Crain’s profiles 'unstoppable' CU advocate Bartolomucci

June 9, 2015

FAIRPATH, Ohio (6/9/15)--A Crain’s Cleveland Business profile of Rose Bartolomucci describes how the CEO of Towpath CU, Fairpath, Ohio, was the product of an immigrant family that used credit union services to achieve success in America. Bartolomucci went on to make credit unions her career and passion, becoming an “unstoppable” advocate for the movement.

Bartolomucci learned about the credit union difference at a young age. Her family immigrated to Akron, Ohio, in the early 1950s. Her father wanted to start a business, but the banks refused to extend him credit. A friend suggested the credit union at the local church.

Her father opened a business selling orthopedic shoes. He eventually sent four children to college. Bartolomucci, as a teenager, worked in the church credit union office, helping with ledger entries. “She discovered her calling,” Crain’s wrote.

Bartolomucci is a self-described credit union activist, and she tries to make a difference in her members’ lives.

Similar to the credit union that helped her father, Towpath also offers small-business services; it uses loan participation with six other credit unions. “If a small business needs a $1 million loan, for example, we might take 10% and divide up the other portions with the other participants,” she explained.

She has also taken an active leadership role in the credit union movement both locally and nationally. In 2014, she chaired the Credit Union Advisory Council of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Before that, appointed by then-Gov. Ted Strickland, she served as the Ohio Department of Commerce’s top regulator of state-chartered credit unions. She has twice testified before Congress, including a 2013 appearance on behalf of CUNA regarding regulatory relief.

“Rose is a passionate advocate for credit unions and a well-respected leader in the credit union system,” said CUNA president/CEO Jim Nussle.

“She is unstoppable,” said Paul Mercer, president/CEO of the Ohio Credit Union League. “She is a credit union movement leader and an advocate for all our major causes.”