CU Movement Loses a Leader-Former Wescom CEO Robert Brain
PASADENA, Calif. - After battling Lou Gehrig's disease, Wescom Credit Union Founder Robert T. Brain has died at the age of 75. He began his career working in the engineering department at the Pacific Telephone Company. During that time, he became interested in credit unions and was elected to the Telephone Employees Credit Union board of directors from 1966 to 1971, serving one year as chairman.
He then took on a full time position as General Manager of the one branch credit union in 1971.
Under Brain's leadership Wescom grew from $33 million in assets to more than $1 billion. Serving as President/CEO for over 26 years Brain was known for always focusing on member service, which helped the credit union add over 100,000 members, expand to 12 branches and become a leader in convenience with its ATM and Internet services when he retired in 1997.
"He never sought the spotlight or credit for his many accomplishments. In short, Bob was a true gentleman. The kind of person one could try to emulate but still fall far short. He was a very special person and we will miss him greatly but his contributions will be felt by many of us forever," said Darren Williams, current Wescom President/CEO. "He represented, through his values, philosophy and actions, an unwavering commitment to the credit union foundation of `people helping people'. One of the simple pearls of wisdom he offered me shortly after his retirement was `Always remember, it's all about the member'."
A dedicated leader in the credit union movement, Brain served on the board of the California Credit Union League and the Information Technologies Credit Union Association; was co-chairman of the National Alliance for Credit Unions; and served on the advisory committee of the California Commissioner of Corporations and the NASCUS advisory council.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy; his son, Jim; his daughter-in-law, Carolyn; and two grandchildren.