Greater Minnesota CU president, CEO Ahlness retires

Steve Ahlness CU Builder photo

Mille Lacs County Times © 06/04/2014  – MORA, Minn. – Greater Minnesota Credit Union (GMCU) today announced that the company’s president and CEO, Steve Ahlness, will retire as an officer on July 1, 2014.  Ahlness’ decision to retire will bring to a close a remarkable career of nearly 37 years of continuous service to the company and its members.

“Steve Ahlness has been a very strong leader, only the third CEO in the company’s 79-year history, and one who has managed the company through challenging times and many financial innovations,” said Darla Stenstrom, chair of the board. “The board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to Greater Minnesota.”

“It has been a privilege leading Greater Minnesota Credit Union for nearly four decades,” Ahlness said. “I started at a time when all of our business was done in person; and often with a handshake.  Now we have multiple-generations of families as members and while some still do come into a branch, many are just as happy to apply for their loan online and follow-up with telephone calls and eMails.”

The board of directors reviewed many options regarding Ahlness’ retirement and are currently exploring a partnership with SPIRE Credit Union.  Both credit unions are financially secure and a partnership would add 10 more branches in Minnesota for GMCU members to use in addition to 5,000 nationwide.  Both boards of directors, CEOs, and leadership teams support this partnership.

During Ahlness’ tenure as CEO — from 1987 – 2014, the company:

  • Expanded from $1.5 million in assets to nearly $150,000,000 in assets;
  • Increased membership from 4,800 members to nearly 20,000;
  • Oversaw several credit union mergers into GMCU’s field of membership;
  • Helped shepherd in Greater Minnesota’s online presence;
  • Stressed the importance of “People Helping People” in the course of the credit union’s everyday business;
  • Became a strong supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network through Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospitals in Minnesota.  Through Steve’s leadership, more than $131,000 has been donated through GMCU fundraisers to help Minnesota children receive special treatment.

“We wish Steve nothing but the best in his retirement,” said Darla Stenstrom, Greater Minnesota board chair.

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