Richard Romero Richard Romero speaks during Filene’s “Beyond Diversity: The Value and Impact of DEI for Credit Unions.”

Credit union governance experts have long agreed that as a best practice, credit unions should build a board of directors that represents their membership. For Richard Romero, president/CEO of the $896 million Seattle Credit Union, the process of replacing long-tenured, out-of-touch board members with a younger, more diverse lineup was at times “painful” and even led to one inflexible board member abruptly resigning during a meeting.

Romero, who received CU Times’ Trailblazer Award for CEO of the Year in 2018, discussed his board’s transformation with Sekou Bermiss, associate professor for the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, during Filene Research Institute’s virtual “Beyond Diversity: The Value and Impact of DEI for Credit Unions” event Wednesday.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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