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DENVER – Bellco Credit Union is overhauling its lending operation and has named John Ruby, an Englewood small business executive, as senior vice president, a new position. He will be in charge of all lending operations including consumer and a new first mortgage area launched last June. Ruby will also head up collections and risk management, all areas that were previously delegated to other departments in the $1.27 billion BCU. Ruby, 45 and a CPA, previously was chief operating and financial officer for the Brogden Group, a small business holding company which provides back office support and strategy for Denver small business firms. He has previously served as a Bellco director and was chairman of the supervisory committee. He has been involved with Bellco since 1993 in connection with his role as controller/treasurer of Zimkor Industries, a steel fabricator and a Bellco SEG. The Bellco executive noted that the Denver CU has been fortunate so far in maintaining a leadership position in lending, a fact that’s underscored by the CU’s 90% loan to share ratio. The reorganization “will help us deal with the tough times that Denver has experienced lately” on the economic front, Ruby said. Metropolitan Denver, with its numerous high-tech companies continues to be in the economic doldrums making it more challenging for CUs on the lending front. “There are two dynamics driving many credit unions today. One is the diversification of credit union memberships. If credit unions weren’t able to move outside their traditional core memberships, many would be dead,” Ruby argued. The second driving factor is the “nationalization of banks” which has opened the door to CUs serving the local public Ruby said Bellco being “locally owned and member-owned,” can be more reactive to economic factors. “And we’re in a good situation with a diverse membership base and not tied to a single industry,” he said. Ruby said Bellco will be analyzing the small business loan sector in 2003 “considering Denver has tons of small business firms,” but for now “we’re happy to let the banks take their best shots.” He also said Bellco in 2003 would be “rolling out a sales and service initiative” involving front line managers to help push new products and services with a focus on existing members. “Bellco has never been afraid to lend,” and it isn’t now, Ruby concluded. -

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