I couldn't help but notice the presence of outgoing Colorado CU System President Carroll Beach at several events here in Washington over the past few weeks.
The tasteful Credit Union House, which will be enjoyed by credit union executives and members of Congress for years to come, will be a lasting testament to Beach, retiring this month after 29 years heading the state league. Though the project was the brainchild of CUNA President Dan Mica, it was Beach who led the effort to raise more than $3 million from the leagues and credit unions to finance the handsome project, just two blocks from the Capitol.
Seeing Beach also brought back memories of the campaign for HR 1151, the CU Membership Access Act, in which Beach and several other long-serving "Cardinals" of the credit union movement carried the campaign to its ultimate success. I'm referring to Beach, Gary Wolter of Alabama, Dave Chatfield of California, Dan Egan of New England, Larry Johnson of North Carolina, and Gene Farley of Virginia. Of course, several other states played important roles in the landmark credit union victory, but it was a handful of leaders such as Beach who grasped the importance of the fight early on. Here's hoping Beach will still be available to lend his advice to the credit union movement.