Eikel a CU trailblazer but not CUNA Mutual's founder
An informed reader of the Credit Union Times recently brought something to our attention that we're sure you want to know about. In one of Mike Welch's recent columns, Charles F. Eikel, Jr. was identified as a "founder" of CUNA Mutual Insurance Society. While "Charley" - as he was usually called - had many accomplishments during his career in the credit union movement, founding CUNA Mutual was not one of them. CUNA Mutual was founded by credit union pioneer Roy F. Bergengren and the newly formed board of the Credit Union National Association at its first meeting in January, 1935. CUNA and CUNA Mutual hired Mr. Eikel in 1938 after he had spent several years as a volunteer managing director of PALIC Federal Credit Union in New Orleans. (PALIC serves employees of Pan American Life Insurance Co.) He was hired as a "field secretary" to organize and serve credit unions in the Old South. In 1946, Mr. Eikel moved to Madison to become assistant managing director of CUNA and CUNA Mutual, reporting to Thomas W. Doig. In 1956, Mr. Eikel was named president and CEO of CUNA Mutual. He retired in1973. As a long-time participant and chronicler of the credit union movement, we thought you'd appreciate this clarification. Rick Uhlmann Media Relations Manager CUNA Mutual Group Madison, Wis.