Northwest Credit Union Leaders Join the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders

Two northwest credit union leaders were inducted into the Hall of Leaders at Credit Union House in Washington, D.C., in February. “The Credit Union House Hall of Leaders was created to honor those who have dedicated their lives to the credit union movement at either the local, state, or national level,” said Credit Union House executive director, Sue McCue.

Inductees are “usually nominated by their credit union’s leadership or their league,” McCue continued. The leadership of Credit Union House inducts them as part of a ceremony held in conjunction with the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, when credit union leaders from around the U.S. come to Washington, D.C., to interact with members of the House of Representatives and Senate and share the credit union message.

For Parker Cann, induction into the Hall of Leaders caps “a very enjoyable career” in credit unions. He is a lawyer by training, and began his work with credit unions in 1995, in the Washington Department of Financial Institutions. During his time there, he helped update the credit union charter in Washington. “The Washington charter is considered one of the best in the nation,” Cann said, “and I like to think I had a hand in that.”

Cann served as director of credit unions at DI until leaving for a post at Arrowhead Credit Union in San Bernardino, California, in 2002. He moved back to Washington in 2005 to serve as president and CEO of Columbia Credit Union. In 2009, he joined the $14 billion asset size BECU as Senior Vice President of Governance, Risk and Compliance, and general counsel. At the end of the year, said Cann, he will be retiring to travel the world with his wife in their boat.

The induction into the Hall of Leaders was “a total surprise,” he said, but “to be recognized with that group is a great honor.”

Patricia Smith, president and CEO of the nearly $1 billion Unitus Community Credit Union, was also a Northwest inductee. Smith, who received a lifetime achievement award from the Northwest Credit Union Association in 2015, has worked in credit unions for 36 years. Before joining Unitus in 2002, she worked at BECU for 22 years. She has lead Unitus through a period of growth and some great successes, including a recurring spot on the Oregon Business magazine 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon. A tireless supporter of credit unions, Smith is active on the NWCUA’s Oregon Governmental Affairs Committee and Doernbecher Advisory Committee. She is a legacy supporter of Credit Unions for Kids.

“These leaders ensure that the northwest’s credit unions are well represented in the 121 total inductees. “Credit Union House is the lasting and permanent presence for credit unions in our nation’s capital,” said McCue.

Every one of the thousands of visitors to Credit Union House each year see the names of folks honored in the Hall of Leaders. It helps remind the members of national government of the people behind the movement who exemplify what Cann sees as the true power of credit unions: “It’s a business that has a good heart and a good soul,” he said.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Awards.