From 'No Idea' To 'Many Thanks' At Retirement

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Everyone reaches that moment when they need to make a change in their life. Well, I am no different. I have reached that point.

My reason for writing this is to accomplish two things: to say goodbye for now to the many people who have always been there for me as I have progressed through my career and to make sure everyone knows why I am choosing this time to retire.

There are so many people who have played a part in my credit union career. Some people have known from the start why they would always work in credit unions. Well, when I started in a credit union, I had no idea what a credit union was. Isabel and Evelyn, the manager and assistant manager of San Mateo Credit Union, the two whom you can blame for hiring me, probably had no idea what they were getting themselves in for. I think I fought them on about every plane, but in the long term, everything turned out OK and I hope I have made them proud.

Thank you Isabel and Evelyn for having such faith in me. And to all of the rest of you who have coached me and pushed me along, encouraging me to get involved, I thank you. You have truly made a difference in my life.

As for my retirement now, I am being truly self indulgent. No one has suggested I leave or encouraged me to get out. I know I have disappointed Grace Mayo and Jean at Telesis as they were hopeful that I would stay on long term. When my board and I decided New World FCU needed to merge, we went through a very straight-forward process to choose the right merger partner. It really was the board of directors who reached the final conclusion, but it was the services Telesis Community CU provided for our members that made them realize who our new partner would be. After all of our interviews and reviewing the information we gathered, my board chair said to me, "This is sort of a 'no-brainer' isn't it?" Yes, we believe we made the right choice and three months into the merger, we still believe we made the right choice. Our members have told us they are very happy. Their only complaint is they really miss getting to talk directly with Theresa and Carol, although they can still reach the staff if they really need to.

I am very happy to report that I am retiring because I want to and because I can. As I talk with people to tell them I am retiring, someone asked me if, after leaving Telesis I was going to go to work for another credit union. My response was: why? If I was going to continue to work, why in the world would I leave my dream job to go to work for someone else? Telesis Community Credit Union is the most progressive credit union in the country. They are on the forefront of almost everything all the while maintaining the focus on their members that many larger credit unions seem to have lost. Thank you Telesis Community Credit Union for taking care of the members we worked so hard to take care of. I know our members are better off with their new credit union and that allows me to take a step back and say, "I've done my job here! It's time to go."

My e-mail after I retire will be gilliwag aol.com. If you would like to stay in touch, please do so by e-mailing me your contact information. I do plan to probably come back, and I will be at CCUL's Annual Meeting at Disneyland for one last parting shot at Dave Chatfield. Hope to see everyone there.

Pat Wagner

Ex CEO New World FCU, Lafayette, Calif.

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