2022 LUMINAIRE Finalists: Executive Leadership – Individual Executives (East)


Brian Best, GTE Financial: In the six years since Brian Best took over the helm of GTE Financial ($2.9 billion in assets; 229,584 members) as President and CEO, the cooperative has experienced historic growth: growth in assets of 58.2%, deposits 57.1%, revenues 26.5%, ROA 113% and loan issuance 37.6%. However, Best prides itself even more on focusing on people, including becoming a top employer, serving over 41,000 LatinX members, and employing over 52% minority staff. Best has brought card services, virtual banking and mortgage services in-house to ensure the best experience for members. He has championed technology initiatives, including the development of a popular mobile app. Finally, Best has shaped a culture of giving at GTE, which has donated $4.4 million and 21,000 volunteer hours to support charitable causes.

Kyle Markland, Municipal Credit Union: When Kyle Markland was offered the opportunity to become CEO of the Municipal Credit Union ($4.3 billion in assets; 590,850 members) in August 2020, he was faced with a difficult decision. MCU, which serves more than half a million New York city workers, including NYPD, FDNY and hospital system employees, was under conservatorship after the former CEO embezzled $10 million. Markland, who started working in credit unions at the age of 17 and has had many successes during his 41-year career, initially wanted to turn down the offer but then decided to l accept, believing he could make a difference. He redesigned the organization’s reporting structure, recruited new leaders, revised financial reports, and rebuilt consumer lending and real estate operations. Its goal has been to return the MCU to its members. When asked why he made the risky decision to become CEO of the MCU, Markland said it was the opportunity of a lifetime and the highlight of his career to serve the “heroes of the greatest city of the world”.

Dan McGowan, Pioneer Appalachia FCU: Dan McGowan, chief executive of Pioneer Appalachia FCU ($232 million in assets; 18,348 members), was one of three professionals hired in late 2010 to turn the tide as the credit union was in trouble. Over the past decade, Pioneer’s membership has grown 55%, consistent with McGowan’s strategy of consolidating struggling credit unions and expanding membership. Among his accomplishments are the development of an in-house solution for the CECL mandate at no additional cost to the credit union and the implementation of a scaling approach for overdraft/insufficient funds fees. McGowan championed a project to explore alternative dispute resolution options, which resulted in the implementation of binding arbitration provisions in the credit union’s membership and loan agreements, one of its most important initiatives to date. McGowan believes this is a legacy initiative that will benefit the credit union long after he retires.

Dan Stoltz, SPIRE Credit Union: Dan Stoltz is President and CEO of SPIRE Credit Union ($2.1 billion in assets; 151,494 members), a role he assumed in 2010 amid the Great Recession, when SPIRE was undercapitalized and faced an uncertain future. He previously served as the credit union’s chief financial officer since 1999. Under Stoltz’s leadership, SPIRE nearly doubled its assets from 2009 to 2017, from $563 million to $977 million. SPIRE completed 10 mergers in eight years with Stoltz at the helm, effectively integrating $318 million in assets and 37,400 members. Now ranked among Minnesota’s top credit unions, SPIRE has 22 branches and 350 employees. Stoltz was named the 2021 Cooperative Builder Award winner, recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions at the local, state and/or national level to advance cooperative philosophy and ideals. Stoltz leads by example, living and breathing the values ​​of credit unions, the cooperative philosophy, dedication to community and the SPIRE vision to improve members’ lives every day.

Jan N. Roche, Department of State FCU: Jan Roche approaches the unique challenge of serving members who live and work around the world with capable leadership and imagination. As President/CEO of the State Department Federal Credit Union ($2.7 billion in assets; 90,970 members), Roche served the needs of its members, including providing auto loans for vehicles that did not never entered the United States and by influencing the financial industry to adopt microchip credit cards, which were required for transactions in some countries years before the United States. the union industry through external partnerships it has forged and leadership roles it has held with NAFCU and Credit Union Miracle Day Inc. Roche is frequently asked to represent the industry at meetings with decision makers and government regulators.

Bob McKay, Together Credit Union: Under Bob McKay’s leadership, Together Credit Union ($2.4 billion in assets; 138,399 members) flourished. Over three years, McKay led the credit union’s rebranding, core conversion, and a card conversion involving 98,000 cards. In the past year, he also led the grand opening of a new branch, partnered with the St. Louis CITY Soccer Club to increase community awareness, and launched an app with Zogo to improve service. customer. Meanwhile, the credit union’s fundamentals have been strong under McKay’s leadership. Together Credit Union experienced record loan volume and asset growth and was recognized by CUNA with a Certificate of Excellence for providing $26,277,089 in direct financial benefits to its members, or approximately $410 per member household, and $2,340 in direct financial benefits to high-use member households. McKay is an active member of the community, serving on the board of directors of the St. Louis Athletic Commission, CU Direct, and the Heartland Credit Union Association.

We are pleased to continue our presentation of the LIGHTING Class of 2022 Finalistswho are recognized this year for the many dynamic and inclusive ways in which they advance the credit union industry.

Finalists were selected by our editorial team from several hundred outstanding entries in four award categories: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Executive Leadership, Technology Innovation and Product Innovation.

This slideshow highlights the six finalists in our Executive Leadership: Individual Executives (EAST) category. We had so many quality entries that we decided to geographically split the category into East and West, to better represent outstanding leaders across the country.

The LUMINAIRES Class of 2022 finalists were recently vetted by a diverse panel of judges from across the credit union industry, and a selected group of winners will be announced on stage at the first awards dinner and gala. program price – which should take place November 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC


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