At face value, Jason Peach followed a natural credit union career ascension from chief financial officer (CFO) to CEO.
But his path also involved hands-on experience in many facets of credit union operations, and he couldn’t be more grateful for the perspective he gained as a result.
“I had a mentor who would not let me come in to the accounting space without first going out into the retail environment,” Peach tells the CUNA News Podcast. “He said, ‘You're going to learn to lend. That's our core business. You're going to serve members. You're going to manage people on the retail side, which is a very different environment.’”
Gaining a holistic perspective of the business certainly benefited Peach, who in January 2016 moved up from CFO to CEO of West Community Credit Union in O’Fallon, Mo.
An active CUNA CFO Council member for 13 years, Peach has emphasized the importance of innovation and continuous improvement in his new role.
That focus stems from his experience with the Filene Research Institute’s i3 program and advice from his predecessor at West Community, 41-year CEO Gary Hinrichs.
“He would say, ‘It's not the big who will eat the small. It's the quick who will eat the slow,’” Peach says. “We’re going to be quick and agile.”
In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Peach—who got his start in credit unions in college as a teller at a student-run credit union—discusses some of the initiatives West Community has launched under his leadership, including a storefront revolving solely around mortgages.