Barbara Stephens was introduced to the credit union industry in 1976 as a teller at San Diego County Credit Union. It was there that she realized the true meaning of the credit union’s philosophy “People Helping People.” This inspired her so that she decided to make the credit union industry her career. She quickly excelled by advancing in numerous positions.
In 1979 Stephens moved from San Diego to Houston. In Houston she continued her professional passion, love for “the – CREDIT UNION MOVEMENT.” She served as Branch Manager of IBM Credit Union, Vice-President of Met Tran Federal Credit Union and later promoted to President.
In September 1992, Stephens became the first African-American to hold the position of President/CEO at Houston Municipal Employees Credit Union. With 39 years in the credit union industry serving on various boards and committees, Stephens has made a tremendous impact, not only in the State of Texas, but on the national level.
In 2009, Stephens was selected as a recipient of the Cornerstone Award by NAFCU, presented with a “Shining Star” award by the Galena Park/Houston Metroplex Chapter of the National Women of Achievement. She has served on the Texas Credit Union League Board, Credit Union Managers Association, and Houston Chapter of CU’s. Today, she is serving on the African-American Credit Union Coalition Board of Directors of which she received the Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, Chair of the CDIP Committee for the National Federation of CDCU’s and Board Member of the Shadow Creek Ranch Homeowners Association.
Stephens, a survivor and fighter has always been ready to meet a challenge whether in her professional, community or personal life. According to Credit Union Times reporter Michelle Samaad, “if anyone can look a challenge squarely in the eye, decide right away to conquer it and come out shining on the other end, its’ Barbara Stephens.” In November 2005, Stephens was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her reaction…”either I’m going to let it defeat me or I’m going to beat it.” That was Ten years ago, a survivor and fighter.
Barbara is married to Reginald Stephens and has 4 children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She is a proud member of the Fort Bend Church in Sugarland under the Leadership of Pastor Byron C. Stevenson.