Joseph Cugini, former president/CEO and board chair of Westerly Community CU (WCCU) and former CUNA board chair, passed away June 15 at the age of 89. Cugini worked at WCCU for 41 years and held many committee and board positions while representing the credit union and credit union movement.
“Joseph Cugini leaves behind an unparalleled legacy of service to the credit union movement, a movement that exists as it is today because of people like him,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “His contributions to his credit union, league, CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions, among so many other organizations, have increased access to not-for-profit financial cooperatives for countless people around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Cugini served with the Rhode Island Credit Union League as board chairman, board president, board member and a member of the league’s Legal and Legislative Committee. He also served as chair of Rhode Island Corporate CU.
At the national level, he served as chair of CUNA’s board of directors, as well as board secretary. He was also the chair of CUNA’s Government Affairs Committee.
Cugini held many positions with the Credit Union Executive Society and was inducted in their Hall of Fame in 2000. He was also a member of the board of Directors of US Central CU, and member of the Federal Reserve Consumer Advisory Council.
He also served the credit union movement at the international level, as president of the World Council of Credit Unions. He received World Council’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003, acknowledging his efforts to reshape the Board to allow for more International Representation, his visits to over 27 countries promoting the cooperative concept to government officials and his efforts resulting in the U.S. Agency for International Development , the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund becoming more involved with the World Council.