BRISTOL, Tenn. -- After 44 years in the credit union movement, President/CEO of United Southeast Federal Credit Union Larry Stapleton has announced his retirement.
"I think it's the saddest thing in the world when people wait until it's too late to enjoy retirement," Stapleton said. "I'm healthy and active and its time to spend time with my family."
Stapleton began his career in 1964 with Mason-Dixon Credit Union. He worked with programmers to write and market their own data processing system and in 1966 helped test a new open-end loan product for CUNA Mutual that allowed his credit union to do overnight lending to members in any city in the eastern United States.
During his career Stapleton participated in the organization of the State Share Insurance Corp. and Corporate Credit Union. He served as chairman for both. Stapleton came to United Southeast after a downsize left him out of a job at the age of 55.
"The best thing that ever happened to me was being out of a job," Stapleton said.
As president/CEO, Stapleton led a successful merger with four local credit unions though he said one of the things he is most proud of is moving the credit union toward electronic transactions.
"It was my No. 1 priority coming to United Southeast and now 86% of our transactions are electronic," Stapleton said. "I wanted to move from you come see us to we'll come see you."
While Stapleton said that accomplishments are something other people decide on there are a lot of things that occurred during his career of which he is proud.
"I'm proud to have been a part of credit unions, getting involved in the political process and seeing credit unions grow to be a part of mainstream," Stapleton said.
After his last official day, the last day of June, Stapleton said he plans to play golf for his first three months of retirement. After that Stapleton said that he will travel with his wife Genny and spend time with his family. Stapleton and his wife have three children and four grandchildren. His eldest daughter is the CEO of Lifeway Credit Union in Nashville.
The succession committee at United Southeast is working on a replacement for Stapleton and will assign an interim president/CEO until they find someone to fill the position.
"I believe I shouldn't be a part of the process of deciding who should succeed me," Stapleton said. "I try and stay out of it and let the board handle it."
United Southeast has seven branches with $117.8 million in assets and
16, 952 members.