The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors on Tuesday said Terry West, recently retired president and CEO of $6.8 billion VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla., is the 2017 recipient of the Pierre Jay Award.

According to NASCUS, the annual Pierre Jay Award recognizes and honors an individual whose contributions have benefited the state credit union system in a “significant” way, demonstrating “outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to NASCUS and the state system.”

West, who joined VyStar (formerly Jax Navy FCU) in 1988 and became CEO in1992, has served in the credit union system for 35 years, starting at State Employees' Credit Union, Raleigh, N.C. As CEO of VyStar, West led a credit union with more than 567,000 members, serving 22 counties via 42 branches across northeastern Florida. VyStar disbursed nearly $1.5 billion in loans in 2016.

Terry West, former president and CEO of VyStar Credit Union.
Terry West, former president and CEO of VyStar Credit Union, is this year's Pierre Jay Award winner.

The CU credited West’s leadership for helping it earn a reputation for community service, philanthropy and financial education. In 2014 and 2016, VyStar was selected as the Outstanding Corporation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals on National Philanthropy Day. The credit union was recognized in two consecutive years (2015 and 2016) by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of Jacksonville’s top philanthropic companies for support of nonprofits and the Northeast Florida communities. In 2016, the credit union supported more than 260 local groups and fundraising events in Northeast and Central Florida, raising $1.6 million overall, including prominent support for the United Way of Northeast Florida, the March of Dimes and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

VyStar under West’s direction developed the High School Credit Union Branch program, bringing financial education and understanding the role of credit unions to nearly 6,000 students in 11 high school branches throughout Northeast Florida during 2016 (and 24,000 since 2012), helping to earn the credit union the Credit Union National Association’s Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award in 2016.

The credit union’s Money Makeover program, now in its seventh year, assists members in need of budgeting and financial assistance, helping them find ways to reduce debt, increase savings and plan for the financial future. The program provides families with a variety of tools, including personal Money Coaches, a comprehensive Money Makeover At Home Guide, as well as a number of online budgeting and other financial tools.

“Terry exemplifies the spirit of the Pierre Jay Award, through his service to the credit union system overall, his commitment to the state credit union system specifically, and his leadership for NASCUS as a member of our advisory council,” Lucy Ito, president and CEO of NASCUS, said in a statement. “While we had a strong group of contenders for this year’s award, Terry’s record of achievement and service stood out significantly in benefiting the state credit union system.”

Lucy Ito, NASCUS
Lucy Ito, president and CEO of NASCUS

Ito said the award will be conferred to West at the NASCUS State System Summit, beginning Aug. 29 in San Diego.

Over the course of his career, West served the credit union system, as well as his local community and national groups, in a variety of positions. Most recently, he was a member of the NASCUS Credit Union Advisory Council. He also serves on the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, CUNA’s Powers Subcommittee, the board of directors of the Florida Economic Education Foundation and PSCU’s board of directors. He has been as a member of the Thrift Institutions Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve System, board of directors of the CU24 ATM Network; Credit Union Roundtable Advisory Group to Visa, USA; board of directors of Card Services for Credit Unions, as well as other various committees and task forces for national credit union groups.

Locally, West has served on the board of trustees for WJCT Public Television and Radio Broadcasting, Greater Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the Jacksonville Civic Council, the Baptist Hospital Health Foundation board of directors, and the board of directors of the Jacksonville Symphony.

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