Credit union volunteer Stephen Burgess enjoys nothing more than riding his Harley-Davidson cross-country.
“I just love riding my bike,” says Burgess. “I’ve ridden the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Mountain, the Tail of the Dragon, and the Snake in Tennessee. I spend a lot of time on my motorcycle. It’s my passion.”
Since retiring from a 35-year career as the Sealer of Weights and Measures for the City of Somerville, Mass., Burgess has more time to ride with his motorcycle club.
He also is a director at $42 million asset Somerville Municipal Federal Credit Union, serving for more than 17 years—including 16 as chairman.
“Rarely have I encountered a volunteer as gifted and valuable as Stephen Burgess,” says Roland Draper, the credit union’s CEO. “Steve always puts the credit union and our membership first by volunteering and stepping forward when others will not.”
Several years ago, Burgess designed the credit union’s first website, complete with online banking capabilities.
He also has used his detailed knowledge of regulatory matters to advocate for the credit union tax exemption at both the state and federal levels.
He stays abreast of industry changes and governance best practices, having completed numerous CUNA Volunteer Achievement Program courses and certifications.
Burgess is proud of how Somerville Municipal Federal helps its membership, and he looks to his own story for inspiration.
As a young veteran of the U.S. armed services, Burgess took an entry-level position in sanitation with the City of Somerville, and the credit union was there when he needed it most.
“I wanted to buy a car, and my fellow workers told me about the credit union,” Burgess says. “The next day I took out a loan and bought a car, and I started wondering if other people my age at that time could have the same kind of opportunity.”
Draper fully expects Burgess to continue as a “vibrant force” in the credit union movement for years to come.
“Steve will continue to roam throughout the countryside on his Harley,” Draper says, “with a stogie in his mouth and his doggy Milo strapped safely in his sidecar.”