May 8, 2012
Gesa Credit Union President and CEO Christina Lethlean has been named a finalist in the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program for the Pacific Northwest Region for her leadership in transforming Gesa into one of Washington's leading credit unions. The award recognizes outstanding business leaders who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
Lethlean was selected by a panel of independent judges from among 60 regional nominees and 32 semi-finalists. She is credited for leading the 54-year-old Gesa through a challenging economic climate, growing the credit union's assets from $600 million in 2007 to more than $1.1 billion in assets and more than 106,000 members.
Lethlean has transformed Gesa into a lender of choice in Eastern Washington’s Tri-Cities area and has introduced new business lines, including business lending and services, home loans and investment services, while adding more full-service branches. Under Lethlean's leadership, Gesa built a new environmentally friendly headquarters, expanded its community presence and increased member convenience with ongoing enhancements to electronic services.
Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year works to make a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, it celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries.
Regional Entrepreneur of the Year® winners will be announced at an awards gala on June 15, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, Wash. Now in its 26th year, the Entrepreneur of the Year Program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 140 cities in more than 50 countries throughout the world.
Regional award winners are then eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 17, 2012. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
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