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Don W. Lewis Retires as CEO of APGFCU

APGFCU Board of Directors has announced the retirement of esteemed CEO Don W. Lewis, effective June 14, 2024, following 45 years of dedicated service to the credit union.

“Don has made a profound impact on APGFCU, its membership, and the community,” says Board Chair Donald J. Burnett, COL (Ret.). “He leaves a foundational legacy for all of us to carry forward, a legacy that is deeply intertwined with the very fabric of our credit union.”

Lewis began his career at APGFCU in 1979, working in credit operations, when the credit union served 28,000 members via two branches and had approximately $74 million in assets. He went on to hold positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately becoming the credit union’s second CEO in January 1995, when the credit union served approximately 64,000 members via four branches and had nearly $273 million in assets. Under his visionary leadership, the credit union has flourished, now serving more than 160,000 members via 15 branches, a call center and remote services, with nearly $2.4 billion in assets.

During his nearly than 30 years as CEO, Lewis’ vision has led the credit union in creating opportunities for continuous growth, extending the credit union’s reach to provide members with the ability to protect and grow their wealth. The credit union’s field of membership was expanded in 2003 to include all of Harford and Cecil counties. In 2022, the National Credit Union Administration approved the credit union’s application to expand the field of membership to include Baltimore County and Baltimore City, creating long-term opportunities for growth and prosperity.

Many of the programs APGFCU offers today were born from Lewis’ vision for the credit union and its mission of generational wealth-building. Examples of initiatives he championed are financial education, youth programs, educational branches at Edgewood High School and Cecil College, and Credit Builder loan programs, to name a few. His belief in empowerment is further reflected in his active involvement in the local community, which included long-term service on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties.

Lewis has been committed to and active in the local and national credit union movement, including testifying to the U.S. House Banking Committee in 1998 in support of H.R. 1151, The Credit Union Membership Access Act. The Act ultimately passed due to the collective and nationwide efforts of credit union leaders and grassroots efforts by members, overcoming attempts by banks to limit consumer access to credit unions. In recognition of his contributions to the credit union movement, he was inducted into the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) Hall of Fame in 2018. He was also named to The Daily Record’s Power 30 Banking & Financial Services list of prominent leaders in Maryland in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

As a leader, Lewis has invested in people and provided continuous mentoring, developing multiple generations of APGFCU leaders to ensure a depth of leadership that kept the credit union “always at the ready.” His advocacy for preparedness and business continuity planning was successfully put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We thank Don for his decades of visionary leadership and passion for the credit union movement,” says Burnett. “APGFCU is stronger than ever and well-poised to realize its potential to help present and future generations build their wealth.”

In accordance with its roles and responsibilities, the APGFCU Board of Directors will begin the process to select a new CEO. Chuck Kelly will remain interim CEO, a position to which the board appointed him in January 2024. Kelly joined the credit union’s executive team in 2017 as chief financial officer and was promoted to executive vice president in January 2023. He worked closely with Lewis and has been responsible for many of the credit union’s functional areas, including accounting and finance, operations, lending, and marketing. Before his career at APGFCU, Kelly spent nearly 15 years consulting with credit unions as a senior audit manager with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA). He earned a Master of Accounting and Information Systems from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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