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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BECU Public Relations
BECU Announces Benson Porter Appointed President and CEO
Today, BECU announced the selection of Benson Porter as president and CEO. Porter replaces retiring CEO, Gary Oakland who served in this role for 25 years, beginning in April 2012.
"After several months of recruiting and reviewing applicants for the position, the board decided unanimously to hire Benson Porter," said Desiree Serr, chair of the BECU Board of Directors. "This was a very thoughtful and planned process to bring on board the right leader to help us carry forward our vision and strategic priorities while also preserving our culture."
Porter will begin in his new role on April 9, 2012. He returns to Washington after five years serving as president and CEO of First Tech Federal Credit Union, based in Palo Alto, California. With $5 billion in assets, First Tech is the nation's 15th largest credit union.
"BECU is an exceptional organization because it puts people first," said Porter. "I look forward to returning home to the Northwest and ensuring we continue BECU's legacy of making a positive difference in the lives of its members, employees, and the communities they serve."
"I truly believe that the team here at BECU will find Benson Porter to be a great fit and the best choice to lead BECU" said retiring president and CEO, Gary Oakland. "Perhaps most importantly, he is someone whose style and values are a match with our culture, our employees, and will keep alive the focus on the member at BECU." "The fact that he comes from First Tech, of whom we have a great deal of respect and view as leaders in the credit union system, speaks to his leadership and innovative capacity.
Porter brings extensive experience in financial services working for the Washington State Senate Banking Committee and the state's Division of Banking. He spent another 14 years in increasingly more responsible senior management roles at KeyBank and Washington Mutual in Seattle before joining the credit union movement as CEO of Addison Avenue FCU which later merged with First Tech FCU. A native of Washington state, he is a graduate of Whitman College and later received his J.D. from Seattle University.
Oakland joined BECU in 1980 and was named CEO in 1986. Under his leadership, the non-profit cooperative has grown into one of America's five largest credit unions, with total assets of more than $9.8 billion. Oakland will remain at BECU through mid-2012 to ensure a smooth transition.
About BECU Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, BECU is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its members. Profits are returned to the members in the form of better rates and fewer fees. With more than 740,000 members and more than $9.8 billion in assets, BECU is the largest credit union in Washington and one of the top five financial cooperatives in the country. BECU currently operates over 40 locations in the Puget Sound region. All Washington state residents and students attending Washington colleges and universities are eligible to join.