Successor named as NW Priority’s longest-serving CEO heads for the exit

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Mark Turnham, president and CEO of NW Priority Credit Union in Portland, Ore., has announced plans to retire on Sept. 1, 40 years after he joined the credit union’s staff.

Julie Garren will take over as CEO of NW Priority Credit Union on Sept. 1.
Julie Garren will take over as CEO of NW Priority Credit Union on Sept. 1.

Julie Garren, the credit union’s chief financial officer, will take the helm upon Turnham’s departure.

Turnham began his career at NWPCU in 1980 in the collections department before being appointed to assistant treasurer. He was named president and CEO in 1988 and in that time helped grow the credit union from $111 million in assets to $270 million. He is the longest-serving chief executive in NW Priority’s 92-year history. Garren will be its first female CEO.

Turnham had planned to retire on March 31 but postponed his exit date following the coronavirus outbreak.

Garren has worked alongside Turnham for more than three decades, and a press release said she was selected in part because of her “tremendous knowledge and leadership” and because she exemplifies NWPCU’s philosophy and dedication to members.

In the press release, Garren called Turnham’s retirement “a bittersweet moment, as I have worked with Mark for 33 years and we will all miss him a great deal. I am excited to continue the strong tradition of this credit union, moving forward into the future working with such a committed board of directors and an outstanding team who are dedicated to serving our membership.”

NW Priority posted net income of almost $1.1 million during the first half of the year, a 3% improvement over its earnings from the same period in 2019, according to call report data from the National Credit Union Administration.

This story was updated at 3:11 P.M. ET on Aug. 4, 2020.

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