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TULLAHOMA, Tenn. – It’s becoming an anomaly for CEOs to spend their entire credit union career at one credit union, but Jimmie Bearden is among the exceptions. Bearden, president/CEO of AEDC Federal Credit Union retired on Jan. 23 after serving 36 years at the helm. She has spent nearly five decades at the $960 million credit union, starting out as a clerk in 1956 and becoming its president in 1968. Today, AEDC FCU is the second largest in the state with more than 118,000 members and 500 select employee groups. The credit union was chartered to serve employees of the Arnold Research Organization, civilian employees and military personnel of the Air Force and the employees of the Corp of Engineers at Arnold Engineering Development Center here. “I’ve watched this credit union’s growth from infancy into adulthood even as I marked these same changes in my personal household,” Bearden said. “While I now look forward to spending more time with my children and grandchildren, there is little doubt that I will miss the daily interaction with the credit union staff and our membership family.” Bearden has served on the board at the Tennessee Credit Union League, vice-president for the Tennessee Credit Union Executives Society, vice-president of the Duck River Chapter of Credit Unions and on various NAFCU committees over her career. Caren Gabriel, former executive vice president and general counsel at AEDC FCU, has been named the new president. Gabriel has been with the credit union since 1985. Gabriel said the credit union “is on the verge of some very exciting possibilities” and she “looks forward to the challenge of maintaining the high standards of operation set by Mrs. Bearden.” Credit Union Times will run a more in-depth feature on Bearden in an upcoming issue. [email protected]

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