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L-R (clockwise): Rudy Hanley, CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU; Sue Longson, VP of Business Development and Community Relations for SCE FCU; Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Travis CU; and Jim Updike, CEO of Honda FCU

updated 01/17/14 01:56 PM
CU Leaders Served Several Years
Four longtime California credit union leaders renowned for their community involvement and commitment to the movement recently announced their respective retirements this coming year—Rudy Hanley, CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU; Sue Longson, Vice President of Business Development and Community Relations for SCE FCU; Jim Updike, CEO of Honda FCU; and Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Travis CU.

Rudy Hanley (SchoolsFirst FCU)
With 584,000 members and $10 billion in assets, Hanley is retiring from the fifth largest credit union in the nation, as well as the largest in California. SchoolsFirst is headquartered in Santa Ana, CA. The SchoolsFirst board of directors is currently working on selecting the credit union’s next CEO.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement effective at the end of March,” Hanley said in a message to members. “This decision was not an easy one for me. The last 31 years have been the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career, thanks to our wonderful members and team members whom I consider my second family.”

Hanley—a Hungarian immigrant and originally a tax and small business consultant—became head of the California Credit Union League’s Research and Information Department before taking the helm of SchoolsFirst. Throughout his career, he has served on the boards of the California League, Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CUNA Strategic Services, CUNA Mutual Group, and the Consumer Federation of America. He is also a founding member of Filene Research Institute. He received the League’s Unsung Hero Award in 2010, which honors deserving individuals within the credit union movement with at least 20 years of service and who have made significant contributions in the community. He was also awarded the 2011 Herb Wegner Memorial Award by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) for his individual achievement within the credit union movement.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve,” Hanley said. “I will be forever grateful to our members, board, and team for the successes they made possible.”

Patsy Van Ouwerkerk (Travis CU)
Travis CU announced Van Ouwerkerk will retire “late this summer” after leading the $2.1 billion Vacaville, CA-based credit union for 12 years. The credit union has grown from $1.1 billion to its current size since Van Ouwerkerk became CEO in 2002. It now serves more than 160,000 members at 22 locations in Northern California communities, as well as military and civilian personnel at Travis Air Force Base.

“Patsy is a visionary leader, dedicated to promoting the importance and value of credit unions to the members and communities served, on both a local and global level,” said Board Chairman Pat Moreno in a news release. “She has been instrumental in expanding Travis Credit Union’s role as a model community steward and partner.”

Van Ouwerkerk has spent 38 years within the credit union movement. She was the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues' 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. She also received the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, the California Credit Union League's highest honor which recognizes her lifetime of contributions to the California credit union movement. She also served as chairman of the California Credit Union League in 2002.

Executive Vice President Barry Nelson was unanimously selected by Travis CU’s board of directors as incoming CEO. He has been a part of Travis CU’s management team since 2001 and is “deeply involved in setting long-range strategies for the credit union,” according to the news release. He was previously CFO and COO.

Jim Updike (Honda FCU)
After nearly 45 years in credit unions, Updike is transitioning at Honda FCU to a senior advisor position on April 1, where he will stay until retiring in May 2015. Succeeding Updike will be COO Steve Brandon. Before serving at Honda FCU—located in Torrance, CA—Updike was CEO of California Coast CU and NCR West FCU. Before those leadership roles, Updike started the very first ever share-draft program at San Diego Gas and Electric CU.

“It’s been unbelievably exciting and fun,” he said of his time in the credit union movement. “The changes I’ve seen over the years have been absolutely incredible. What was so neat is, we implemented changes because nobody told us we couldn’t. For instance, we would have no interest-bearing checking accounts anywhere in the economy if it weren’t for credit unions.”

During his career, Updike was honored with the California Credit Union Leagues’ Unsung Hero Award, recognizing individuals within the credit union movement with at least 20 years of service, and who have made significant contributions in the community. He has also been a board member of the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation since 2005, serving as chairman several years, and served five years on the Leagues’ Government Relations Committee, as well as several other volunteer seats within the industry.

“The biggest thing I’ll remember are the people in this industry who are real icons—Dick Johnson, Rudy Hanley, Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, Hal Stevens, and many more," he said. “There are so many people out there who made such a tremendous difference in other people’s lives because of the credit union industry. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Sue Longson (SCE FCU)
Longson, who is retiring in March from SCE FCU, is the former longtime CEO of SONEPCO FCU and has been working in credit unions for 40 years. Before SONEPCO, she was CEO of Pacific CU and Cal Center CU—and at one time, she was the youngest credit union manager in the nation. Additionally, she is the third generation in her family to work in credit unions. “Growing up in a family dedicated to the credit union movement instilled in me the desire to serve, to help people by making a difference in their lives,” Longson said.

She has been recognized with the Leagues’ PAC Advocate of the Year more than once for playing a key role on the credit union advocacy front. She has been very active in political affairs, serving on political action and government relations committees in both Nevada and California. She has also served as chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League, as well as countless other organizations and volunteer efforts in the community and credit union arena.

“Helping members by providing excellent and caring service has been the focus of my life in credit unions,” she added. “Furthering the credit union movement by serving in various capacities and becoming active politically has been my passion. While I am excited about the future and the next chapter in my life, I am truly going to miss being an active part of our movement.”

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