March 4, 2019

Charla Stetson | CEO, Windsor Locks Federal Credit Union

Charla Stetson

Charla Stetson is a rarity in the financial-services sector.

She's the CEO of a credit union in what's long been a male-dominated field. In fact, if you look at Hartford Business Journal's lists of largest banks and credit unions, you'll find only two female chief executives out of 46 total lenders.

To say gender diversity hasn't hit the CEO ranks of Connecticut's banking industry is an understatement.

Stetson was named Windsor Locks Federal Credit Union's new chief executive Feb. 1, a promotion from her previous job as vice president of operations and member services.

She joined Windsor Locks FCU in 2011, which was her first entry into the finance industry. She previously worked as a restaurant manager and spent time at a courier company that handled interoffice mail and transfers for banks.

But she said she feels right at home overseeing a financial institution with $59 million in assets.

She is a graduate of Asnuntuck Community College and continues to study at the New England College of Business and Finance. Stetson is also a graduate of the Credit Union League of Connecticut's executive education program.

What are your top priorities for Windsor Locks FCU?

Priorities and goals have to come from a 'we' perspective, encompassing our management team and staff. Growth is our top priority. We hope to expand our field of membership (FOM) so that we can share our superior service and expertise with more members.

So, where do you see those growth opportunities coming from?

Strengthening our relationships with local schools and youth organizations to generate awareness of our credit union with young people, and enhancing financial education is an opportunity. Expanding into new communities and welcoming a larger FOM is another. We always look to offer innovative services to complement our members' changing lifestyles.

This is your first time as CEO. Who do you look to for advice and mentorship?

I am so fortunate to have a management team comprised of talented and experienced individuals, to whom I can turn for support and guidance. I lead the credit union jointly with our Chief Operating Officer Pat Javorski. She is the ultimate mentor and voice of wisdom for me.

Can you tell us something about yourself that most people don't know?

I am kind of a health and fitness nut. I recently added boxing to my workout repertoire, and it really helps my (lack of) coordination.

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