October 31, 2013
Cathie Tierney, president/CEO of Community First Credit Union, and Beth Davis, CFCU vice president/business development, were recognized Thursday (Oct. 24) by their Fox Cities business colleagues for their years of business success, passionate community involvement and inspirational leadership.
Both were among the business leaders honored at The Event, the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce annual celebration of the local business community at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.
Along with Fox Cities’ construction industry icon Oscar Boldt, Cathie was inducted as the chamber’s Business Hall of Fame Class of 2013 for her personal and business success, outstanding achievement in the credit union industry, contribution to the economic vitality of the Fox Cities and serving as a role model for future generations.
Beth, who has 35 years of financial services industry experience, was the recipient of the Athena Leadership Award that annually honors professional excellence, community service and for assisting women in pursuing leadership opportunities to advance their business careers.
Cathie, who has been CFCU president/CEO since 1994, rose from a humble start as a credit union receptionist to become a teller in 1976. She subsequently advanced through the ranks serving as marketing director, vice president of marketing, vice president customer service and branch operations and then executive vice president.
“Employees say she is a CEO who leads by example,” said John Krause, Baker Tilly partner and market leader, in introducing Cathie as a member of the chamber’s third Hall of Fame class. “Her passion for business and community is seen throughout her organization, and she passes this along to her employees, encouraging volunteerism from all.”
Krause said Cathie is someone who “gives her time, talent and resources to many non-profits across our community” and has been the recipient of many accolades for her business acumen and community involvement. In addition to running Wisconsin’s third largest credit union, Cathie currently serves on the board of directors for: Fox Valley Technical College and (previously) FVTC Foundation, Fox Cities PAC, Building for the Arts, YMCA of the Fox Cities, SECURA Insurance, Affinity Health System, Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region and the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation. She is also chairman of the National Association of State Chartered Credit Unions and recently finished a term on the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce board.
“She is an inspiration to women and men alike with her passion to improve and strengthen the quality of life in the Fox Cities,” Krause said.
“It was very special and a great honor,” said Cathie of the recognition by her peers. “Certainly to have joined the ranks of people that have been nominated for the Hall of Fame this year, as well as those who have been inducted in years past, was very significant to me because those are people that I admire and respect and have worked hard to emulate all these years.”
In accepting the award, Cathie shared some advice from 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Joyce Bytof, who had nominated her. “Her words of wisdom to us are, ‘Always be candid but compassionate, speak from your heart and live your life with integrity, grace and dignity.’”
Beth Davis, who was assistant vice president/consumer credit and indirect lending for Community First from 1996 to 2002, said she was especially honored knowing that Cathie was a past recipient of the Athena Award. “Winning this award is one of the highest accomplishments that I have received in my career in the financial services industry,” she said.
“It was a wonderful honor and very well deserved,” Cathie said of Beth’s recognition. “She works so diligently and embodies all the best qualities of an Athena Award winner.”