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GRAPEVINE, Texas – In 1975, Diane Furnas started Southwest Airlines Federal Credit Union with a borrowed desk, chair, and telephone in a file closet at Southwest Airlines Dallas Love Field facility. On Nov. 5, 2005, SWAFCU honored the credit union CEO/President for her 30 years of service at the institution’s annual awards banquet at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Conference Center. Guest speaker Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines founder and chairperson, commended Furnas on her involvement with the credit union industry and her entrepreneurial leadership at the credit union. During Furnas’ tenure, SWAFCU has grown into a $160 million credit union with five branches. Over the past 30 years, the credit union has experienced four mergers, moved to its own building in 1989 and expanded the original facility in 2003. In 2004, Furnas was instrumental in starting the Credit Union Texas Twister 10K, a sister run to the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run in Washington D.C. Both runs benefit Children’s Miracle Network and raise the awareness of the vital role credit unions play in their members’ lives. Furnas served as the first woman elected as NAFCU chair, NSC Chair, Dallas Chapter of Credit Unions President, Texas Credit Union League Director, CUNA National Director, USERS Director and served on several committee chairs for NAFCU and CUNA. She was named NAFCU’s 1998 Professional of the Year and is a S.W. CUNA Management School honors graduate. This spring, Furnas received a silver Excel Award from the Society of National Association Publications for her column in The Federal Credit Union magazine. The winning column, “I Want What I Want When I Want It,” was about the importance of meeting members’ needs.

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