We’ll Miss You, Chuck!
Chuck Cornelius, our multi-talented CEO, is retiring on March 5th. He’s served ECCU for 36 years in a variety of roles. He has been a loan officer, branch manager, VP/lending, VP/operations, and CEO for the past ten years. His passion for serving members while treating everyone with kindness and respect is what we’ll remember most. Chuck is a true leader.
Here are a few more of our memories to help send Chuck on his way, albeit reluctantly.
Vice President Commercial Loan Services:
“Chuck had the foresight to know we needed a commercial lending department for our small business members. Since I joined ECCU a year ago, Chuck has given me the opportunity and freedom to help grow the commercial lending area. I’ve learned that we also have an extremely loyal membership, and much of that I believe is because of Chuck and his vision. He inherently understands what is essential and wanted by our members. It has been an incredible privilege to work with and for Chuck. I have grown as a leader in our organization because of his mentoring and leadership style. While I will miss seeing him at work every day, I look forward to being able to call on him as one of my friends and mentors.”
Vice President Operations:
“Chuck was incredibly helpful to everyone – members, staff, vendors – I believe he impacted all of us in one way or another. I’ll always remember us looking towards Chuck as our ‘fearless’ leader…all of us would use the catch phrase, ‘Where’s Chuck?’ The question was asked so many times over the years – since he was kind and helpful to everyone. Once he became CEO, he couldn’t always break away to help each of us one-on-one… but he would try!
“Chuck also let me come to him with any thoughts or concerns and encouraged me to express my ideas. Even if we didn’t agree, he would value what I had to say. He would also be upfront with his views, which I appreciated. We would simply ‘agree to disagree.’ Even more pertinent was the fact the discussions or countering views never came back to me as a negative. I felt I always could speak honestly to Chuck, and be confident that there was mutual respect between us. There were never any repercussions in speaking my mind. He knew this is what I needed and appreciated in his leadership style. I also enjoyed Chuck as a teacher and mentor. Whether he was providing a tip about adding memory to my home computer or offering the basics of a golf swing, he was a natural teacher with great patience.”
Vice President Finance:
“Chuck has mentored me over the last ten years and taught me that often, it’s more important to listen than to speak. Over the years, we’ve had many discussions on how to become a better leader, which he has assisted me in becoming throughout my ECCU career. Chuck also let me present any out-of-the-box idea I had without judgment. Some ideas were great, and others…not so much. Regardless, he gave me his time and always respected my opinions.
“Chuck also guided us through the ‘Great Recession’ shortly after he was named CEO. ECCU, like other CUs, had to endure not only the recession, but was straddled with the NCUA Corporate Stabilization Program in response to the investment losses incurred at the Corporate Credit Union level. Chuck led us out of those difficult times by fine-tuning operations and cutting expenses. Although employees went for several years without raises, he was able to keep all employees employed during this turbulent time and our morale was strong.”