Rogue’s Gene Pelham Wins Foundations’ Credit Union Professional of the Year Award


Gene Pelham receives an annual merit raise only if the staff “climate survey” reflects well on his leadership as President/CEO for Rogue Federal Credit Union. The 26-year credit union industry veteran regularly hosts roundtables where he encourages staff to shoot straight about what is working and what is not.

It is clear that something is working for employees; the Medford-based credit union has nearly 50,000 members and assets of more than $500 million, and it won honors as the “Best Large Employer” in a Southern Oregon Magazine poll. The employees also willingly volunteer more than 7,000 hours of public service annually, earning a Governor’s Award for Community Involvement in the process.

“Gene is a phenomenal leader,” said Jennifer Stephens, security officer at Rogue. “He inspires staff, members and the community with his vision and passion.”

Pelham will receive the Credit Union Professional of the Year Award at the September 22nd Summit Awards dinner being co-hosted by the Credit Union Foundations of Washington and Oregon. Three other top-performing industry leaders will also receive marquee honors that evening.

The Credit Union Professional of the Year award is bestowed on the industry leader whose outstanding accomplishments have had the most positive impact on their credit union and its members. Judges emphasize the nominees’ dedication to the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People,” as well as civic leadership and charitable activity, according to Schirley Cate, awards committee member.

“Gene is the absolute embodiment of corporate leadership,” said John Annaloro, CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association. “There is not a community event in which Rogue FCU is not involved.”

Pelham is being recognized for many innovative programs that serve Rogue’s employees and members. He formed an advisory council this year to gain insight into issues that propel or inhibit Rogue’s ability to “wow” its members. Rogue’s partnership with local media and home builders in offering foreclosure prevention information was also a factor in the Summit Awards judging.

Pelham has served as Rogue’s CEO for four years and has contributed to the credit union movement in ways that benefit the entire industry as well as his own financial institution. Pelham is widely credited for being part of the two-state team that finally enabled the merger of the Credit Union Association of Oregon and the Washington Credit Union League after 30 years of talks. Pelham currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Northwest Credit Union Association.

“It is an honor to be recognized with the first ever Nortwest Credit Union Association Professional of the Year Award,” said Pellham. “I am thrilled to have played a small role in helping the northwest credit unions create a world class trade association that iis working hard to ensure credit unions will thrive in the new economy.”

The Credit Union Professional of the Year award is being presented at the Summit Awards dinner along with the Mark of Excellence Award, the Young Credit Union Professional of the Year Award and an honor recognizing the Distinguished Volunteer of the Year. The Summit Awards dinner will take place at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Wash., and will be the final event at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Convention. 


Questions? Contact Foundation Development Associate Josalyn Alston: 206.340.4814,

Posted in Awards, MAXX Annual Convention.