Rising Star Award Winners

2016 Award Winner

Stephanie ZulegerStephanie Zuleger

Vice President – Chief Lending Officer
Y-12 Federal Credit Union
Oak Ridge, TN


This award honors and recognizes up-and-coming talent in the ranks of credit union lending leadership. Zuleger was recognized for her achievements as the Chief Lending Officer at Y-12 Federal Credit Union. Over the last 18 months, she led changes to the credit union’s Loan products, both Mortgage and Consumer, that led to significant increases in both. These new loan volumes were certainly a benefit to the credit union and the additional members who were able to qualify for new loans with the credit union. Over the last 12 months, she worked with other Lending staff to completely rewrite ALL Lending Policies and Procedures. These changes have made it easier for the credit union’s internal staff and members to do loans through the credit union. Zuleger has also had a very positive impact on the culture of the credit union. She leads the "fun" team at Y-12. She helps to make sure staff are recognized appropriately – Y-12 maintains a strong and solid culture and that we don't forget that FUN is a part of all we do in life, work or personal. This cultural aspect has been very important as the credit union has seen explosive growth over the last 36 months. Zuleger recently worked with several other young credit union professionals and the Tennessee Credit Union League to start the Tennessee Credit Union young professionals group. This group was started from scratch by Zuleger and a few other young professionals with the help of the Tennessee Credit Union league. This group held their first conference in Knoxville earlier this year with over 75 young credit union professionals in attendance. This certainly benefited, and will continue to benefit more young credit union professionals as we move forward. Zuleger brings a very high level of energy and creativity to her role. She always maintains a positive attitude and looks for ways to make things happen, rather than ways to not do things. She is a passionate advocate of the credit union business model who based her recently completed Doctorate Thesis on Identifying Impediments to Succession Planning in Credit Unions. Her research included interviewing current credit union CEO's as part of the research and paper development process.