Credit Unions Hire, Promote and Honor: People
From coast to coast, credit unions had another busy week of new hires and promotions. This week also brought announcements of a CEO retirement after 40 years of service, and the first woman to be elected board chair of a large California credit union.
Kevin Brauer was named senior vice president and chief financial officer at the $2.3 billion Affinity Federal Credit Union in Basking Ridge, N.J. In addition to recently working as chief operating officer for VSoft Corporation, he also served in various executive positions for more than 23 years at the $3.6 billion Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union in Warrenville, Ill., and the defunct Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union.
REALTORS Federal Credit Union, a division of the $2.8 billion Northwest Federal Credit Union in Herndon, Va., hired Bonita Santana of San Francisco as a business development officer to serve the western region of the U.S.
Darren Solanki was named chief information officer for the $421 million Dover Federal Credit Union in Dover, Del. He previously held IT positions with Hybrid Financial and NCP Northland Capital, and served as a corporate and reinsurance information security manager for Manualife Financial.
The $975 million Hiway Federal Credit Union in St. Paul, Minn. hired Jeff Schuetz as vice president of payments. He previously served as vice president and senior product manager for a large financial institution in the Midwest.
The $3.8 billion Lake Michigan Credit Union in Grand Rapids hired Nick Simatos as vice president of commercial lending. He holds 10 years of experience in the financial services industry and commercial lending. The credit union also hired Linda Culotta as a senior mortgage loan originator. Culotta, who worked as a loan originator for 15 years, will serve the southwest Florida area from LMCU’s Bonita Springs office.
The $8.7 billion Security Service Federal Credit Union in San Antonio promoted Thomas Martin to executive vice president, chief financial officer. Prior to joining Security Service in 2013, Martin served as president/CEO of the $248 million A.E.A. Federal Credit Union in Yuma, Ariz. Security Service FCU also promoted Yvonne Fernandez to vice president of commercial operations. She previously served as assistant vice president of commercial services.
The $21 million Etowah Valley Federal Credit Union in Cartersville, Ga. announced the retirement of President/CEO Veda Hilton. She joined the credit union in 1975 and became CEO in 1981. Hilton received the prestigious Moses C. Davis Professional of the Year award in 2001. She helped found, lead and direct the $2 billion Atlanta Postal Credit Union. Hilton was also instrumental in establishing the Georgia Credit Union League and numerous other credit unions throughout the Peach State.
Ofelia Valdez-Yeager was elected to chair the $1.1 billion Altura Credit Union board of directors, the first woman to hold that seat in the credit union’s 58-year-history. Jacqueline Hall was elected the board vice chair, the second woman to hold that post after Valdez-Yeager. Jerry Rivera was elected treasurer and Gloria Perez was elected secretary. Valdez-Yeager has served on the board for the Riverside, Calif.-based cooperative since 1998.
The $1.2 billion Whitefish Credit Union hired Colleen Murphy as its operations senior vice president. She joined the Whitefish, Mont.-based cooperative after serving more than 25 years with the $419 million Missoula Federal Credit Union in Missoula, Mont., where she most recently served as vice president of home lending.
The $863 million CoastHills Credit Union in Lompoc, Calif. announced four new hires. Paul Cook was appointed senior vice president, chief information officer. He spent the past decade serving in similar roles with Heritage Oaks Bank, the $371 million Pioneer Federal Credit Union in Mountain Home, Idaho and Panhandle State Bank. Kristin Worthley was also hired as education manager. With more than 20 years of education experience, she previously served as a training manager for Southern California Edison. In addition, Kevin Hemme and Michael Johnson joined the credit union’s wealth management department as financial advisors. Hemme previously owned and operated a business and worked 13 years in sales and marketing for a multi-national corporation. Johnson also operated his own business for more than 25 years.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology named Pete Reicks, senior vice president of enterprise performance at the $1.5 billion Elevations Credit Union in Boulder, Colo., to the board of examiners for the 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Examiners are responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the Baldrige Award, the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence. Elevations Credit Union was awarded this honor in 2014.
Editor’s Note: Please email your People column news items to Peter Strozniak PAAS1210@gmail.com.