve been on the board,” Edwards said. “One thing that was very touching, was when I sent out requests for pledges, there were a number of people who told me they had a friend or family member who was struggling with arthritis,” she added. To keep on top of her game, Edwards tries to golf five times a week. How does she manage to run a $510-million credit union and get that much golf time in? Mostly, Edwards plays on the weekends. She plays in a golf league on Friday evenings, plays with a group of women on Saturdays, and plays with her husband on Sundays. “In Columbus, we’re on the far edge of eastern time zone, so doesn’t get dark until 9 or 9:30 in the summer,” Edwards explained, “So, if I leave the office at 6, I can get 9 holes in before it gets dark, and I usually play at least twice during the week.” Her love of golf makes her the perfect wife, she said. “My husband would rather golf than eat, and I would rather golf than cook, so it works out perfectly,” she said. -

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