After 19 years at the helm, Paul Parish, president/CEO of the $3.2 billion Wings Financial Credit Union, announced Monday he will retire at the end of the year.
“During his tenure the assets of the credit union have increased more than tenfold while its balance sheet has remained strong and stable,” said Michael Cooper, board chairman of the Apple Valley, Minn.-based credit union. “Just as importantly, Paul has built a best-in-class management team and has nurtured a culture of exceptional service and high return of value to members.”
Wings Financial said Monday’s announcement is an important milestone in a succession planning process that has been under way since mid-year 2010. The credit union’s board of directors said it has been working with Parish to ensure comprehensive executive succession planning across the entire management team and has retained an executive search firm to identify both internal and external candidates for the CEO position.
“It has been the high point of my career to assemble a great team and to work with my Wings colleagues,” Parish said. “The employees of Wings Financial demonstrate their passion for serving members and their dedication to continuous improvement in every aspect of our business. It’s a privilege to be a part of this team. I look forward to welcoming my successor and to watching the credit union reach new heights in the years to come.”
In March 2007, the Apple Valley, Minn.-based Wings attempted what some described as the CU industry's first hostile takeover attempt of Continental FCU. After more than a month of campaigning to make it happen, NCUA put an end to the merger attempt saying Wings overstepped Federal Credit Union Act regulations when it offered $200 payments to Continental's members if the merger went through.
Wings has since partnered with several airlines and organizations to serve their employees.
The credit union serves nearly 200,000 members worldwide and operates 24 branches. It was founded in 1938 to serve employees of Northwest Airlines.