Tukwila-based BECU chooses new president and CEO

Tukwila-based BECU named Benson Porter on Tuesday as its new president and CEO.

BECU named Benson Porter Dec. 20 as its new president and CEO.

Tukwila-based BECU named Benson Porter on Tuesday as its new president and CEO.

Porter replaces retiring CEO, Gary Oakland who served for 25 years. Porter starts in April.

“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, in a media release. “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 returns to Washington after five years serving as president and CEO of First Tech Federal Credit Union, based in Palo Alto, Calif. 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.”

Oakland expects a strong performance by Porter.

“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,” Oakland said. “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 members 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, he is a graduate of Whitman College in Walla Walla and later received a law degree 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 and 740,000 members. Oakland will remain at BECU through mid-2012 to ensure a smooth transition.

BECU is a not-for-profi and has more than 40 locations in the Puget Sound region. All Washington state residents are eligible to join. For more information, go to www.becu.org.

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