Thu, Oct 27, 2016
In recognition of his illustrious career as a credit union leader, one defined by bold risks, deep generosity and resolute adherence to the core values of the movement, the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is pleased to announce Stan Hollen, retired President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, as the recipient of a 2017 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.
Hollen’s award will be one of three Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at a special dinner hosted by the Foundation at the Marriott Marquis Washington on February 27th, 2017 in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association’s 2017 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). Registration for dinner tickets and sponsorships will be available within the next month on the Foundation website (ncuf.coop).
“I don’t think anyone in the industry would be surprised to see Stan as a Wegner Award recipient,” said John Gregoire, Chair of the Foundation’s Wegner Awards Selection Committee and President of The ProCon Group. “His resume, contributions, and impact on the movement are well known, including the impressive list of CEOs who have followed in his footsteps from ‘The Golden One.’”
A Change Agent
Hollen has filled a wide variety of leadership roles throughout his career, from serving on his credit union’s board of directors at age 19 to becoming President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services (CO-OP), the nation’s largest credit union service organization (CUSO), in 2005. During his tenure at CO-OP, Hollen pursued a range of innovative business initiatives and strategies that significantly increased the company’s ability to improve the financial lives of credit union members.
While building CO-OP as a payments and networked-services company for the credit union movement, some of Hollen’s most notable achievements include: enhancing CO-OP’s ATM and debit network with new features including shared branching, call center services and mobile banking; spearheading the acquisition of Everlink Payment Services, Inc; and launching a partnership with The Member’s Group (TMG) to enhance CO-OP’s credit processing capacities.
Hollen retired from CO-OP in July of 2016, but will continue to serve the company as a strategic consultant. At the time of his departure, the company had expanded its shared branching network to more than 5,400 locations and had built up more than 30,000 ATMs.
“Stan is a catalyst of change,” said Diana R. Dykstra, President/CEO of California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “He has never been satisfied with status quo and pushes himself and others around him to continually enhance and develop new ways to serve and enhance the lives of members.”
Championing Future Leaders
For Hollen, strengthening the credit union movement includes strengthening credit union professionals. In this area, his most notable work has been mentoring burgeoning credit union leaders by bringing them onto his executive team and providing them with meaningful experience in high-level management and operations.
Sixteen of Hollen’s former apprentices have gone on to become CEOs in their own right, more than any other mentor in the credit union movement. Paul Gentile, President/CEO of the Cooperative Credit Union Association and a colleague of Hollen’s, has dubbed him “the ultimate ‘CEO Maker.’” He has also been widely lauded for placing women in prominent leadership positions, earning the Athena Leadership Award for his progressive appointments and his support of the Global Women Leadership Network.
In 2008, Hollen launched CO-OP Financial Services’ THINK Conference, an annual event that provides credit union professionals an opportunity to hear from innovative thinkers outside the industry and experience divergent thinking on topics such as culture change, growth and the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.” The conference currently draws an annual attendance of more than 600 attendees.
“I first met Stan when I was a young CEO in the 1990’s and he was CEO of The Golden 1 Credit Union,” said Douglas M. Allman, CEO of NASA Federal CU. “I was fortunate to have learned from mentoring collaborations with him. His passion has truly been to spread the credit union philosophy by engaging future leaders to be involved, develop and achieve—for the betterment of credit unions and their members.”
Uniting the Movement for Good
In 2008, Hollen founded the CO-OP Miracle Match, a philanthropic fund that matches donations to Credit Unions for Kids, a fundraising vehicle for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, up to $1 million per year. By launching this initiative, Hollen has helped provide vital health care of more than 10 million kids and funded research and equipment purchases.
As further proof of his commitment to helping children, Hollen got CO-OP involved in sponsoring, overseeing and underwriting various CU4Kids projects, campaigns and events. He also served on the CU4Kids advisory board from 2006 to his retirement in 2016, and joined the Board of Directors of CMN Hospitals in 2010. He continues to serve as a reliable advocate for children’s well-being.
“As a father of children who spent more than three months in a Children’s Miracle Network hospital at birth to overcome challenges, Stan’s dedication to the Children’s Miracle Match program leaves an indelible mark of caring and compassion that can never be forgotten,” said Gentile.