ST. LOUIS -Roshara "Rosie" Holub has spent 22 years in the credit union industry, but she can easily be called a jack-of-all-trades outside of the financial arena. Holub, president/CEO of the Missouri Credit Union System, was recently honored by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the 25 most influential women here. She carries that dubious distinction wearing a myriad of career hats including as author and restaurateur. "When you look at the number of women of position who have influence here from a broad spectrum of industries, it speaks to the city's success," Holub said. Holub's influence started after earning a Bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and later a graduate degree from the University of Phoenix. She started her professional career teaching college in Denver when she moved to Casper, Wyo. Her intention was to find another teaching job but when few leads fell short, she applied for the education director position at the Wyoming Credit Union League. This new position allowed her to create a hodgepodge of responsibilities including preparing communiqu, legislation and regulation interpretation for the state's credit unions. She also did the league's meeting planning, became the compliance expert and conducted training sessions, a task she enjoyed because of her teaching background. During the year and a half Holub honed her credit union skills as the education director, she said the president had come to depend on her. So when he suffered a heart attack and wasn't able to function, Holub was tapped to become the league's first woman president/CEO, a move that initially aroused some fear and insecurity. "I admit in the beginning I was a little afraid because I wasn't sure what was being asked of me," Holub recalled. "At the same time, I embraced the new role because I love challenges and this opportunity allowed me to understand the politics of board relations and addressing the needs of credit unions and constituents." She left Wyoming in 1985 when she was offered a position as vice president of human resources and marketing at what was then Alaskan Federal Credit Union. Later, she became the vice president of credit union services at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. After six years in Anchorage, Holub's career took some intriguing twists. She decided to take a respite from credit union land, took a sabbatical, remarried and moved to New Mexico when her new husband was offered a job there. Shortly before coming to Albuquerque, Holub traveled back and forth to Washington to oversee a call center. On one visit there, the owner of a restaurant said he was trying to sell. Holub made the decision to buy Rosi's Garden Restaurant – ironically the name `Rosi' came well before Holub bought the place. "It already had my name on it so I knew it was the right thing to do," Holub chuckled. She ran the "very busy" Pacific Northwest and French food eatery for six years, a feat she recalls as "extremely encompassing" before selling the restaurant at almost the same time she hit a crossroad in her career. Not enthused about going back to teaching and not sure about working for credit unions again, a friend referred her to former Wyoming examiner David Seely who is currently president/CEO of Kirkland Federal Credit Union in Albuquerque. He encouraged her to take the vacant president/CEO position at the New Mexico Credit Union League and League Services. In 1996, Holub took the helm, feeling very comfortable with the transition back into familiar territory in part because New Mexico's size was similar to Wyoming. Holub came to the table shortly after the league went through major restructuring to meet the changing needs of the state's diverse member base. "Credit unions were growing very rapidly, we faced some growing pains because resource allocations had to be reviewed," Holub said. "There were a lot of cultural and ethnic diversity issues credit unions had to address to serve their members." One of those needs was more automated teller machine deployment, a service credit unions were asking the league to promote more, a service that became an item on the growing list of priorities to meet the state's changing membership makeup, Holub said. "By far, of all the leagues I've been at, New Mexico had the most enormous challenges on the table," she admitted. While there, she wrote the Credit Union Call Center Handbook, using her experience implementing and managing credit union call centers to develop a concise top-selling industry guide. When offered the position at the Missouri Credit Union System (MCUS), Holub took the job in 1999, glad to be back home in the Midwest. At issue, was the state's enactment of its credit union act under the auspice of H.R. 1151 and its effect on operational and field of membership issues. While implementation continues to pose some challenges in Missouri, Holub said the state is in the midst of solid credit union growth in large part due to the industry's progressive and sophisticated strategies here. For instance, the league's item processing center not only includes 95% of Missouri's credit unions but also 20 credit unions in southern Illinois. In 2001, MCUS provided $175,000 in patronage rebates to member credit unions for their use of fee-supported products and services that year. Under Holub's tenure, MCUS has also expanded its technology application in educational programs offered to credit unions, including Web-based seminars, telecommunications conferencing, and Internet registration. The league's communications and governmental affairs departments were also merged with a clearer focus in mind. MCUS serves 185 credit unions with 1.2 million members and has 100 employees. Holub was also one of only four league presidents on the 27-member National Renaissance Commission, which developed the legislative and regulatory blueprint for credit unions in the 21st century. Likewise, she established the seven-member Missouri Renaissance Commission to ensure that the state's needs were actively communicated to the national level. At CUNA's Symposium Sept. 25-28 in Orlando, Holub will sit on an interactive "National Issues" panel with Bucky Sebastian, president/CEO of GTE Federal Credit Union and John McKechnie, CUNA's senior vice president of governmental affairs with Mike Welch, publisher of Credit Union Times serving as moderator. "Competition – how do we cooperate within the industry and still compete, especially with the larger credit unions – continues to be an issue," Holub said. "We need to recognize that there are two sets of needs at the state league level and association level and work from there." Holub also said "getting everybody united on an (industry) issue is getting increasingly difficult as the complexion of credit unions becomes more diverse." "With alternative capital, there are credit unions that feel it's essential for growth and others that say it interferes with their structure," she explained. "We have to respect the differences in opinion but also be able to look at issues objectively. Maybe it's a question of how alternative capital is structured." The Wisconsin born/Wyoming native of twin daughters and four grandchildren, Holub has been a sailing connoisseur since the age of 14, thanks in large part to her father who built sailboats. "The age when one typically learns how to ride a bike, I was learning how to sail," Holub recalled. She owns a small regatta that she sails when there's precious down time. So much her passion, Holub has been writing a book, The Windward Mark, that parallels the basic, intermediate and advanced stages of sailing know-how to life's lessons. "Sailing has so many parallels to our lives," she said. Holub is also an avid racquetball player and has competed on various levels. Tennis and golf are other past-times. As divergent as the restaurant and credit union industries are, Holub said both opportunities share having the ability to "calculate, manage and take risks." "Credit union people are the same everywhere I've been," Holub said. "Members want the best services and will remember and stay loyal to their credit unions if their needs are being met." -

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