Financial Literacy Champion Has a Heart for Students, Education
As a former educator, Ada Williams has a heart for students and learning. As Chairman of the Board at Credit Union of Texas, she’s pushing for financial education as well.
Williams, Transformance’s 2016 Financial Literacy Champion, began her career in education in 1955 when she joined the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) as an elementary school music teacher. Stints as elementary and secondary school counselors eventually led her to a role representing teachers in the DISD administration.
In the early 1980s, Williams joined the Board of Directors at Dallas Teacher’s Credit Union, which later became Credit Union of Texas. She was appointed by the Governor of Texas to serve on the Texas Credit Union Commission from May 1983 to March 1989. Since 1996, she has served as Chairman of the Board. "Ada Williams brings a 33-year legacy of service to not just Credit Union of Texas, but to the greater credit union community as a whole," said John Lederer, CEO of Credit Union of Texas.
During her tenure with Credit Union of Texas, Williams has kept a keen eye on education programs and how the financial institution serves its members. Although it started as a teacher’s credit union, CUTX’s is now a community-chartered credit union and serves over 142,000 residents in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and parts of Tarrant County. As an educator, Williams is hopeful more educational materials on financial learning will connect with multiple generations.
“Financial learning should start at home,” she said. “Parents should give their children allowances and teach them how to save their money and how important that will be when they get older.”
The key, she said, is to avoid bad habits early on. In her own life, Williams has a family member who consistently makes poor financial decisions and needs regular help and coaching. “One bad habit I see is people who spend their money on non-essentials and buying things you really don’t need. You end up buying it and never use it. For some folks, it can get out of control,” she said. She is adamant that basic money management skills can save many Americans from a lifetime of financial woes and frustrations.
Her passion both teaching and implementing financial education programs to individuals, families and communities is a primary reason Williams won this year’s award from Transformance.
“Credit Union of Texas exemplifies the community-based credit union spirit in serving the financial needs of low-to-moderate income families, and we are truly proud to honor the many years of service of its board chair, Mrs. Ada Williams,” said Transformance CEO and President Ken Goodgames.
Prior recipients of the Financial Literacy Champion award include Carol Nichols (formerly of Capital One) in 2014 and Michelle Wheeler (Jackson-Shaw) in 2015.
PHOTO CAPTION: Transformance President and CEO Ken Goodgames (left) presents Ada Williams with the 2016 Financial Literacy Champion award earlier this year.