WASHINGTON -- From binary code to produce codes, NAFCU's new Executive Vice President Patrick J. Morris has run organizations dealing with a wide variety of issues. Morris joined NAFCU's staff in February, according to President/CEO Fred Becker. "We are delighted to have someone of Pat's caliber and experience managing our operations and leading our membership and conference-planning divisions," Becker said. "We look forward to Pat building on our already outstanding reputation for exceptional member service and superior educational offerings." NAFCU's new No. 2 guy previously headed up the Washington-based International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an accredited standards development organization and the developer of global information technology standards. "It's certainly a lot of association management, which NAFCU is as well, coordinating conferences, providing member services...a lot of similar things," Morris said. He spent 12 years in association management including serving as executive director of INCITS--where he managed the organization's staff, information technology, financial operations, membership and board activities--since 2003.
He added that his IT experience should carry over nicely to NAFCU. "It used to be IT issues were something a few people worried about," Morris observed. "Now it affects everybody."
He also served as the secretary-general of the International Federation for Produce Coding in Newark, Del., from 2000 to 2003, where he worked on international technology and produce standards. He led the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents from 1995 through 2000, giving him financial services and lobbying experience. During his tenure there, Morris directed the association's operations and lobbied on behalf of its members before the Kansas legislature. Prior to that, Morris was a manager with Norwest Corporation in Sioux Falls, S.D., which purchased Wells Fargo and now does business under that name.
He began his career as an officer in the Marines and has held several posts in the federal government including the prestigious Presidential Management Internship Program, which included positions such as legislative assistant to Senator John Warner (R-Va.) and a budget analyst for the Air Force at the Pentagon. Morris earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Kentucky.
He noted that Becker was looking to hire someone who has run an association before and has experience with providing educational events and meetings for members. "When you look at an EVP/COO, what you look for is someone who knows how associations work and what members want," Morris explained. He added, "NAFCU has got a very strong team here, a very strong association."
Morris was the one selected to replace Diane Swenson, who left in December. Now he wants to take his individual skill-set and adapt it to NAFCU. "My immediate goal is to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can," he said.
His professional experience, particularly in government, gives him "a pretty deep understanding" of how the government impacts nonprofits. "I'm looking forward to bringing that to NAFCU." However, he said acknowledging NAFCU's past success, "One of the first things I want to focus on is the history of how things have been done at NAFCU."
As a former member of the Marine Corps, Morris signed up to join Navy Federal Credit Union nearly 25 years ago, he said. "I've especially been impressed by the focus on the members. It's one of those things as soon as I joined, I would never consider giving it up." He said he has used Navy Federal for everything from student loans to mortgages.
Student loans are likely again in Morris' future with four children between he and his wife, Tammy, ranging in age from 19 all the way down to five. When not at home with his family and dogs and cats, he can be found serving it up on the tennis or volleyball courts. --firstname.lastname@example.org