Kathy Garner Chosen as New Catalyst Corporate CEO

Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union’s board of directors announced Tuesday that Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF) board member Kathy Garner has been selected as Catalyst’s new president and CEO.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to lead Catalyst Corporate,” Garner said. “Catalyst Corporate has a very bright future with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. I am looking forward to connecting with member credit unions and continuing to provide valuable products and services.”

Garner’s leadership gives Catalyst strong ties to the credit union movement in the Northwest, and her tenure in the credit union industry has been extensive. She has served on the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Credit Union Association of Oregon, was a board member of the Oregon Credit Union Foundation, the Washington Credit Union Foundation, and the Western Payments Alliance (WesPay). Garner currently serves on the board of directors for the NWCUF, formed on Jan. 1 after the merger of the Oregon and Washington Foundations.

“Certainly, I would consider this our home,” Garner said of the Northwest. “I have a strong connection to the credit unions in the Northwest and am connected all along the west coast, which is really critical to Catalyst. There’s a lot of growth on the west coast, in the Northwest as well as other areas out here.”

Most recently, Garner served as executive vice president of member relations and business development for Catalyst Corporate, in which role she was responsible for correspondent and payment services sales, communications and marketing, member services and the Northwest Regional office. She held that position beginning with the December 2007 merger of Northwest Corporate Federal Credit Union and Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union, prior to which she had spent 12 years as the president and CEO of Northwest Corporate.

“Kathy Garner has the technical credentials as well as an appropriate appreciation for the credit unions of the Northwest,” said NWCUA CEO John Annaloro. “We are extremely pleased with her selection.”

For Garner, even though the position involves a move from her current home in Portland, Ore., to the Catalyst headquarters in Plano, Tex., the transition will mark a return to familiar surroundings after spending six months away from the credit union movement in a professional capacity.

“My passion is working with credit unions,” she said. “Certainly, I’m very member-focused, so I’m looking forward to just getting back to working with credit unions and system partners. And, of course, the staff there I worked with for four years, so it’ll be great getting back to work with the people at Catalyst.”

Garner replaces Dianne Addington, who served as Catalyst’s president and CEO since the corporate was formed in September 2011 through the merger of Georgia Corporate Federal Credit Union and Southwest Bridge Corporate Federal Credit Union. Addington was tapped by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to run Southwest Bridge when it was conserved prior to its emergence as Catalyst Corporate, and she had long indicated her intent to return to retirement once Catalyst Corporate was on its feet and a new CEO was selected.

“I worked closely with Kathy Garner for almost 12 months at one of the most difficult times in the history of this organization,” Addington said. “During her time with Southwest, Kathy helped in the development of the low-risk business plan and was instrumental in conducting the town hall meetings that led to the capitalization of Catalyst Corporate. She has always been a staunch supporter of Catalyst Corporate.”

Garner said that she plans to build on the strong foundation laid by Addington and the rest of the Catalyst staff, working to continue what has been a fairly smooth transition.

“I’m going to be on the road a lot,” Garner said, “visiting our members and connecting with the leagues.”

But amid the new connections and new challenges, the self-described “west coast gal” will still make the transition with her Northwest roots intact.

“I’ve served credit unions all over the country, but I certainly have a love of the west coast.”

Garner will assume her new role beginning Monday, March 5.


Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Federal.