After nearly 20 years of service, Sylvia Lyon, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, will retire March 7, 2014.

 “Sylvia has transformed the Association and has been a staunch advocate for New Mexico credit unions,” said Chris Fitzgerald, CUANM board chair and president/CEO of the $236 million Rio Grande Credit Union in Albuquerque.

“Her leadership has put New Mexico on the map as an industry leader in financial literacy for our youth as well as unique educational assistance for students pursuing higher education,” Fitzgerald said in the league statement. “We appreciate her dedication to the movement and the impact she has made in our communities.”

The league said Lyon was instrumental in leading major initiatives such as  overhauling the organization’s bylaws and governance structure, developing a governmental affairs department, establishing financial literacy programs for children and leading a five-year campaign to raise $1 million for a pediatric emergency unit at the University of Mexico Children’s Hospital.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to have served the credit unions of New Mexico and be involved in the evolution of credit unions on the national level,” Lyon said in the league statement.

“I am grateful to everyone in the industry who has so selflessly given of their time and expertise whenever I needed it. Credit unions will always hold a special place in my heart, and I am confident they will remain a vibrant force in the financial services marketplace,” she said.

Lyon began her career at the then New Mexico Credit Union League in 1994 and served as field representative, director of education and vice president of Credit Union Services. She began her tenure as CUANM president/CEO in 2003.

Lyon is the latest among a series of league chief executives to announce their departures.