Member Spotlight

WHF is pleased to announce a new monthly feature, the WHF Member Spotlight. Each month we will feature a new WHF member.


Name: Mary Martha Fortney

Employer: President, The Fortney Group

Retired President and CEO, National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS)

Hometown:  Jamestown, New York

Fun Fact: I am an avid NASCAR fan, particularly before Jeff Gordon retired.  My youngest daughter Katie was a drag racer for over 20 years.

Hobby:  Reading, relaxing at the lake or beach, boating, walking my golden retriever

How long have you been a member of WHF and what have your gained from being a member?

I have been a member of WHF for 20 years.  Through my WHF membership, I have been afforded the opportunity to gain personal friendships, knowledge and the professional skills that helped me over the course of my career at NASCUS, beginning as the first-ever senior vice president in the company’s history and then for the 11 years I served as president and chief executive officer.

How do you make the best use of your day?

I am a multi-tasker and enjoy getting up early to start my activities for the day.  Planning is important to me and I like to be prepared way ahead of time, rather than be late.  This trait was engrained in me as a youngster, and it’s my preferred way to operate.

What do you love most about what you do?

I am very involved with WHF and the WHF Foundation, serving as WHF President in 2008-2009 and on the Foundation Board since 2010.  I have absolutely loved being involved with the women and men associated with WHF and planning our many special events to recognize our supporters and partners.  As president of the WHF Foundation, I have been particularly interested in developing our relationships with our non-profit partners, and am especially proud and humbled to have worked to develop (along with Beth Solomon and Calvary’s Elaine Johnson) the Foundation’s unique financial empowerment program, Changepurse.  It is so rewarding that several other partners have asked the Foundation to begin conducting Changepurse programs for their women (and even men) residents.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the tireless and selfless leaders involved with the Foundation’s partners and am awed by their dedication to help those less fortunate.  They have made me want to give back, to pay it forward, as I have received so many blessings in my life.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Some of the best advice I ever received was from my beloved late daddy who reminded me as follows: “Good, better, best – never let it rest – until the good is better and the better is the best.”  Also, I was encouraged at a young age to reach for the stars, higher than I could imagine, to respect everyone I meet, and finally, to be honest and forthcoming no matter what.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Camino Island by John Grisham, Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini and I’m currently reading Caesar by Colleen McCullough.

What is your personal philosophy?

My personal philosophy is to appreciate those with whom you are involved and to make every moment count, as you never know when it may be your last.  Truth and honesty at all times are important to me.

Who do you look up to the most and why?

I look up to individuals who are kind, who are striving to make themselves better, to make the world a better place, to help those less fortunate, to mentor others in their community.  They endeavor to do all with humility and don’t call attention to themselves.  These are the people who inspire me always.