W.K. “Ike” Keener has retired after 38 years with the $991 million Allegacy Federal Credit Union in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Keener, CEO for the past 16 years, will be succeeded effective May 1 by Cathy Pace, Allegacy’s current credit union division president. Keener will stay on as an adviser to help with the transition and with planning and compliance.
“It has been a great run,” said Keener, who guided the credit union’s growth from Reynolds Carolina Credit Union to Allegacy, now serving nearly 600 SEGs and 120,000 members through 17 financial centers.
Recent accomplishments under his tenure include the creation of the first high school student run credit union in North Carolina in 2008, the first local corporate park dedicated to breast and ovarian cancer survivors and the 2012 opening of the Center for Smart Financial Choices, a non-profit entity that helps consumers learn to manage money, credit, debt and financial planning, Allegacy said in its announcement on Thursday.
“I have great gratitude for all the people around me who helped me get where I am today, particularly our membership, the board of directors and all of Allegacy’s employees. I am proud of what we have accomplished together,” Keener said in the announcement.
“Ike has served Allegacy extremely well during his tenure and has been instrumental to its success, innovation and culture,” said Ann Johnston, board of directors’ chair.
“Our board and the executive leadership team have laid out a strategic plan and vision for Allegacy that will guide us for many years to come. This along with Cathy’s exemplary leadership gives us great confidence for Allegacy’s continued success and our members’ financial opportunities,” Johnston said.
Pace will be the credit union’s fifth chief executive in its 46 years. She has been with Allegacy for 34 years and, like Keener, has been active in the community, including board positions with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“Cathy is well-prepared to lead this organization,” said Keener. “She not only brings great energy and vision to the role, she has established herself as a visible, well-known and respected executive in the credit union industry and in the community.”
Pace said, “Allegacy and its employees have been my home and family for 34 years and I couldn’t imagine a better opportunity for me.”