August 28, 2012
After 15 years at the helm, John Annaloro will retire as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) on Oct. 2, 2012, in conjunction with the 2012 NWCUA Convention and Annual Business Meeting in Vancouver, Wash.
Annaloro has served as league president for 15 years. He was the Washington Credit Union League’s (WCUL) sixth executive officer, and first CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA)—a merger of the Washington and Oregon trade associations serving nearly 200 credit unions. Prior to moving to Washington, Annaloro was a senior executive for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. He was known in both settings for promoting aggressive and effective government affairs programming.
During his successful tenure, Annaloro and his staff have been widely credited with creating the most progressive state-chartering environment in the United States, building an excellent Foundation that returns hundreds of thousands of dollars to the members annually, maintaining a strong focus on education, and fostering a cohesive credit union community in the Northwest so as to maximize the industry’s collective strength.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with and get to know John over the past few years, both leading up to the merger and [during] the launch of the Northwest Credit Union Association,” said Bill Anderson, chairman of the NWCUA’s inaugural board of directors. “I only wish I had met John many years ago. I want to thank John for all the great things that he accomplished here over the last 15 years. Through his focused and agile leadership, he has put in place the very foundations that have made this organization—and indeed our industry—such a success.”
On Annaloro’s watch, Northwest credit unions gained national influence and were heavily relied upon by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in promoting legislation, membership awareness and other initiatives improving the operating environment for the financial institutions.
“I think John is a thought leader in the credit union movement. He is usually months if not years ahead of everyone else,” said Dan Mica, former CUNA CEO and now an industry advisor.
“John spared no effort advancing the credit union charter,” Mica said. “He clearly established Washington State as what I would call a ‘soldier on the ground,’ taking critical issues door to door to the people. There is no way a national organization such as CUNA can advocate alone. John is a master; quite the extraordinary thinker about credit union problems and approaches.”
Mica marveled at Annaloro’s leadership advocating for passage of the Credit Union Membership Act of 1998. The act significantly opened credit union membership eligibility to consumers and today, nearly 93 million Americans belong to a credit union.
Debie Keesee, CEO of Spokane Media Federal Credit Union, agreed. She served as Annaloro’s trade association board chairman in 2009 and 2010.
“We are a textbook in Washington State for how having an open field of membership provides success for credit unions and their members, and secures a more successful future,” she said.
Keesee will most remember Annaloro for being a “true visionary.”
“Washington has the best credit union charter, the best operating environment anywhere, bar none. I will put our charter up any other states,” Keesee said.
Landing a favorable credit union charter would not have been possible without building bridges between credit unions and regulators. One of Annaloro’s signatures has been his ability to represent credit unions to regulators who respect his judgment.
"I've known John for more than 20 years, and I consider him a great leader in the credit union system," said Mary Martha Fortney, president and CEO of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS). "John is known as a fierce advocate of state-chartered credit unions, state regulators and state autonomy. NASCUS regards him as a great steward of dual chartering. During his outstanding career, he was able to think 'outside of the box' to find creative solutions for the system's far-reaching problems. John's contributions in this regard and his many achievements are notable, and he has always been a team player with system partners. NASCUS and the state credit union system wish him the very best in his retirement.”
Fortney credited Annaloro on a personal note with being a valued mentor and friend.
Annaloro has been a go-to advisor to other credit union trade associations, as well as to CUNA, on pending legislative efforts to improve the ability of credit unions to grant small-business loans as well to raise supplemental capital.
Over the past 15 years, John Annaloro had been the recipient of numerous honors, including the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) national award for outstanding governmental affairs programs and The Western CUNA Management School Outstanding Graduate. He was a co-recipient of the National Credit Union Foundation’s (NCUF) prestigious Herb Wegner Memorial Award for the PBS series “Biz Kid$,” a program launched in Seattle with credit union funding and now nationally broadcast to students nationwide. Annaloro also accepted the Eagle Award from the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) for his outstanding record of achievement as a system leader.
“Serving the credit union system is an honor in every way,” said Annaloro. “I am appreciative of the trust vested in association executives by our credit unions. These appointments are noble endeavors, worthy of anyone’s best efforts to provide a brilliant future. I will miss many friendships, as well as the staff, board members and past chairmen who have been my partners."
A reception honoring Annaloro’s accomplishments will take place the evening of Thursday, Oct. 4. Annaloro will be succeeded as CEO by Troy Stang, the NWCUA’s current president.
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