Michael WaylettAs a fledgling 30-something with a fresh coat of wetness behind my ears – and, in a room full of peers with shoes older than me – perhaps I shouldn’t have approached arguably the credit union world’s biggest icon with such conviction and naivety. 

Jim Blaine, the CEO of the nation’s second largest credit union, was no stranger to credit union newswires, regularly taking firm and sometimes unpopular stances on credit union issues. Initially, many in the movement were left scratching their heads at some of Mr. Blaine’s decisions, only to find themselves, soon thereafter, spraining calf muscles to hop atop his bandwagon. Those who were able to leave their minds open long enough would inevitably find the method to Blaine’s madness. 

Suffice to say, with every bit of controversy and headline, Jimbo Blaine knew exactly what he was doing all along. We just had to stick around long enough to witness his plan unfold. He was smarter than all of us, even Debbie Matz.

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