CommunityAmerica Credit Union announced that after 42 years in the credit union industry, Chief Administrative Officer Pat Yokley is retiring.
"Pat has made a significant impact not only on CommunityAmerica, but on the credit union industry as a whole," said Dennis Pierce, CEO of the $1.8 billion Lenexa, Kan.-based credit union. "Although I'm excited to see Pat enter this next chapter in his life, his skills as a visionary leader, committed member advocate and dedicated team member and volunteer will be greatly missed."
Yokley began his career in credit unions at age 20, when a friend, Gene Dysart, told him about credit unions and asked if he wanted to work for one. Interested, Yokley took the position of vice president of the Kansas City Teachers Credit Union. After working there for 10 years and learning from Dysart, in 1976, Yokley became president of Panhandle Employees Credit Union and served there for 13 years. He later became president of Midwest United Credit Union and served there until its merger with CommunityAmerica in November 2007.
He has actively volunteered throughout his career, holding many different offices. He served as chairman of both the Missouri Credit Union Association and the Missouri Corporate Credit Union and as vice chairman of CUNA during the late 1980s. From 1999 until 2005 he served as first a commissioner and then chairman of the Missouri Credit Union Commission.
Over the span of his career, Yokley has noticed many changes within the industry. When he started, one could only have one savings and one loan account. Back then, there were mostly single-sponsor credit unions. Additionally, there were very few regulations or regulators.
"One of biggest changes is that there was no insurance on accounts back then. We depended on the faith and judgments of members to keep things safe," said Yokley. Technology has also changed a lot within the industry he noted, "Everything was done by hand, now everything can be done in the palm of your hand through mobile banking."
Some things, however, have not changed. People are still worried as much about the CU tax exemption. Also, members are still held as the most important thing within credit unions as much as they were before, and credit unions still have dedicated volunteers. Lastly, Yokley said, "When I go home I say well I've done good work today. That hasn't changed all these years."
After his many years within the credit union industry, Yokley thinks it's time for him to retire to make room for the younger credit union professionals who he feels have more energy and more innovative ideas. While retired however, he still plans on being involved in the political arena, lobbying and doing public relations for the credit union, but he is mostly looking forward to spending time with his family.