After 40-plus years in the credit union movement – and serving as CEO of the Louisiana Credit Union League since 1995 – Anne Cochran will retire at the end of the LCUL’s current fiscal year, March 31, 2018.
Cochran made the announcement late last week during the closing ceremony of LCUL's Annual Meeting & Convention.
The LCUL board of directors said it will conduct a national search for a candidate that will “continue Cochran's legacy of success.”
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Cochran's career in the credit union movement spans more than 40 years. She began her career with LCUL in April 1995 as interim CEO. She then was named permanent CEO in June 1995. According to the League, that year was the lowest point in the association's history. Today, the Louisiana CU League has more than $4 million in reserves and a 92 percent affiliation rate.
The LCUL said Cochran's tenure as CEO has been highlighted by a number of legislative victories that advanced credit unions while attracting record contributions and fundraising activities for political advocacy. She is described as “instrumental” in developing a number of products, services and programs for credit unions in Louisiana. Under her leadership, 26 credit unions united and invested more than $2 million to create Louisiana's CU Cooperative Branching Network, a successful cooperative that has a pivotal role in today's credit union daily operations.
In addition, Cochran developed the Louisiana Credit Union Foundation, established to provide financial assistance for statewide disaster relief efforts for credit union employees, as well as professional development opportunities for small credit unions.
In 2015, Cochran was elected the first female chair of the board of directors for the World Council of Credit Unions. Prior to this, Cochran served WOCCU in many capacities. A frequent speaker at international credit union meetings, she tirelessly volunteered her time to help international credit unions grow and prosper. Her efforts included forging partnerships between Louisiana credit unions and credit unions from Africa and Russia so that they, too, could establish strong institutions in their countries.
“Anne came to the Louisiana League at a critical time for our movement,” Glen Beard, chairman of the LCUL board, said in a statement. “The League was fighting for survival. Because of her passion, knowledge and leadership, the League has emerged as a financially sound organization and one of the most respected trade associations.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to work side by side with such an influential force in the movement,” Beard added.
“From the moment my credit union journey began, I knew I had found my calling,” said Cochran. “As time went by, it became a significant part of who I am. I am extremely humbled by the opportunities I was afforded and the experiences it created. Most importantly, I am eternally grateful for the relationships that were formed. We have built something special here in Louisiana and I am proud of what we have done together. Thank you for allowing me stand by your side in fighting the good fight all these years. While I look forward to spending more time with my grandchildren, I will forever hold my credit union family near and dear to my heart.”
Cochran has served on numerous industry-related boards and committees throughout her career. A recipient of numerous awards, she was recognized with the National Credit Union Foundation's Anchor Award in 2006 for her "strength, perseverance and leadership in helping credit unions recover from Hurricane Katrina."
In 2011, she was inducted into the Louisiana Credit Union Hall of Fame. Her local commitment and international accomplishments earned her recognition not only once, but twice as one of the Top 50 Women of the Year by New Orleans' CityBusiness.