Mike Harrell: In Memorium
The staff, directors and members of ACIPCO Federal Credit Union in Birmingham, Ala. are mourning the loss of their president/CEO Mike Harrell, who died Aug. 9.
Harrell, 61, died of an apparent heart attack while he was swimming in Lake Martin near Dadeville that afternoon, according to Mike Knox, coroner and medical examiner for Tallapoosa County.
Local media reports said nearby boaters came to Harrell's aid and attempted to resuscitate him. After being rushed to Lake Martin Community Hospital in Dadeville, he was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m., according to the coroner's office.
Harrell was with his wife, Daphne, and their two friends, local media outlets reported.
Lake Martin also claimed the life of Harrell's son. On June 28, 2013, 30-year-old Henry Adam Harrell died when a boat he was navigating struck a dock, according to local media reports.
“Mike epitomized the old fashioned credit union philosophy to serve others,” Mike Kitchens, who chairs the credit union's board of directors, said. “He will be sorely missed by me and those he served. His legacy will live on through the future successes of the ACIPCO Federal Credit Union, which he helped set in motion by his foresight, wisdom and knack for what customer service really means. He loved his credit union and we are much better off having known and worked with him.”
Harrell was appointed president/CEO of ACIPCO FCU in 1990 when the cooperative managed about $39 million in assets and had three employees. Over the last 25 years, Harrell grew the credit union's assets to more than $143 million in assets. ACIPCO FCU now has 17 employees and serves more than 7,400 members.
“He's practically family to me,” Jo Alvis, chief operating officer for ACIPCO FCU, who was hired by Harrell six months after he was named CEO, said. “It's a big loss for the credit union and everybody, but Mike put everything in place to make everything run smoothly.”
Harrell and his family are well known throughout the credit union industry. Daphne is president/CEO of the $101 million Heritage South Credit Union in Sylacauga, Ala., and the couple's son, Heath Harrell, serves as president/CEO of the $314 million Guardian CU in Montgomery, Ala.
“I was deeply saddened by the news of Mike Harrell's passing,” Patrick LaPine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates, said. “The LSCU and our Alabama and Florida credit union community send our heartfelt condolences to Mike's family and his credit union family, the employees and board of directors of ACIPCO.”