America's CU Conference

‘Hero’ Kase Proud to Help Members Start Their Financial Lives

It has been an eventful year for Wisconsin and Credit Union Magazine’s CU Hero of the Year.

June 18, 2012

An eventful year for the Dairy State—replete with an attempted gubernatorial recall and "Dancing With the Stars" glory for Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver—has become still more noteworthy: Landmark Credit Union CEO Ron Kase accepted Credit Union Magazine’s 2012 Credit Union Hero of the Year Award during the America’s Credit Union Conference in San Diego.

“This award will top all of those other things,” Kase joked during his acceptance speech.

Kase will retire in January 2013 after nearly 40 years serving the credit union movement.

He has a lot to be proud of, including the creation of 450 jobs in Southeastern Wisconsin. But Kase says he’s most proud “of the fact that through my years here at Landmark we’ve been able to help many people help themselves at the start of their economic lives.”

Those efforts include the creation of:

  • A first-time homebuyer program, which waives all closing costs for qualifying first-time buyers;
  • A rescue refinance program, which helped members at the beginning of the recent recession break free of subprime mortgages;
  • Home-buying and credit counseling seminars, offered in English, Spanish, and Hmong; and
  • A Hispanic initiative, which includes hiring bilingual staff, serving as an authorized Internal Revenue Service representative in issuing individual taxpayer identification numbers, issuing Matricula Consular cards, and offering inexpensive ($5) wire transfer services.

In addition, Kase’s leadership and dedication to community service helped Landmark win second place in the national 2008 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award program.

In 2010, Kase accepted the Midwest Urban Empowerment Award in the finance category for his leadership in developing financial services for Milwaukee’s urban community.