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Board Bio Ruth Barnes

Ruth Barnes
Board Director

Ruth Barnes

"We strive to take over our own future, to serve the coming generations the way they want to be served." 

There’s no challenge too big and no task too small for Ruth Barnes to tackle, when it comes to helping or empowering people, especially credit union members.  


Ruth Barnes developed her disarming personality and tenacity during her 25-year career as the finance director/information systems officer for the Wake County ABC Board. There she was the only woman on the team, doing the job of three people — managing finances, human resources, and store technology, while coordinating real estate deals.  

Barnes’ reputation preceded her in 1984 when she attended the first Annual Meeting for Local Government Federal Credit Union. By the time she left the meeting, she was selected as Chair of the credit union’s Supervisory Committee, a position she held until being elected to the Board in 1990.

The opportunity to help her employees and fellow credit union members keep up with their finances was her main reason for joining the Board. She has since served in all Board officer positions including Chair, and is the currently Chair of the Asset Liability Management Committee.  

After retiring from the ABC Board, Barnes went on to become a licensed real estate broker. Since then, she engages with and serves local governments and individuals, to meet their commercial and residential needs. Barnes has also served as a former commissioner for the Atlantic Beach Town Council. 


Because of her strong dedication to the credit union and its mission of “to improve the lives of members,” Barnes dug deeper in her involvement by becoming one of the founding members of Civic Federal Credit Union. She has been on its Board since that credit union’s beginning in 2018. The North Carolina State University graduate uses her accounting knowledge and her real estate experience to help guide both credit union Boards.  

Her growth and commitment to the credit unions has grown even stronger over the years. Barnes believes Local Government and Civic Federal Credit Unions stand apart from banks and other financial institutions because of, 

our commitment to local government, our communities and the people who work in local government. The credit unions appreciate what local government employees do. It’s caring for our fellow human beings.” 

In addition to her work with the credit unions, Barnes serves on the board of Civic Local Foundation, the credit union’s nonprofit aiming to address housing, health care, human services and hunger in North Carolina communities.

Barnes also started the North Carolina Chapter (Sister Society) of the Global Woman’s Leadership Network, a credit union organization helping women to thrive and prosper in North Carolina and all over the world. Barnes credits this as her biggest accomplishment.



Barnes believes the credit unions should be positioned to address people’s ability to navigate this challenging economy, with its high interest rates, limited income for investments and limited income to meet day-to-day needs, and financial literacy to help members with budgeting and securing competitive loan rates.

For Barnes, the future of the credit union looks bright.

"We came up with Civic as a solution, so we could keep our business accounts,” she says. “Now we strive to take over our own future, to serve the coming generations the way they want to be served.”  

Ruth Barnes speaking at an event


  • Certified Credit Union Board Member (CCUB), Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
  • Graduate, CUNA Volunteer Achievement Program 
  • Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR®) 
  • Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI)


  • Founder and Chair, North Carolina Chapter of the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) 
  • Board member, Civic Local Foundation 
  • Ambassador, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) 
  • Member, African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) 
  • Member, Inclusiv Credit Union Network 
  • Member, Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV)