November 12, 2020

NAFCU Network Spotlight: Q&A with Oklahoma's CU's Laura Beth Dawson

Laura Beth DawsonOver the next several weeks, NAFCU Today will be giving credit unions an inside look at each of the seven NAFCU Networks – offered complimentarily to member credit union professionals – via a Q&A with a network member. Today's feature on the Compliance, Risk & BSA Network comes from Oklahoma's Credit Union Risk Manager Laura Beth Dawson, who is also a NAFCU Certified Compliance Officer (NCCO). See why Dawson encourages all compliance professionals to join the network.

Q: Why did you become a member of the NAFCU Compliance, Risk & BSA Network?

A: I joined almost immediately after the network’s inception. I have been specializing in credit union compliance for several years, but I still feel like a newcomer. There is just so much to learn. Reading posts, asking questions, and brainstorming ideas with other compliance and risk professionals has been pivotal not only for my own growth, but for our credit union’s growth as well.

Q: What would you say is the biggest benefit of participating in the network?

A: Accessibility to the most knowledgeable compliance and risk professionals in the credit union industry. Everyone has areas of specialization and areas of weakness. Having the ability to lean on someone else’s expertise elevates all of us to better serve our credit unions. It’s also nice to receive industry-specific feedback, since we face challenges unique from other financial institutions.

Q: What advice would you give to those who have recently joined the network?

A: No matter where you are in your career, take advantage! If you are a seasoned professional, participate and allow others to lean on your experience. If you are a newcomer, soak it all in. Read posts, join discussions, and ask all the questions – big or small. Also, if you are not a member yet, I encourage you to join. The more representation we have, the more valuable our network becomes.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge facing credit union compliance professionals in the next year? How can the network help the industry address it?

A: Next year will be a continuation of blindly persevering into the unknown. Each one of us will face unique challenges as our credit unions continue to balance uncertainty with growth and exceptional member service. The NAFCU Compliance, Risk and BSA Network will continue to serve as a valuable resource, allowing us to share challenges, ideas and navigate this tough environment together.


In addition to the Compliance, Risk & BSA Network, NAFCU has six other credit union profession-specific networks:

Across these seven online communities, more than 12,000 credit union professionals engage in discussion threads, share best practices, and have access to leading industry resources and insights. NAFCU's government affairs team also provides updates on closed-door meetings with regulators, administration officials, and other decision makers, as well as regulatory and legislative developments.

A new feature to the networks: The ability to post anonymously to ensure credit unions can still get insights even on sensitive issues.

The NAFCU Networks are free, member-only resources. Register now to join a NAFCU Network, or email NAFCU Senior Member Experience Strategist Allyson Gale. Representatives from NAFCU-member credit unions may use their NAFCU website login to access the network.

Next week's NAFCU Today spotlight will feature the Lending Network.