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Central 1 Credit Union names Don Wright as President & CEO

VANCOUVER, B.C.—Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1) today announced that Don Wright has been named President & CEO, effective January 6, 2014.

Don joins a dedicated and talented executive management team including interim CEO Helen Blackburn; interim CFO Dan Blue; Chief Investment Officer, Charles Milne; Chief Technology & Payments Officer, Oscar van der Meer; Senior Vice President Trade Services, Fred Wagner; interim Chief Risk Officer, Jon Schubert; and Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel, Wendy King.

During Wright’s recent tenure as president of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), the institute experienced a reinvigoration that further secured its reputation as one of the province’s leading post-secondary institutions.

“Don’s reputation as an effective and authentic leader, transparent in communication and a natural at relationship building are the characteristics we sought out during the search for our new chief executive officer,” said Mr. Terry Enns, chairperson of Central 1’s Board of Directors. “He inspires and motivates others and has a strong commitment to contribute and to serve his community. Those are the same values on which credit unions are founded and the spirit of what makes them such unique financial institutions.”

Wright has had a long career spanning both the public and private sectors and across a range of industries. Prior to joining BCIT he held posts in the province’s public sector as deputy minister of both BC’s Forestry Ministry and Ministry of Education as well as secretary to BC’s Treasury Board.

In the private sector, Wright has served as Vice President of Forestry, Environment and Corporate Affairs for Weldwood of Canada. As the Principal of Analytica Consulting, his projects included acting as chief negotiator for the Province of British Columbia in the softwood lumber negotiations with the United States, commissioner to review teacher collective bargaining in British Columbia and advising private sector clients on merger and acquisition strategies.

He has served on the boards of a number of organizations including Covenant House, the BC Business Council and the Coast Economic Development Society, a $120 million fund established to invest in economic development opportunities for Coastal First Nations.

To round out these exceptional achievements, Wright holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of British Columbia and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.

“Clearly this is someone who can use his formidable skills to accomplish just about anything,” said Enns. “We’re delighted that Don’s next leadership role will be with Central 1 in support of the credit union system. Our board and our outstanding executive team are looking forward to working with him.”

“I want to extend both my personal thanks, and the gratitude of Central 1’s board, to Helen Blackburn who has done an extraordinary job these past months,” Enns continued. “Helen’s strategic vision and leadership has been essential to guiding Central 1 during this transition period,” said Enns.

Blackburn, currently in the role of interim President & CEO, will be returning to her role as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Strategy on January 6, 2014.

Also on January 6, 2014, Dan Blue, presently interim CFO, will return to the position of Vice President, Finance. “I’d also like to express my gratitude to Dan for providing strong financial leadership as our interim CFO,” said Enns.

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About Central 1

Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems and is owned by its member credit unions, 44 in B.C. and 96 in Ontario. Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that collectively serves 3.2 million members and holds $91 billion in assets.
With offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, Central 1 provides liquidity management, direct banking and payment service solutions as well as a wide range of trade services. 

Contacts

Suzanne Walters
Communications
Central 1 Credit Union
T 604.742.5365 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 5365
E swalters@central1.com

Art Chamberlain
Media Relations Manager
Central 1 Credit Union
T 905.282.8534 or 1.800.661.6813 ext. 8534
E achamberlain@central1.com