My tenure as a member of the Abri Credit Union Board of Directors ends tonight during our annual meeting at Prairie Bluff Golf Course in Romeoville.
It has been a wonderful experience.
I have learned an awful lot in the last nine years. I have a much better understanding of how a financial institution really works. Not the gigantic megacorp bank, but small institutions that serve their communities in ways the Big Boys can not.
When I first joined the board in 2006, Abri Credit Union did not exist. It was the Argonne Credit Union, a traditional credit union that served a closed segment of members related to the Argonne, Fermi, and Idaho National Laboratories. They had assets of about $75-million and had just begun building their new headquarters in Romeoville.
Within a year, Marite Plume, Argonne’s CEO of nearly 15 years, announced her retirement. We conducted a national search for a new CEO, and hit the jackpot with Brian Cedergren, who was Chief Operating Officer at FirstLight Credit Union in Texas.
Cedergren led us through two mergers. The first was the acquisition of Des Plaines Valley Credit Union, which had its origin at Citgo Refinery.
The second merger was with Prairie Trails Credit Union of Joliet. That merger was the largest in Illinois credit union history, worth more than $250-million and representing about 30,000 credit union members.
I was always the dumbest guy at the table. Our Board had PhD members who designed power grids for entire nations. They led teams in cutting edge research in renewable energy and biology. One board member was involved in counter-intelligence. Another was a clinical psychologist. We had business owners, educators, and accountants.
I am fortunate to work with such smart men and women. I cherish their friendship, and appreciate their mentor-ship.
Abri will continue to lead the market. They are a great organization. Their staff is second to none, especially Samantha Edler, to name just one.
Thank you for allowing me to sit at the grown ups’ table.
Best of luck to you all.