Donna Bland and Golden 1 Credit Union are a powerful success story. Golden 1, one of the nation’s largest credit unions, has $19 billion in assets. As President and CEO, Bland is one of only six women in the nation to lead a financial institution of that size. With 12 women in senior leadership positions and a majority female board of directors, Golden 1’s story proves the power of women in financial services.
“I grew up attending an all-girls high school in San Francisco and to be in an environment where women were everything established in me, as a woman, that I could do anything,” she says. Bland began her career as a bank teller while earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting, paying her way through college. “I learned financial management personally and it seemed like an easy transition to do it at scale.”
Bland joined Golden 1 in 1994 as Vice President Controller when Golden 1 had $1.5 billion in assets, then was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer two years later. After 13 years as CFO, she became President and CEO in 2010.
“Building an engaged and diverse workforce is critical to building a long-term, successful company that truly identifies with those they serve.” Donna Bland, President and CEO
Under Bland’s leadership, the credit union has thrived, growing to serve more than 1 million members. Golden 1 has built meaningful corporate giving and social equity programs that uplift diverse communities throughout the state. Bland also takes pride in two recent national recognitions: a Best Customer Experience Institution by American Banker and a Best-In-State Employer by Forbes.
Recently named a Most Powerful Women in Credit Unions nationwide by American Banker, Bland sees women in financial leadership as significant examples of career success and work-life balance for women pursuing careers in the industry. A leader committed to listening and learning, Bland develops her team to achieve both business and personal goals.
“Building an engaged and diverse workforce is critical to building a long-term, successful company that truly identifies with those they serve,” Bland says.