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ATLANTA – William Porter’s vision and tough, often out-of-the box decisions has catapulted what was once a credit union on the road to liquidation to become New York’s largest state-chartered credit union. For a career in financial services spanning nearly 50 years – 23 years at Municipal Credit Union as its president/CEO – Porter, 72, was presented with the Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award from the African-American Credit Union Coalition at its recent meeting. Porter came to MCU in 1981 to rebuild a struggling $90-million credit union. Back then, MCU had one cramped branch on the fifth floor of the municipal building in downtown Manhattan. He recalls riding up the elevator to the branch and being astonished at the crowded lobby. Nearly nine months later, MCU would move to a bigger facility across the street. The next two decades saw Porter, a new management team and a new board with fresh ideas revive MCU to where it stands today: serving more than 300,000 members, 425 employees and with $1.2 billion in assets. Scattered throughout New York’s five boroughs are seven branches, 90 ATMs and 150 electronic kiosks, with more to come. Most recently, Porter along with Kam Wong, MCU’s executive vice president/CFO, and the board’s blessing, allowed members to withdraw money from ATMs after the Sept. 11 attacks shut down MCU’s back-up system. Porter simply and humbly describes his concern for the members as one of the drivers behind MCU’s success and doesn’t flinch when he says he would allow the access again. “Our service delivery is high, we take care of those members that probably wouldn’t get service elsewhere,” Porter said. At his award dinner, William Mellin, president/CEO of the New York State Credit Union System, praised Porter, calling him a “long-time ally of credit unions.” MCU Board Member Joseph Guagliardo tried several different, humorous ways to express his admiration for Porter including a “top 10 list of why Bill should be honored.” Porter’s wife and partner of 38 years, Marianna Basir Porter along with their three children, Carole Ann, Rashid and Eugene conveyed their memories of the die-hard New York Knicks and Yankees fan. In their unique ways, each expressed examples of how Porter’s life examples continue to shine through them today. “He’s such a humble person, he wasn’t looking to receive an award,” said his wife, who is a vice president at Citigroup. “He’s encouraged me to do things I didn’t think I could do.” “If I can become one-fourth of the man that my father is, that would be more than enough,” said Eugene, Porter’s oldest son. Carole Ann said “whenever I set a goal, he raises the bar a little higher and I thank him for that,” while youngest son Rashid learned from dad to “maintain what you have and take pride in what you do” no matter how big or small. More than 40 family members, friends and colleagues came to wish Porter well including his sister, who surprised the CU veteran with an official Home Depot hat for the home-improvement enthusiast. Malcolm McCoy, a retired Citibank vice president, drove from Florida with his wife to see Porter. Porter worked at Citibank for 25 years, rising from vice president to become the first African-American to manage branches in midtown Manhattan and on Wall Street. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica sent a congratulatory video message. AACUC Board Member Shirley Jenkins described Porter as “tough but fair” and “shocked and embarrassed” upon hearing he would receive the lifetime award. Indeed, when Porter took the stage, in true fashion, he deflected the spotlight away from him and gave credit to his family, colleagues, staff, and reiterated his devotion to making the AACUC succeed. “Reach out and continue to build,” Porter said. “When you leave here, think about ways to build this organization.” [email protected]

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