Owen to Retire, Kirsch to Succeed at Meriwest
The $1.8 billion Meriwest Credit Union announced Friday that President/CEO Christopher Owen is retiring from the San Jose, Calif., credit union late this summer.
He will be succeeded by Julie Kirsch, the 70,600-member credit union’s current executive vice president and chief operating officer, Meriwest said in its announcement.
Owen has been with Meriwest for 22 years as it quadrupled in size from a single-sponsor credit union for IBM employees to a multi-community institution serving members around the San Francisco Bay area and in Tucson, Ariz., the credit union said.
“Chris’ leadership of Meriwest over the years has been impressive, reorganizing the company, delivering growth, and developing a clear forward strategy with a strong portfolio of new opportunities. I and the Board of Directors greatly appreciate that Chris successfully navigated the credit union through unprecedented economic challenges and is now leaving Meriwest on solid financial footing,” said Board Chairman Charles Munch.
Kirsch has been COO since 1996 and EVP since 2000 and has worked closely with Owen for a number of years to set the company’s strategic direction, Meriwest said in the announcement.
“Our succession planning is developed to ensure Meriwest remains a sound, healthy institution with relevant products that meet all the financial needs of our members. I believe this mission will be carried forward under Julie’s direction,” Owen said.