Stephanie Schwenn Sebring

Coming of Age as CEO

For Nancy Rappaport, CCE, both learning and sharing what she knows are key factors to being a fully effective CU leader.

By Stephanie Schwenn Sebring

butterfly coming out of its cocoonThe professional career path of CUES member Nancy Rappaport, CCE, has gone through its own metamorphosis. She grew through roles in marketing and CUSO leadership to become president/CEO of $82 million/10,250-member PriorityONE Credit Union of Florida, Sunrise. Right along, she’s emphasized professional development–and now she’s also intent on giving back.

CEO Institute was the best training program I’ve experienced,” says Rappaport, who earned her Certified Chief Executive designation by completing segment I in 2005, segment II in 2007, segment III in 2013 (through a scholarship from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions), and two between-segments projects.

“It was incredible sitting in a room of like-minded people with access to top talent, including other credit union CEOs and executives from all across the country,” she says. “I was also able to learn from professors from schools like Darden, Cornell and Wharton. It’s a fabulous network.”

Rappaport found resonance with the concept of “being a connector,” which was discussed during CEO Institute II at Cornell University.

“I am a connector and didn’t realize it until I heard the presentation,” she says. “I’ve helped numerous people over the years find new jobs, connecting them to people I know or think might be someone they should know. It is extremely rewarding, and I truly enjoy helping.”

One person Rappaport is helping with connections is CUES member Shannon Duran, SVP/chief operating officer for $132 million/27,330-member PBC Credit Union, West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Nancy is an inspirational leader whom I greatly admire,” says Duran, who aspires to be a credit union CEO one day. “Her core competencies and experience started in marketing and advanced to other areas of the operation, as did mine, modeling the way for me to follow her footsteps while learning from her experiences, challenges and successes along the way.

“She has given me great recommendations for attending certain credit union training sessions, conferences, and schools,” Duran continues, noting that CEO Institute is on her list. “She also encouraged me to join networking groups outside the credit union movement to gain other perspectives, like chamber associated groups and professional women’s groups, as these were effective for her and her development.”

Duran also appreciates Rappaport’s example of how to be forward-thinking and open to change to serve her members better. “She always seeks to promote fresh ideas. This best practice is one all credit unions could benefit from,” says Duran. “Most of all, I appreciate her compassion for people, positive energy and can-do attitude. These attributes are important as people are the heart of our credit union movement.”

With 25 years of marketing and communications experience, Stephanie Schwenn Sebring established and managed the marketing departments for three credit unions. As owner of Fab Prose & Professional Writing, her focus is assisting credit unions and industry suppliers with their communications needs.

Get all the details about signing up for CEO Institute and earning your CCE designation.

The CUES networking event of the year is just around the corner. Register today for CEO/Executive Team Network, slated for Nov. 8-11, Scottsdale, Ariz.

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