It's already been 10 years since Bill Cheney took the leadership role at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union. As he completes his first decade, the credit union celebrates its 90th anniversary.

During the decades of its existence, the Tustin, Calif.-based SchoolsFirst has become a credit union powerhouse – growing to $30 billion in assets and serving 1.3 million members. Cheney joined us on the podcast to talk about the legacy of the credit union and explained that he doesn't truly have a growth strategy. Instead, he believes growth is a result of doing all of the other things right for members and the community.

After his time leading CUNA, Cheney joined SchoolsFirst in 2014 and we talk about this past decade and the new regulatory challenges and opportunities that come with becoming one of the largest credit unions in the country.

We also carved out some time to discuss Cheney's long history with Texas as well as the most delicious of all cheese-based things: queso.

Grab your tortilla chips and take a listen!


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Michael Ogden

Editor-in-Chief at CU Times. To connect, email at [email protected]. As Editor-in-Chief of CU Times since 2016, Michael Ogden has led the editorial team in all aspects of content strategy and execution, including the creation of the publication’s exclusive and proprietary research database of the credit union industry’s economic landscape. Under Michael’s leadership, CU Times has successfully shifted to an all-digital editorial product with new focuses on the payments, fraud, lending and regulatory beats. Most recently, he introduced a data-focused editorial product for subscribers that breaks down credit union issues into hard data, allowing for a deeper and more factual narrative for readers. In 2024, he launched the "Shared Accounts With CU Times" podcast, which offers a fresh, inside-the-newsroom perspective through interviews with leaders from the credit union industry and the regulatory world. He dives into pressing credit union issues, while revealing the personalities working behind-the-scenes to push the credit union world forward. His background includes years as a radio and TV anchor/reporter and a public relations and digital/social media manager, where he covered the food and music industries, as well as cooperatives and credit unions. Over the years, he has launched numerous exclusive video and podcast series, including a successful series of interactive backstage interviews with musicians at music festivals, showcasing his social media and live streaming production skills.