Friday, October 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Credit union CEO believes in community, teamwork

By
From page WMD5 | March 16, 2014 |

WMD VanOuwerkerk

Patsy Van Ouwerkerk has been president and chief executive officer of Travis Credit Union since 2002. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Patsy Van Ouwerkerk knew she wanted a career helping others, but she didn’t know exactly what a credit union was when she arrived for a credit union job interview 38 years ago.

She described the CEO who interviewed her as a “credit union zealot” who explained to her that credit unions were created by “people helping people,” and they existed to offer affordable financial services, especially to people of low and middle incomes.

“If she wanted to be of service to others, a credit union was the place to be,” he said to her.

Little did Van Ouwerkerk know at the time that she had found her life’s work and would become a self-described credit union zealot herself.

Van Ouwerkerk rose quickly through the ranks and served as senior vice president of The Golden 1 Credit Union in Sacramento, president of Alliance Credit Union in San Jose and then president of Columbia Community Credit Union in Vancouver, Wash.

In June 2002, she accepted an appointment as president and chief executive officer of Travis Credit Union – at that time, one of only six women in the United States to head a credit union with more than $1 billion in assets.

Van Ouwerkerk is retiring in August – not so she can kick back and relax, but so she has more time to devote to her three great loves: her husband of 41 years; spending more time with and living part of each year near her father and four brothers in North Carolina; and teaming with others to help her community and the credit union industry.

Love of teamwork was bred into Van Ouwerkerk from early childhood as she grew up with her brothers in a small town in North Carolina. Working together to accomplish goals was the hallmark of the family. When the work was done, Van Ouwerkerk and her brothers played team sports. With four brothers you’d expect that, wouldn’t you?

She credits her childhood as teaching her one of her greatest life lessons: “Working hard pays off, but it is also OK to have fun.”

Credit unions are all about collaboration, and what Van Ouwerkerk particularly enjoys is getting to know her employees and members personally and serving her community and the credit union industry. She has participated in and held leadership roles in a large number of community organizations including Rotary International, the Travis Regional Armed Forces Committee, the Vacaville Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Miracle Network, Solano Economic Development Corp. board of directors and the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce.

Under Van Ouwerkerk’s leadership, Travis Credit Union is dedicated to financial education in Solano, Yolo, Napa, Merced and Contra Costa counties. She also initiated a college scholarship program that provides $1,500 scholarship awards annually to 20 local high school seniors and an annual event to inform students about Cal Grants, California’s college education grant program. She especially values helping Travis Credit Union’s military members and their families manage their finances during deployment and transitions.

With all the duties and responsibilities as head of one of California’s largest credit unions, when asked what she most enjoys about her job, Van Ouwerkerk immediately replied, “Interacting with staff and being a role model for young people.”

What advice does she give them?

“Don’t set limits on what you can accomplish by not thinking big enough,” she said. “Look to others and learn from them and remember that it only takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life – whether it’s taking time to offer a word of encouragement or to listen to an idea.”

Finally, she would advise them, “Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t forget to have fun.”

Van Ouwerkerk’s achievements have been recognized by her colleagues and the community. She is proud of her election by the Credit Union Executive Society into its Hall of Fame for her lifetime achievements, her appointment by the Department of the Air Force to the 51st annual National Security Forum on global issues and national security, and the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce Athena Award for inspiration and mentorship of other businesswomen. She was also named Solano County’s Woman of the Year and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Credit Union League.

What she values most, though, is when women tell her that she encouraged them in their careers.

But don’t forget about her desire to have fun. When asked what favorite memories she will take with her into retirement, she said, “Serving as a role model for young people, helping to create shared credit union branching in California, and being a founding member of the Global Women’s Leadership Network.”

“Oh,” she added, “And flying in a T-38 Talon supersonic jet pulling two Gs.”

Sherry Cordonnier is the director of corporate relations for Travis Credit Union.

Sherry Cordonnier

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
‘The Rocky Horror Show’ finds a home on stage

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
For sale: Solano home with Nike missile bunkers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Cassette tapes used for music and more

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Salvation Army debuts giant kettle for holidays campaign

By Robinson Kuntz | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

New survey details vast scope of teen dating abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Boosters seek to keep Bay Bridge light display

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Driver attacked after ice cream truck kills boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
$50,000 reward to find killer of Anaheim girl, 9

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Video shows bikers taunting California officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California man guilty in wife’s stabbing death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Brown opens up spending in campaign’s final month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Suspect in girl’s 1984 killing was police employee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

PTSD argued in case of Marine jailed in Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Paintings in national parks spark probe, furor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Prisoner in Afghanistan to be tried in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

US, SKorea agree to delay wartime control transfer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US officials: Iraqi army regrouping slowly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Lawmakers seek to end benefits to former Nazis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

For teen with passport, Syria trip can be seamless

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Border deaths drop to 15-year low

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Cremation fears leave empty Ebola beds in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Ex-Mountie hero of shooting at Canada’s Parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Canada gunman wanted a passport to go to Mideast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NYC mayor: Don’t be alarmed by doctor’s Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

 
Planning Commission not listening to the people

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Not sure I trust government on Ebola

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
Is America prepared for Ebola or is threat overhyped?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My husband and I don’t share anything anymore, including a bedroom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Oct. 24-30, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘John Wick’ delivers non-stop action

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
‘Rocky Horror’ a participatory treat

By Tony Wade | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Burns’ series gives PBS a ratings milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

 
At 1-all, World Series moves to quirky Giants park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Giants’ Hudson to face Royals’ Guthrie in Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
College notebook: Cordes chosen to try out for USA national team

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Homecoming still on but no game for VCS

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
Compton among PGA leaders at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Steve Nash ruled out for season with back injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arizona men near-unanimous pick by media to win Pac-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders may lose Woodley to biceps injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

No. 6 Oregon looks to extend streak against Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
The Write Way: KC coach’s lineup cards are artful

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Prep football capsules: Week 8

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Manning, Sanders lead Broncos past Chargers, 35-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Honda Fit becomes even more intriguing small car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Letting your car find a spot and park itself

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
A blue Christmas for Amazon?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9