Navy Federal Credit Union has disclosed the appointment of its next Chief Operating Officer.

Navy Federal Credit Union has proudly announced Kara Cardona as its new Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Dietrich Kuhlmann, who recently assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer following Mary McDuffie’s retirement. Effective as of March 1, 2024, these transitions mark a significant milestone for the credit union.

With nearly 25 years of dedicated service at Navy Federal, Cardona brings a wealth of experience to her new role. For the past three years, she served as the executive vice president for Contact Center Operations and Greater Pensacola Operations, overseeing the credit union’s largest business unit and managing operations across its three campus locations. As COO, Cardona reports directly to Kuhlmann from Navy Federal’s headquarters in Vienna, VA.

“Kara’s tenure at Navy Federal has been marked by her unwavering commitment to our mission of member service,” remarked Kuhlmann. “Her leadership abilities, innovative thinking, and operational expertise make her an excellent choice for the role of COO.”

In her previous role, Cardona led her team to set records in call volume, earned numerous awards for contact center operations excellence, and achieved remarkable levels of member satisfaction. Before that, she held positions as assistant vice president for Projects and Analysis and vice president in Branch Operations, overseeing a team of 1,800 across 150 global branches.

Reflecting on her journey from part-time employee at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, to COO, Cardona expressed her gratitude for the credit union’s culture and mission. “It’s an honor to serve our teams and members in this capacity,” she said.

McDuffie’s retirement announcement last September paved the way for Kuhlmann’s appointment as CEO after an extensive search led by the credit union’s board.

“Kara’s extensive experience at Navy Federal positions her well to understand the collaborative efforts needed to meet our members’ needs around the clock,” Kuhlmann noted. “I congratulate her on this new role, confident that she will play a pivotal role in Navy Federal’s continued mission to serve our members worldwide.”

About Navy Federal Credit Union: Founded in 1933 with just seven members, Navy Federal has grown to serve over 13 million members globally, making it the world’s largest credit union. As a member-owned, not-for-profit organization, Navy Federal prioritizes the financial well-being of its members. Membership is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, Veterans, civilian and contractor personnel, and their families. With a workforce of 24,000 and a network of over 355 branches worldwide, Navy Federal remains dedicated to its mission. For more information, visit Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Employer.

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