Northwest Credit Union Leaders Fill Two Positions on Catalyst Board

In a move to increase its board of director’s size from nine to 11 members, Texas-based Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union has named Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU) Chief Financial Officer Bill Before to fill one of two expansion seats. Trevor Tokishi, executive vice president of Valley Isle Community Federal Credit Union in Hawaii, was named to the other.

Before is a highly regarded leader in the credit union industry, serving on the STCU management team for 23 years and joins the board as a result of Catalyst’s July 1 purchase of Western Bridge Federal Credit Union (WesCorp) assets, a corporate credit union which had been under NCUA conservatorship since 2009. Before served as secretary/treasurer for a board representing WesCorp member credit unions that were looking into the possibility of creating a new corporate credit union and buying part of WesCorp’s assets.

Before joins fellow Northwesterner and OSU Federal Credit Union President/CEO Rick Hein, himself a 33-year credit union veteran, on the Catalyst Corporate Board of Directors.

Hein currently serves as Treasurer of the Board and Chair of the Asset/Liability Committee; according to him the result of volunteering for a series of advisory and supervisory roles for Southwest Bridge Corporate, the transitional corporate credit union whose assets transferred to Catalyst following the September 6, 2011, merger of Georgia Corporate and Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Unions, which created the new credit union.

“Just as our nation is made up of separate states that have very diverse needs, Catalyst Corporate is made up of member credit unions that span from coast to coast and also have diverse needs,” wrote Hein in an email. “Representation from different regions and sizes of member credit unions will help provide perspective and focus as this nationwide corporate continues to meet the varied needs of its members.”

And the Northwest is one place the corporate is laying down roots to serve credit union needs. In addition to naming Hein and Before to the board, Catalyst hired another Northwesterner, Kathy Garner, to serve as its president and CEO. Catalyst also recently founded a Western Regional Council Program that includes 12 members from western states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada.

For the initial catalyst board members, though, the process of gaining a seat was dissimilar to elections that will be held in the future

“Due to the conservatorship and the merger, the process for selecting board members was different this first time,” Hein wrote. “To ensure reasonable representation from the membership, the Governance Advisory Council considered various factors in reviewing the applicant candidates, including qualifications, geography, credit union financial strength and asset size.”

Once gaining approval by the NCUA, Catalyst Corporate’s Governance Advisory Council recommended 8 candidates to the original board—all of whom stood for re-election in June. The July 1 purchase of Western Bridge Corporate assets required that the board be expanded.

Corporate credit union board members are elected through the same process as those at natural person credit unions. The membership is advised of the upcoming election and provided information about how to nominate someone for a board position.  Catalyst Corporate has a nominating committee who interviews perspective candidates and brings forth a slate of candidates to be voted on by the membership.

In addition to Hein, Before and Tokishi, Catalyst board members include:

  • Chairman Lin Hodges, president/CEO of Associated Credit Union in Norcross, Ga.
  • Vice Chairman Rod Taylor, president/CEO of Barksdale Federal Credit Union in Bossier City, La.
  • Secretary Ayn Talley, president/CEO of Houston (Texas) Police Federal Credit Union.
  • Connie Cofer, senior vice president/CFO of Communication Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma City.
  • Syed Dinar, vice president/CFO of Texas Bay Area Credit Union in Houston.
  • Michael Hooper, president/CEO of La Capitol Federal Credit Union in Baton Rouge, La.
  • John Papagno, CFO of Alive Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Bobbie Threlkeld, president/CEO of Baptist Health Federal Credit Union in Little Rock, Ark.

The nation’s 20 corporate credit unions serve more than 7,000 “natural person” (consumer) credit unions, providing for their member credit unions’ daily liquidity needs, as well as check clearing and other financial services.


Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor:

Posted in Federal.