April 20, 2024
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Navy Federal Credit Union Announces Kara Cardona as its Next COO

Kara Cardona was Navy Federal's executive vice president for Contact Center Operations and Greater Pensacola Operations before being elevated to COO (Photo: Business Wire)
Kara Cardona was Navy Federal's executive vice president for Contact Center Operations and Greater Pensacola Operations before being elevated to COO (Photo: Business Wire)

Kara Cardona has been announced as Navy Federal Credit Union’s next Chief Operating Officer. Cardona replaces Dietrich Kuhlmann, who recently succeeded Mary McDuffie as Navy Federal’s Chief Executive Officer. All transitions were effective as of March 1, 2024. Cardona has nearly 25 years of experience at Navy Federal, the past three of which she spent as its executive vice president for Contact Center Operations and Greater Pensacola Operations. Here, she led the credit union‘s largest business unit and oversaw functions of its three campus locations. As COO, Cardona reports directly to Kuhlmann out of the credit union’s headquarters in Vienna, VA.

“Kara has always been strongly aligned with our mission to serve our members,” said Kuhlmann. “Her unique blend of people leadership, transformative thinking and operational acumen make her an ideal fit as our new COO.”

In her most recent role, Cardona led a team that set records for call volume, won numerous awards for contact center operations and reached new heights in member satisfaction. Prior to that, Cardona served as Navy Federal’s assistant vice president for Projects and Analysis and as vice president in Branch Operations, which at the time included 1,800 team members across 150 global branches.

“When I joined the credit union as a part-time employee at our branch in Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, I completely fell in love with the culture and the mission of Navy Federal,” said Cardona. “I had no idea I would be where I am today, and it is such an honour to give back to our teams and members in this way.”

McDuffie announced to Navy Federal’s Board of Directors and staff last September that she would be retiring from the CEO post she’d held since 2018. Kuhlmann was appointed as her successor following a rigorous, months-long search led by the credit union’s board.

“Given her extensive experience at Navy Federal Credit Union, Kara is deeply familiar with how our teams work together to provide what our members need – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Kuhlmann continued. “I congratulate her on this new opportunity, and I know she will be a tremendous asset in helping to ensure Navy Federal continues to meet our mission and serve our members worldwide.”

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