Ask Loretta Burd what she will do in retirement, and she’ll laugh as she announces she indeed has a bucket list.
Burd will leave Centra Credit Union in Columbus, Ind., Dec. 31 after 47 years, including serving as president/CEO since 1987. After she first hired on in what she describes as “an administrative-type job, a clerical position,” she found herself tackling a wide range of responsibilities–and that, she said, proved to be valuable experience.
“When I think about the credit union back in 1965, we were relatively small, about $4.5 million,” Burd recalled. “You ended up doing a little bit of everything. That was excellent exposure because in this day and age when you get larger, positions are much more specialized and you don’t have that same opportunity. I did teller work, accounting, loan work, so I really got the exposure to the operation when it was much smaller.”
By the time Burd became CEO, Centra had grown to $123 million. Today assets total $1.1 billion. Not only have assets blossomed, but the product and services menu is much larger.
“When I started, we couldn’t offer checking accounts,” Burd explained. “Today’s technology has changed how you can access your account. Back then tellers did not have computers, and everything was transacted by hand.”
Over the decades, Burd has seen gains in what the credit union is able to do for members. Looking ahead, Burd expects technology to continue changing how members access financial services. Credit unions will be more involved in helping members achieve financial goals.
“If I hadn’t been given the opportunity by the individuals I worked for to grow and develop, I wouldn’t have been able to assume the CEO role,” Burd indicated. “I am most proud of all the employees who have worked here at Centra, and I can say as I wind down my 47 years here there are five individuals who have worked for me in a management capacity who currently run credit unions as CEOs. One is Doug Harris, our former CFO, who will be taking over here as CEO.”
If you try to find Burd after she retires, you might have to scurry a bit. For one thing, she owns some dry cleaning businesses. She has been involved in the accounting for those operations and may pick up on a bit of the marketing.
She wants to brush up on foreign languages, figuring the ability to speak another language fades if you don’t use it. So she’ll enroll in some language classes. She’ll also have more time to attend school functions and other events involving her grandchildren. “I made a list a couple of years ago. and I’m just going to go right down that list.”