BURTON, Mich. (WJRT) – After 45 years of service, ELGA Credit Union CEO Karen Church is retiring on Friday, February 25.
Over her years, she grew the credit union from a $32 million institution with just 18 associates to a $1.2 billion institution with 13 branches and over 200 associates.
She was hired in 1974 as a co-op student when she was just a teenager.
“I came to put statements in envelopes and learn how to be a cashier,” Church said.
But Karen Church says she never imagined she would end up leading ELGA Credit Union as CEO.
“My predecessor saw something in me that I didn’t even know I had myself. He framed me without really telling me that was what was happening,” Church said. “To the point that when he retired he asked the board to consider me for the role.”
Over its 45 years, their mission has remained true to helping people and supporting the community.
“We just realize that love, respect and dignity go a long way. And you can do good and do good at the same time. I think that’s what we are in this community. I love doing it party,” says the Church. “I think it just helps us let others know who we are and what we do when they were shoulder to shoulder with them to help accomplish whatever they are trying to do.”
She says, however, that she is not doing it alone.
“We have a lot of love in this organization and every person is important. There is not a role in this organization that does not have an impact somewhere, one way or another,” Church said. . “We’re looking for special people who truly seek to serve others. In the credit union and outside of the credit union in the community.”
Friday is Karen’s last day, but she’s been planning this for a while now.
She’s planned so much that she said she has a photo of each employee, 240 people, which she uses to make a card with handwritten messages and memories she shares with them.
She has been working on these cards since September and is almost done.
She is truly one of a kind and has earned a wonderful retirement, which she will spend continuing to help others.