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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – There’s a CEO vacancy at the nation’s fifth largest credit union. After 17 years as president/CEO of the $3.7 billion The Golden 1 CU, Stan Hollen is stepping down effective the end of the year. “It’s been in the works for a little while. I’ve been here 17 years and I’m at a time and an age where I want to look at what I want to do for the next eight or 10 years,” said Hollen, who is 52. Hollen shepherded The Golden 1 into becoming the largest CU in California. When he arrived in 1984, it was a $295 million credit union. He served as a vice president for 10 years at CEFCU, Peoria, Ill., before joining The Golden 1. “When I came here we had nine branch offices. We now have 60 and are about to put in five more over the next three months,” said Hollen. The CU employs 1,100 people and has the fourth largest membership base in the country at about 450,000 (behind Navy, Pentagon, and State Employees CU (N.C)). The Golden 1 CU has had 14 mergers under Hollen’s guidance. About a year and a half ago the CU was granted an open community charter in 21 counties. One of the primary ways it grew its membership early on in Hollen’s tenure was when it was granted the ability to serve state employees statewide back in 1988. Prior to that it could only do so in 14 counties. Hollen said he’s most proud of building The Golden 1 CU into what it is today, but also of his role in helping create a number of cooperative organizations. He helped CU Direct, now the nation’s largest indirect lending firm serving CUs, get started. The Golden 1 CU actually started the indirect lending program, and then brought in the California League and other parties as investors. Today The Golden 1 CU has about a 10% ownership stake in CU Direct. Hollen and The Golden 1 CU were also key in helping shared branching firm Financial Service Centers Corporation get started. “I along with Bill Broxterman, Ed Callahan, Rudy Hanley and Bob Rose went to Michigan to see how Shared Services Center worked. We liked what we saw. We didn’t like that the company owned the branches. We wanted to make it more of a technology switch,” said Hollen. “I think we built a better mousetrap.” FSCC pioneered the “outlet” concept of allowing CUs to use existing branches in the shared branch network, instead of building designated shared branches owned by the network. Hollen has also played a key role in a couple important CUNA initiatives: Renewal and the change in the dues structure. “I was on the Renewal committee and the CUNA Board at the time. A lot was done then to shape what the trade association would become,” said Hollen. He also fondly recalls making the motion on the board to hire Dan Mica as CUNA’s president. Hollen was on the CUNA dues committee, chaired by Orange County Teachers FCU CEO Rudy Hanley, that changed CUNA’s dues structure. “We were really focused on who CUNA should be funded by, and how its reliance on non-dues income should be reduced.” Will Hollen stay in the industry? “I think so. It’s always interesting to look at things outside of the industry. But I know so many people, and have so many contacts here, I believe I’ll be staying in the credit union industry, probably on the West Coast, but nothing is definite at this point,” said Hollen. There’s one very prominent position on the West Coast that Hollen said he might be interested in – the vacant President/CEO slot at WesCorp. He has a history with WesCorp. Hollen joined the WesCorp board in the mid `80s and eventually became chairman. “One of the most significant events going on when I was chairman was WesCorp began its separation from the League. It wasn’t a very popular thing to do at that time,” said Hollen. There’s one very interesting “CEO” phenomena tied to Hollen and The Golden 1. Hollen’s shop has produced a number of credit union CEOs. He couldn’t recall all of them, but just off the top of his head he mentioned the following: Judy Flores, McDonnell-Douglas West FCU; Bob Siravo, Travis CU; Vikki Marsh, Great Lakes CU; Diana Dykstra, Vandenberg CU; Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, Alliance FCU; and Richard Heldebrant, Star One FCU. “I think we create an environment that gives the opportunity to get involved in multiple areas. I think The Golden 1 name also helps build recognition. I’ve always encouraged people to be active in their field here,” he said. The Golden 1 CU is known for technology innovation, especially in the EFT arena. It was one of the first, if not the first according to Hollen, CUs in the country to own its own tandem switch. “We currently drive 300 ATMs through it. It gives us a lower cost of operation,” he said. His credit union was also one of the first VISA debit card issuers and was a significant player with Star Systems, which merged with Concord EFS earlier this year. Hollen can only smile about how things turned out for Golden 1 after that merger. “For a $135,000 investment (into Star) in 1994, we reaped $30 million – net,” said Hollen. “Twenty-million dollars of that $30 million was returned to members this September through a bonus dividend and reward program,” he said. Hollen’s stint on credit union data processor USERS board came at a very interesting time. It was during the time of the leveraged buyout of XP Systems and the creation of Envision Financial Technologies, a holding company for USERS and XP that was eventually sold off to Fiserv. Hollen has five children, three grown and a five-year old and 11-year old at home. His wife is a flight attendant for United Airlines. She is on leave, so travel options are open, said Hollen. “I’m going to play some golf and travel. I don’t have to start work right away, so I’ll have time to take a look at things.” [email protected]

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