GWLN Leading the Way for Women with Virtual Fundraiser

Pay to NOT Play event connects hundreds of credit union professionals in support of women's initiatives

July 24, 2020

MADISON, Wis.—Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN), World Council’s trailblazing program, has led the way for the credit union industry’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for over 10 years.

Now more than ever, women's initiatives are critically important, reacting to the COVID-19 health crisis, economic disparity and social injustice. This year GWLN pivoted its annual fundraiser to a virtual "Pay to NOT Play" golf festival and raised 200% of its goal with the support of hundreds of colleagues and industry partners worldwide. 

“Come on all you credit union He-for-She’s and supporters. I know you, and I know who golfs. Get your bids in now, and I won’t have to call you out,” challenged host Keith Sultemeier, CEO of Kinecta Federal Credit Union and presenting sponsor, making the virtual festival fun and interactive with true stories from women impacted by GWLN.

Over 100 attendees from more than a dozen countries participated in the festival's 19th Hole Happy Hour event where people entered virtual bids on different golf packages. The winning bids will benefit GWLN efforts around the globe. 

“Look out on the faces attending this virtual festival. We have authentic representation of the diversity of GWLN as people wave to us from all over the United States, Europe, Canada, Africa, South America, Asia, India, Nepal and Australia at all hours of the day and night. It takes a village and together we will continue to push for progress and stand up for those most vulnerable,” said Sue Mitchell, Chair of GWLN, while thanking the hundreds of volunteers who are making a difference to advance women. 

GWLN's Pay to NOT Play event is another example of how World Council programs connect like-minded credit union professionals from different parts of the world to help advance DEI efforts.

“I am proud to be part of the global initiative of people empowering women. Launched in 2009, GWLN today touches thousands of women and men from 82 countries, offering 64 scholarships, establishing empowerment grants and donating countless hours to community organizations on behalf of credit unions and financial cooperatives,” said Lena Giakoumopoulos, GWLN Program Director. “I’m excited to share that there are more than 110 Sister Societies in 27 countries, and we are striving to add at least one in all 50 U.S. states with the tremendous energy coming from our grassroots efforts.” 

The virtual fundraiser was possible with additional support from GWLN Fundraising Taskforce Chair Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, Sister Society leaders, and industry partners CO-OP Financial Services, CUNA Mutual Group, Local Government Federal Credit Union, Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates, NextMark Credit Union, PSCU, Ser Tech, Unitus Community Credit Union, The ProConGroup and Xceed Financial Credit Union

Visit to learn more or make a donation at the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions page here.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,055 credit unions in 118 countries serve 291 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Author Photo
Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

NOTE: Click on photos to view/download in high resolution.