July 21, 2011
After almost 19 years at the helm of Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union and 40 years in the banking world, SMCU President and CEO Bob Harvey announced his retirement in April. July 8 was his last day in the office.
Harvey is only the third CEO in the 77-year history of Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union and has seen a world of change since his arrival in August 1992. During his tenure, the credit union has added five new branches and completed two mergers. When he took over in 1992, the credit union had assets of $135 million and a staff of 70. Today SMCU is a half-billion dollar credit union with more than 130 employees.
“Bob has been a leader in the Northwest and national credit union system for many years,” said Association CEO John Annaloro, who notes that Harvey was a former chairman of the Washington Credit Union League. “We’re all sad to be losing such a great colleague and a great friend, and we wish him all the best.”
As CEO, Harvey has been extremely active in the credit union community. He also served as board chair of WesCorp and the African American Credit Union Coalition, as well as a council director for the Credit Union Executive Society (CUES) and a lecturer for the California Credit Union League and Credit Union National Association.
With his usual humor, Harvey recently reflected on his career, telling the SMCU newsletter: “What I remember of my first week was that I came to work that morning and couldn’t get in. I didn’t have any keys, I knocked on the front door and Ruth (Korotzer, SMCU Executive VP and COO) said, “Yeah, it’s OK. Let him in.” The only thing I got accomplished that first day was putting my greeting on my voice mail system. That took four hours, and then I went to lunch.”
He soon got up to speed though and deftly guided the credit union. In 2003 he received both the Washington Credit Union Professional of the Year and CUES Executive of the Year awards. In 2004 he was named to the CUES Hall of Fame.
Harvey intends to stay active within the community. A former Marine Corps Captain, he will continue to serve as a Reserve Police Officer with the Seattle Police Department’s Gang Unit, as he has since 1993.
That does not mean he will be working too hard though. “I have a long-standing goal of riding my motorcycle cross-country. There’s a route called Interstate 50, it starts in San Jose and winds up in South Carolina. It runs from coast to coast and never touches a freeway,” he explained. “A cruise through the Panama Canal is being planned as well as an extended stay in New Zealand; both will happen over the next few years.”
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