Celebrating Women’s History Month: Q & A with Jennifer Denoo


Women’s History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate women’s contributions across American history, society, and culture. The credit union movement is fortunate to have many female leaders and professionals serving members every day. The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues invite some of these women to reflect on their own careers and how we can better support future women in the credit union industry. 

A Q & A with Jennifer Denoo, president and CEO of Great Basic FCU.

How long have you been in the credit union industry? At your credit union?
I have been at Great Basin Federal Credit Union for my entire career – 28 years.  Like many, I started as a teller and worked my way up, learning as much as I could along the way. 

Who are some female role models or mentors who have inspired you either personally or professionally? 
In my personal life, my mom was my role model. She taught me that how I present myself each day makes a difference of how others perceive me. She taught me to hold my head high, get involved in my own life and show professionalism and confidence.  In my professional life, Diana Dykstra has been my mentor since I met her at Western CUNA Management School around 2006. The way that Diana spoke and challenged us to really think about how we are different and how we make change in our industry inspired me. She is a pioneer, and she thinks big; as an industry we have all benefited from her leadership. 

What is an exciting project going on at the credit union today?
Oh gosh, we have lots! I am excited about some expansion opportunities we are pursuing, and I am very excited about some employee development and career planning to form our future leaders. I have the very best team there is and to watch them thrive is my absolute joy.

What do you hope your legacy will be for your credit union or the movement as a whole? 
I hope that I leave those I meet with the feeling that they matter. I tell all of my employees that we are not defined by our title or our tenure. We have an opportunity to do something in our industry that many people don’t get to do in their career – we get to change lives each day. We do that through empathy and putting ourselves in others’ shoes. We listen to understand and to guide, not so just to do transactions or sell products. 

What advice would you give to future female credit union leaders? 
It is important to be involved in your credit union and in the industry. Seek opportunity and take every opportunity that comes your way. Find what brings you joy and then be really, really good at it. Finally, understand that you do not have to be like anybody else, be authentically you. I am a hugger, and I am silly, and I am sensitive. Those traits do not make me weak; they are just a unique addition to my fierce drive to succeed.

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