Mike Mercer, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions who served as president/CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates for more than 30 years, will retire as of Dec. 31. Mercer took over leadership of LSCU when it merged with the Georgia League in September.
“Credit unions and the Americans they serve would not be in the place they are today without tireless advocates like Mike Mercer. From his leadership through tough legislative battles to his example of how to bring the best of America’s credit unions to places in need across the globe, his goal has always been to champion the needs of credit union members in as many ways as possible,” said Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO. “Mike leaves behind an inspiring legacy of service to not-for-profit financial cooperatives that sets an example of what can be accomplished through tireless dedication and belief in making people’s lives better, and CUNA, Leagues and credit unions cannot thank him enough for his service.”
Mercer, a former board chair for CUNA and the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), has spent nearly four decades in the credit union system.
He is well-known for championing financial products and services that meet the needs of working-class members such as used vehicle loans for low-credit score borrowers, small value personal loans, and saving programs, mortgages and accounts with few fees and minimum balance requirements.
While credit unions fought for the Credit Union Membership Access Act in 1997, Mercer was able to secure support for the bill from then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
“Mike has dedicated his career to helping credit unions succeed. In meeting that goal, he had a tremendous impact on the CUNA/League system. He has held just about every leadership role there is to hold and performed it with distinction. His peers have distinguished him with every award AACUL has to go along with his many other system accolades,” said Brad Miller, executive director of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues. “In addition, Mike’s leadership during the recent merger of LSCU and the Georgia League has resulted in a strong, robust organization ready to help credit unions in Alabama, Florida and Georgia succeed in the years and decades to come.”
Mercer has been awarded the AACUL Eagle Award, AACUL Farley Leadership Award, Herb Wegner Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Cooperative Bank Stan Dreyer Spirit of Cooperation Award and the Georgia Lifetime Achievement Award. Mercer was also recently inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame.
He has also worked with credit union leaders to create Credit Union House, Cooperative Services, CSCU Shared Service Centers, Credit Union Loan Store, CU Partnerships, League InfoSight and CU PartnerLink.
In addition to a legacy of service to the American credit union movement, Mercer has helped develop not-for-profit financial cooperatives around the globe as well. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, he formed the Poland-Georgia Credit Union Partnership Program, allowing Polish credit unions to learn from their American counterparts.
Poland, which today has more than 2.5 credit union members, honored Mercer with the Knights Cross in 2007, the highest honor the Polish government can award a non-Polish citizen.