Sound’s Brandsma Honored as Business Leader of the Year

Richard Brandsma, president and CEO of Sound Credit Union, has been named the Business Leader of the Year by the University of Washington Tacoma Milgard School of Business. The annual awards program honors outstanding business leaders in the South Sound Region of Western Washington—a description that fits the veteran credit union leader to a tee.

When Brandsma took over as president and CEO in 1981, when Sound was still known as Tacoma Telco Federal Credit Union, the credit union had one branch, 26 employees and $18.9 million in assets.

In the more than 30 years since, Brandsma has led the credit union through a name change, a transition to a state charter, and through 14 mergers, and the sum total has been significant growth for the once-small financial cooperative. Sound Credit Union now boasts 21 branches, 230 employees and more than $1 billion in assets.

“Rick Brandsma is one of the most admired leaders in the Northwest credit union community,” said Troy Stang, president and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). “His footprints are on so many positive developments in the financial services industry that have benefited consumers.”

Nominees were judged based on the leadership qualities displayed within their organization, on the ways they helped grow their company or industry, and on their community service and impact. Also receiving a 2013 Business Leadership Award are:

  • Janine Terrano, president and CEO of Topia Technology, Small Business Leader of the Year
  • Joseph W. Wilczek, CEO of Franciscan Health System, Non-Profit Business Leader of the Year
  • Brian Sonntag, Washington State auditor (retired), Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Michael P. Slevin III, director of the City of Tacoma’s environmental services department, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

Brandsma and his fellow honorees will be recognized at a dinner event on April 30 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center Ballroom. Registration is available online.


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Posted in Around the NW.