Catalyst Corporate CEO to retire in March, successor named

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Kathy Garner, president and CEO of $2.6 billion Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, Plano, Texas, on Tuesday said she will retire in March 2019.

Garner has led Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union since 2012, when the combination of Georgia Corporate Federal Credit Union and Southwest Bridge Corporate Federal Credit Union formed the new entity.

During her tenure, Catalyst Corporate has grown to serve nearly 1,400 credit unions with payment, liquidity and investment services. Officials with the corporate CU said its “financial strength has grown” with Garner at the helm, as evidenced by a total capital ratio of 10.54 percent, a retained earnings ratio of 3.48 percent and an operating efficiency ratio of 87 percent.

“Catalyst Corporate remains well ahead of NCUA regulatory requirements,” the corporate credit union said in a statement.

Catalyst Corporate’s board of directors said it has tapped Bruce Fox, the corporate’s current executive vice president and chief investment officer, to become president/CEO upon Garner’s retirement.

Fox has spent more than 27 years with Catalyst Corporate and its preceding organizations. In addition to directing asset/liability management, balance sheet management and lending functions, Fox serves as principal of Catalyst Strategic Solutions, Catalyst Corporate’s CUSO that provides balance sheet and advisory service to more than 360 credit unions with nearly $4.5 billion under advisement.

“Selecting Bruce Fox as Kathy’s successor is the logical choice,” said Lin Hodges, Catalyst Corporate’ chairman.

Hodges, who also is CEO of Georgia-based Associated Credit Union, added, “Bruce’s many years of experience give him a deep understanding of Catalyst Corporate’s culture and mission of serving credit unions.”

Trevor Tokishi, Catalyst Corporate’s vice chairman and head of the CEO selection committee, said, “Bruce is the best choice to lead Catalyst Corporate, as he is well respected and ensures proven leadership. He understands the need for incorporating innovations into our traditional areas of expertise, including balance sheet management, payments and correspondent services.”

Garner’s lengthy career in CUs

Garner has worked in the credit union movement for more than 37 years, including serving as CEO of Northwest Corporate for 12 years before her 11-year tenure at Southwest Corporate and Catalyst Corporate, with the last seven years as president/CEO. She also has served the credit union movement on numerous committees, boards and foundations.

“Credit unions have been my life’s work and it has been extremely rewarding,” Garner said. “People put the heart in the credit union movement, and on this journey I have had the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with so many passionate and dedicated credit union supporters.”

“Catalyst Corporate has an outstanding group of professionals and a strong team serving our member credit unions. I have truly enjoyed leading Catalyst Corporate the last seven years and care deeply about the future of the organization,” Garner added.

Chairman Hodges noted: “We appreciate the work Kathy has done with the team at Catalyst Corporate. Member credit unions give Catalyst Corporate a superior NPS score year after year – underscoring the trust and respect the organization has created in the industry. Kathy and her senior staff have created the most member-centric organization I have ever been involved with.”

Looking ahead, Fox said, “I am excited to continue Kathy’s vision and carry Catalyst Corporate’s business model forward. I am happy to be working with our top-notch team to build on a legacy of excellent service to credit unions.”

Hodges added: “The board has had the opportunity to work closely with Bruce for many years. He has demonstrated thoughtful leadership and will provide a steady hand as the corporate evolves to serve credit unions in an ever-changing environment.”

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