VANCOUVER, British Columbia – After 20 years at the helm, Wayne Nygren announced on Nov. 8 that he will retire in April 2006 as president/CEO of Credit Union Central of British Columbia. Nygren, 60, joined Central in 1981 as vice-president, finance and chief financial officer. He was appointed president/CEO in 1985. Nygren said the recent announcement will “allow ample time for a thorough recruitment process and a smooth transition when I leave office.” “By the time I retire, I will have been with Central for almost 25 years and President for nearly 21 years,” Nygren said. “I have been truly blessed to have had a career that I thoroughly enjoyed. Over the years, I have worked with excellent chairpersons and boards of directors. The credit unions in British Columbia and across Canada have treated me in a first-class manner and it has been a pleasure working for them.” The $4.5 billion Central is the trade association and central banker for British Columbia’s 53 independent credit unions. During his career with Central, Nygren has held various leadership positions in the national and international credit union systems, and in the Canadian financial services industry. He is a director of Credit Union Central of Canada and is currently serving on the board of the World Council of Credit Unions. He was a founder of the Canadian Payments Association and was a director from 1993 to 2002, and continues to serve as an alternate director. “My life-long passion has been to help build a financial alternative for Canadians,” Nygren said. “I have enjoyed the challenges of the position and have been closely involved in the many changes that have occurred within the credit union system and financial services industry. I am now looking forward to the opportunities that come with retirement.” Prior to joining Central, Nygren held positions with Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan and the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. Daniel Burns, chairperson of Central’s board of directors, said, “I do not know of any other person who has contributed more to the credit union system in British Columbia, or Canada for that matter, than Wayne Nygren.” “Wayne has led the development of the strongest credit union system in Canada and made Central a major player in the financial services sector of B.C,” Burns said. Credit unions are now the largest financial network in the province, with 353 locations, 1.5 million members and some $34 billion in assets, according to Central. -msamaad@cutimes.com