Retiring NV Commissioner Made a Positive Impact on CUs

George Bruns, retired Commissioner for the Nevada Financial Institutions Division
George Bruns, retired Commissioner for the Nevada Financial Institutions Division

Nevada Financial Institutions Division Commissioner George Burns announced his retirement last week after 12 years of overseeing state-chartered credit unions and banks.

“Commissioner Burns was responsible for the regulation and supervision of Nevada’s financial institutions during the hardest of economic times,” said Eric Estes, CEO of Boulder Dam CU. “By working hand-in-hand with Nevada’s financial leadership, taking time to listen to our needs and concerns, and protecting our economic borders, he was a tremendous assistance to the recovery of Nevada’s credit unions.”

Burns because commissioner in 2007. He is known for his management of the division and regulation of financial institutions during one of the toughest economic periods in modern history (the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009). Fifteen state-chartered financial institutions across Nevada were conserved during and after the recession.

However, Burns had the opportunity to finish his public service during one of the longest U.S. economic expansions in history that came thereafter, from late 2009 – present. Nevada’s credit unions have continued to fervently serve their members as the state’s economy, job market growth and business climate eventually topped most states—if not all—by 2018.

Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the Nevada Credit Union League, said the League and its member credit unions appreciated working with the commissioner. “During his tenure, he worked to ensure credit unions had every opportunity to serve the people of Nevada,” she said. “His office made a huge impact during the Great Recession by giving Nevada's credit unions the tools and time to assist their members and rebuild capital.”

Rickisha Hightower, who has been serving as the deputy commissioner since December, has been named interim commissioner of the division. Before serving as deputy commissioner, she was a deputy attorney general with the Nevada Attorney General's office representing the financial institutions and mortgage lending divisions.

A nationwide search will begin to permanently fill the vacancy left by Burns, according to Nevada Department of Business and Industry Director Michael Brown.

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