Editor's Note: This letter was written in response to Credit Union Journal's special report on "The Life & Death of WesCorp."
Dick Johnson is a Marine and always will be. It's no coincidence that WesCorp is pronounced like Marine Corps with the "p" silent. What Dick Johnson brought to each employee he hired at WesCorp was his Marine Corps sense of dedication to a higher calling, service, and focus on the mission, which he defined as the WesCorp member.
It was the man, Colonel Richard Myles Johnson, who created that service culture at Wes-Corp and when he retired, it was his staff, not the new management team, that carried that culture forward.
So it's no surprise that when Phil Perkins showed up at Western Bridge to take over the reins from Bob Siravo, he was struck by the dedication of the staff: "I quickly realized in working with the team at WesCorp that working within the credit union industry means more than a paycheck, it's a higher calling." (Western Bridge CEO Reflects on 42 Tumultuous Months, Credit Union Journal, July 23).
As a retired, former employee, I'm heartbroken that the special creation that was WesCorp will not go on. I, too, feel the sense of betrayal that its credit union members and its former staff feel. But I'm heartened that the service culture and sense of a higher calling that lives within each former WesCorp employee will now be disbursed throughout the credit union industry, if credit unions will have the good sense to seek them out. That's a legacy that will reach beyond an extraordinary man.
Sharon E. Hockensmith
Former Research Manager, WesCorp