After 40 years in the credit union movement, lending guru Rex Johnson will conclude his career on his 75th birthday – Dec. 2 of this year.

Among many career accomplishments, Johnson is the founder of Lending Solutions Consulting, Inc., Elgin, Ill. Through LSCI, and the many iterations of his University of Lending seminars, the company estimated Johnson has trained more than 50,000 credit union employees over the years.

Johnson founded Baxter Credit Union, Vernon Hills, Ill., in 1980. Under his leadership, the credit union grew its membership to 72,000 and assets to more than $300 million. While at Baxter CU, Johnson was named the Illinois Credit Union Executive of the year in 1986.

Rex Johnson
Rex Johnson

Johnson started Lending Solutions, Inc., in 1994, and then LSCI in 2000. He has authored four best-selling books, produced lending videos and was elected to the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame and CUES Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2017, he received CUNA’s Phil Greer Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Rex has brought unyielding leadership, passion and commitment to the credit union industry, sharing his lending knowledge with thousands of credit unions across North America and Canada,” LSCI said in a statement released Wednesday.

“My father changed how credit unions lend, collect and interact with members,” said Lorrie Wolhfeil, COO at LSCI. “His tireless efforts for 40 years to promote serving members and filling credit unions with passion has also changed the way they do business. His message of ‘seeing what no one else sees’ will continue to steer the credit union movement to a better place. I could not be more excited about continuing to grow his legacy,” added Wolhfeil.

“It has been a privilege and honor to know Rex Johnson,” said Cathy Ellis, president and CEO at $67 million Meijer Credit Union, Grand Rapids, Mich. “What an impact he has made in the credit union industry and to the hundreds of thousands of members credit unions serve across this country.”

Patch Adams to keynote farewell dinner

LSCI said it will host a “celebratory” University of Lending in Las Vegas this November, with a special dinner honoring Johnson’s achievements and retirement. This once-in-a-lifetime University of Lending, hosted by all of LSCI’s consultants, will feature keynote speaker Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams, the physician and social activist upon whom the 1998 movie “Patch Adams” is based.

Johnson’s last Chicago University of Lending will take place Sept. 17-21. According to LSCI, both the Chicago and Las Vegas events are expected to sell out, so prospective attendees are encouraged to register early.

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