Navigator Credit Union said it will begin the New Year with a new leader.
Robert Fertitta, who served as Navigator’s chief financial officer for 17 years and as interim CEO during the fourth quarter of 2013, was named president/CEO of the $272 million co-op in Pascagoula, Miss., the credit union said.
“During the last few months, the search committee has worked diligently to find the best person to lead Navigator Credit Union,” said Joseph Krebs Jr., board chairman. “Robert has demonstrated that he has the qualifications, the intellect and the leadership skills necessary to move Navigator Credit Union forward.”
Fertitta was appointed interim CEO in September, following the resignation of long-term president/CEO Laurin F. Avara. No reason was given for Avara’s resignation. His father, the late W.T. "Pete" Avara Jr., served as Navigator’s president for 50 years.
Fertitta has managed a broad range of departmental operations at Navigator, including accounting, finance, treasury, risk management, electronic payments, information systems and card services, the credit union said.
Prior to joining Navigator, Fertitta spent more than three decades as an accountant in the retail, manufacturing and defense industries.
Fertitta was also recently appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors for the $4.2 billion Corporate One Federal Credit Union of Columbus, Ohio. He also served a three-year term on Southeast Corporate Federal Credit Union’s board of directors and was also as chairman of Southeast Corp’s supervisory committee.
The Gulfport resident is a recent graduate of Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi, and serves as chairman of the Strategic Issues Council of the Financial Managers Society, servicing credit unions and community banks nationwide.
He completed his bachelor of science degree at the University of New Orleans in 1982 and earned his master of business administration degree in 1990.