PEWAUKEE, Wis.-Jim Drogue is retiring after a 37-year career in credit unions. Drogue spent 25 of those years at Commonwealth CU (now Summit) CU and the past 12 at the Wisconsin league, where he initially consulted with CUs statewide before becoming the Wisconsin league's VP-credit union development, where he focused on the REAL Solutions program. Below Drogue shares his thoughts and lessons learned on leaving a CU for a trade association, why Wisconsin is so progressive with the REAL Solutions program, and what might lie ahead.

CUJ: How did you come to be involved in credit unions? Drogue: When I graduated from college I was not sure what I really wanted to do with my life as it related to a career. I worked in sales for a couple of years but did not want to move out of the Madison area. I changed jobs and went to work for a finance company in Madison and that was the beginning of my chosen path. I moved on after about two years to my first job at a credit union, and I stayed for 25 years! I started as a loan officer and progressed into management and became VP-lending.

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