Gary Oakland Makes His Mark
In recognition of his 25 years of leadership, Gary Oakland, president/CEO of BECU, has been tapped to receive the Mark of Excellence Award at the Northwest Credit Union Association convention.
The award represents the highest honor offered in the Summit Awards program. It recognizes a credit union professional for significant contributions to the credit union movement over a sustained period of 25 years or more through advocacy, philosophy, education and civic involvement.
Oakland has held the reins at Seattle-based CU since 1986, and today it is the nation’s fourth largest credit union, with nearly 703,000 members and assets of $9.5 billion.
He has been credited with successfully guiding members through recessions, Boeing strikes and the national mortgage meltdown. On his watch, low-cost loans were offered to striking Boeing workers and to victims of natural disasters.
Oakland’s team also reversed a banking trend that offered the highest interest rates to the biggest savers and instead offered the highest interest rates to the first $500 members deposited in checking and savings accounts.
The Member Advantage incentivized new savers and reinforced BECU’s long-term commitment to members’ financial well-being, the league said.
Oakland is currently chairman of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Board and serves on the boards of Junior Achievement of Washington, Impact Capital and other organizations.
He worked with the Washington Credit Union Foundation and other industry leaders to help fund and launch BizKid$, the Emmy-award winning, nationally televised program teaching financial literacy.
The Summit Awards recognize leaders who advance the Northwest credit union movement. Individuals are honored in four categories, distinguished volunteer, credit union professional of the year, young credit union professional of the year and the mark of excellence.
The awards program was co-hosted by the Washington and Oregon Credit Union Foundations at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Wash., on Sept. 22 as part of the Northwest Credit Union Association Convention.