BECU President and CEO Benson Porter Announces Upcoming Retirement

On June 14, BECU’s President and CEO, Benson Porter, announced that he will retire at the end of the year, following ten years of leadership to the credit union and more than three decades of service in the financial services industry.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we do at BECU and the positive difference our employees make each day in serving our members and communities, especially navigating through the pandemic. The past two years have inspired self-reflection for us all and reinforced for me that the time is right for me to retire,” said Porter. “Over the next few months, I remain committed to our work of transforming our employee and member experiences and helping set the stage for the next chapter of BECU. I am confident our next leader will bring fresh approaches to drive our work forward in line with our purpose.”

A Decade of Leadership

During Porter’s time at the Tukwila, Washington-based credit union, membership has grown from 800,000 members to more than 1.28 million this past year, including over 68,600 business members in its local communities.

BECU’s giveback to its members and communities has also increased. In 2012, the credit union returned $115.3 million to its members through better rates and fewer fees compared to bank averages. Last year, BECU’s return to the membership grew to $322.7 million. Part of that increase was driven by broadening its Reprice program to include more opportunities for lower rates on BECU loans or products. Additionally, its grant funding to local nonprofits increased from $1.1 million to $5.8 million in that same timeframe. This included the launch of its People Helping People Awards program, which has dedicated over $3 million in grant funding to member-nominated organizations since 2013.

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to share our heartfelt appreciation for Benson’s dedicated service to BECU and our members. Through his leadership, the credit union has continued its commitment to the ‘People Helping People’ philosophy. The cooperative has grown, innovated, and expanded its offerings to improve the financial health of its more than one million members and their communities. Along the way, Benson has built a unique culture for its employees, driven by the organization’s values and purpose,” said Debra Somberg, Chair of BECU’s Board of Directors.

Recruiting a New Leader

The BECU Board has established a CEO Succession Committee to select its new leader. Recruiting efforts will begin soon, which includes executing a nationwide search that will consider internal and external applicants. The Board will keep employees and members updated as the recruitment process is underway and there is information to share.

“The board and BECU’s executive team are committed to selecting a new leader that will leverage BECU’s strengths and differentiators while evolving the credit union as needed to lead us into the future,” Somberg said.

Posted in Around the NW.