Preparing to graduate from Oregon State University with a degree in finance, Bonnie Humphrey-Anderson sought a career in an industry that focused not on making money but rather on doing the right thing for its customers.
“I really liked the structure of credit unions,” Humphrey-Anderson says. “It eliminates the conflict of interest between owner and customer found in stockholder-based corporations.”
Humphrey-Anderson joined Oregon State Credit Union in Corvallis as a junior in college. By the time she graduated in 1990, she was offered a position in the credit union’s accounting department. By 2001, she was appointed CFO.
In addition to budget planning, accounting, and financial management, Humphrey-Anderson’s responsibilities include asset/liability management, investment portfolio management, payment systems group oversight, facilities and security, human resources, and the retail investment services/advisers.
Humphrey-Anderson helped lead the credit union through significant growth, a change from federal to state charter, and a relocation to larger headquarters. During her tenure as CFO, the credit union’s assets have increased fivefold to more than $1 billion, it has added 10 branches, and its field of membership has expanded from two to 24 counties.
Humphrey-Anderson has prioritized educating the executive team about good financial management practices, encouraging easy-to-understand product offerings, and maintaining consistency of member experience across Oregon State’s various delivery channels.
The credit union’s growth prompted the change from federal to state charter. “As we continued to grow, we found governance from the local regulatory authorities provided more understanding of the local economy and business landscape,” Humphrey-Anderson says.
To soothe any member fears, the credit union provided information about the change to members, shared talking points with staff, and held an open meeting for members to ask questions before the membership vote. Also, leadership decided to keep the credit union name and logo as consistent as possible.
“Our CEO was asked about six months after the charter change, ‘When is the change going to take place?’ He was able to respond, ‘It happened earlier this year,’” Humphrey-Anderson says.
Humphrey-Anderson now focuses on preparing the credit union for the next 20 years.
“Credit unions are so unique, and to see them disappear would be devastating to individuals and small businesses,” she says. “Providing a counterpoint to banks and pushing them to remain consumer-friendly is a part of why credit unions exist.”