Lee Butke, president and CEO of Corporate One Federal Credit Union for more than 25 years, on Wednesday announced his upcoming planned retirement.

Corporate One FCU did not specify Butke’s retirement date. It said it will perform a national search to find Butke’s successor.

According to a statement from the Columbus, Ohio-based corporate credit union, during Butke’s tenure at the helm Corporate One has grown from a $1.2 billion-asset corporate credit union serving member institutions within the state of Ohio to today’s corporate with $5.5 billion in assets under management and serving credit unions across the country in nearly all 50 states.

“Under Butke’s leadership the organization has flourished,” Corporate One said, citing several highlights including:

  • Becoming one of the first corporate credit unions to create a successful national field of membership business model.
  • Developing Primary Financial Company (a CUSO) and the SimpliCD program, a CD investment and issuance program used today by thousands of credit unions nationwide, now owned by the corporate credit union network.
  • Being the largest corporate to successfully survive the economic downturn intact without impairing members’ capital shares or costing the share insurance fund even $1 during the economic crisis.
  • Responding to and retooling Corporate One, after extensive regulatory changes were made by the National Credit Union Administration, to create a stronger, safer, well-capitalized and profitable organization.
  • Leading an initiative that resulted in a successful merger with Southeast Corporate Federal Credit Union.
  • Envisioning an evolving landscape for credit unions by developing innovative new fintech-based solutions to meet the new demands of our members for faster payments and high-touch channels that credit unions will need to remain relevant.
Lee C. Butke, Corporate One
Lee C. Butke, president and CEO of Corporate One FCU

“It has been one of the great honors of my life to work with, and for, so many fine men and women who are the heart and soul of the credit union movement,” Butke said. “I have been truly blessed and will be forever grateful for the opportunities I have been given and for the people that have crossed my path. A lot has changed in my 40-plus years working at credit unions, but the one thing that has remained constant is the boundless passion of credit unions who work so tirelessly to serve their members.

“Serving credit unions through my role as CEO of Corporate One has been a gift, and I am excited to start on my next journey,” Butke added. “I am now looking forward to working with the board and our executive team to ensure a smooth transition for our credit union members who we have the privilege of serving.”

“The board recognizes that Lee will be hard to replace, yet his retirement is well earned,” said Jerry Guy, Corporate One’s board chairman and president/CEO of $1.2 billion KEMBA Financial Credit Union, Gahanna, Ohio. “Lee is leaving us with a solid foundation on which to build, and the board is unanimous in our support of the strategic direction and focus of the organization. The board’s mission now is to identify the individual who will continue to support those strategies and drive our vision forward. The board has formed a search committee and hired a national recruiting firm to help us in finding our next CEO.”

A life in credit unions

Butke began his 40-plus-year credit union career at Wright-Patt Credit Union, Beavercreek, Ohio, as a management trainee, progressing to a vice president position. Butke then served for more than a decade as the CEO of Day Air and Telhio credit unions before arriving at Corporate One.

Butke presently serves on the board of the Community Depository Institution Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and the board of Primary Financial Company LLC. Butke also serves as chairman of Member Business Solutions LLC and on the board of eDOC Innovations, CUSOs owned by Corporate One. He previously served on the board of Members Development Company, The National Credit Union Foundation and the Ohio Credit Union Foundation. Butke was a recipient of the CUES Golden Mirror Award for Service.

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