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Passing the Torch In 2023
UFirst FCU Announces Retirement of President/CEO, Linda Bourgeois, Kasey Kirk Named New CEO.
Hello Members & Friends!
We have some news to share with all of you! After nearly 33 years of distinguished service to UFirst Federal Credit Union, our President/CEO, Linda Bourgeois has announced her plans to retire in January 2023. Linda will retire as being only the second CEO in the credit union’s 50-year history, which is truly amazing!
A Trip Down Memory Lane
In 1989, Linda began her career at UFirst FCU, formerly SUNY Plattsburgh Federal Credit Union, as a Member Service Representative/Collections Officer. After several years, she transitioned to the role of Loan Officer and then Operations Manager before being promoted to President/CEO in April of 2001, succeeding Clara LaRose. At that time, the credit union had one branch, approximately 13.5 million in assets, 3800 members and 9 employees.
Since then, Linda has led the credit union through periods of expansion, economic recessions and a global pandemic. Under her leadership, SUNY Plattsburgh FCU became UFirst FCU, relocated to a newly constructed building off campus, completed two mergers with other credit unions, expanded our main branch and expanded the field of membership to ensure more members could access credit union products. Today, UFirst FCU is a team of 32 with over 9,200 members, assets of $112 million and is known in our community for putting our members first (pun intended).
For the 33 years of her career, Linda has lived by the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” through her dedication to UFirst members and her service within the credit union movement and the community in which she lives. She has represented the credit union on countless committees and boards over the years and currently serves as Trustee for the University of Vermont Health Network, CVPH Board of Directors and Chairperson for the Mountain Lake PBS Board of Directors. Linda was named New York Credit Union Professional of the Year in 2017, Clinton Community College’s Distinguished Alumni of 2017 and 2018’s Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York’s Women of Distinction, Distinguished Community Leader.
“As Linda prepares for her retirement, she is working to leave our credit union poised to continue its growth and maintain its position as a leading credit union in our area,” states Board Chair, Pete Zielinski. “Linda, on behalf of the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee, we want to congratulate you and thank you for all that you have done and for what you have meant to this credit union.”
This announcement probably has you thinking ahead on what’s to come and we don’t want you to worry. With a succession plan in place, the UFirst Board of Directors has unanimously chosen to promote, Kasey Kirk, our current VP of Finance, to President/CEO beginning January 2023. Kasey has worked in the credit union industry for 14 years and joined the UFirst team through the merger with Northern Corridor Community Federal Credit Union back in 2009.
As a passionate and engaged leader, Kasey has been responsible for the financial health of the credit union, daily operations of the credit union, marketing, IT, compliance and has overseen office facilities, including office remodels and the expansion of our main branch; the merger with GP Community Federal Credit Union; advanced our technology initiatives through new products like Instant Issue Debit Cards and Apple/Google Pay; development and implementation of strategic planning as well as the expansion of our field of membership.
Kasey is a 2005 graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management with a minor in Business Analysis and is a 2016 graduate of the CUNA Management School earning the industry designation of Certified Credit Union Executive. In 2021, Kasey also earned the prestigious designation of Certified Chief Executive through the distinguished CUES CEO Institute program in partnership with Wharton School, Cornell University and Darden-University of Virginia.
Kasey shares Linda’s passion for the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” and serves on various boards and committees including the Champlain Valley Family Center, Plattsburgh State University Alumni Association, YMCA, New York Credit Union Foundation and North Country Chamber of Commerce Ambassador.
“Kasey’s promotion to CEO is part of a planned transition of leadership that has been in place for the past several years,” says Bourgeois. “I and our Board of Directors have great confidence in Kasey’s ability to lead UFirst FCU as the next CEO and continue to serve our members, staying true to the credit union union’s values and mission.”