NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker, who announced his upcoming retirement this week, said he plans to leave the credit union industry for good later this year.
“There’s nothing worse than an ‘ex’ anything,” Becker said.
Instead, Becker said he may pursue a teaching gig at a community college. Becker’s interest in education isn’t new: he taught part time during his first career in the Navy, and also taught some business law classes for the University of Maryland. The outgoing leader wouldn’t reveal where he will settle in retirement, only that it will not be in Washington.
As he reflected upon his time at NAFCU, Becker said he’s most proud of how he beefed up NAFCU’s already strong education and regulatory affairs services, and further increased the trade association’s presence on Capitol Hill. That effort included the hiring of Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs Dan Berger, he said, who will take over as NAFCU’s president/CEO on Aug. 1.
Camden Fine, president/CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, had glowing words for the departing NAFCU chief. Fine, who represents NAFCU’s direct competition on Capitol Hill, called Becker “one of the genuinely good guys I’ve worked with, and you can’t always say that about everybody in Washington.” He also added that Becker is a fierce competitor, but has integrity and is honorable.
Fine said he was surprised to hear about Becker’s retirement, but said the financial crisis and Dodd-Frank legislation “really took a lot out of everybody” working in financial services.
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said she’s appreciated how Becker has always kept the big picture in mind as NAFCU leader, including support for NCUA’s efforts to protect the share insurance fund from preventable losses. Matz also credited Becker for his “invaluable, thoughtful comments” as the NCUA has modernized its regulatory structure post-financial crisis.
Cutler Dawson, president/CEO of the $51.5 billion Navy FCU, said he’s known Becker for many years, as fellow Naval Academy graduates, on active duty in the Navy, and during Dawson’s tenure as a NAFCU board member. Dawson said Becker’s leadership has advanced both credit unions and NAFCU.
Frank Pollack, president of the $15 billion Pentagon FCU, called Becker’s retirement “both a happy and sad occasion for us.” The outgoing NAFCU leader has also been someone PenFed could turn to when faced with an industry issue, Pollack said.
Jan Cowell, president/CEO of the $246 million Parsons FCU of Pasadena, Calif., said she’s liked Becker from the very beginning, when she first heard him address NAFCU members during an annual conference in Hawaii. Cowell praised his energy and how he increased communication from NAFCU to its members during his administration.
“He strikes me as the kind of individual who throws himself into his job, believing completely in what he is doing and representing; in this case, the credit union movement. He works himself very hard and deserves time with his family,” she said.