FOLSOM, Calif. — SAFE Credit Union's board of directors announced Tuesday that President Dave Roughton will replace longtime Chief Executive Henry Wirz on March 31, 2016.

Wirz is retiring after more than 36 years of "remarkable service to the credit union, its members, and the community," according to a statement from the $2.2 billion-asset institution.

The move was not a surprise. For the past several years, the two executives have been implementing an organization-wide succession plan "to ensure a smooth transition for SAFE's members and employees."

"For more than 15 years, Wirz and Roughton have worked together to lead SAFE - guiding the credit union through several national economic downturns, while delivering unprecedented growth in assets and membership," the statement noted. "During their tenure together, SAFE's assets grew from $649 million to more than $2.2 billion, as membership increased from 91,000 to more than 185,000."

Wirz said he has "the utmost confidence that [Roughton] will lead SAFE into the future with great success."

Roughton, who joined SAFE in 1999, has held a range of executive leadership positions at the CU — first as vice president and CFO, and then advancing to EVP and COO, before becoming president in 2013.

Ron Seaman, chairman of SAFE's board, said: "With Dave's years of dedication to serving SAFE's members and supporting our growing staff, it became quickly apparent to the board that we had the best replacement possible already working at SAFE. We are pleased that Dave accepted the position and we look forward to his leadership in the years ahead."

Roughton, who is a certified public accountant, previously worked at Arthur Andersen LLP. He earned an MBA from the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire.

"I am truly honored to step into this role, serving SAFE's board of directors and our membership," Roughton said. "I am confident SAFE will continue to be a progressive, successful financial organization and an exemplary community partner as we continue to carry out our mission to provide the products, services, financial education, and advice our members need to improve their financial well-being."

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