Several Recognition Awards will be presented to New York credit union professionals and volunteers during EXCEL 19, the New York Credit Union Association’s Annual Meeting & Convention. Today’s featured award is the New York Credit Union Hall of Fame, which honors individuals who devoted their lives to the philosophy and success of the credit union movement, and who have made a significant impact on credit unions at the local, state or national levels.
This year, three deserving credit union leaders will be inducted into the Hall of Fame: Marsha Brauer, former CEO of Clarence Community & Schools FCU; Richard A. Mantey, president/CEO of Ulster FCU; and Thomas J. Powers, Jr., president/CEO of Hudson River Financial FCU.
Marsha Brauer, who retired in 2018, spent more than 30 years in the credit union movement. She began her career with the former Jamestown Postal Employees Credit Union in 1986. Ten years later, Brauer moved from Jamestown to Western New York’s Amherst FCU. In 2001, she accepted a position at the Clarence Community & Schools FCU and was appointed CEO. She also served on the credit union’s board as treasurer.
During her time at Clarence Community & Schools FCU, the credit union more than doubled its members and assets, while the number of staff members also increased to accommodate the credit union’s growth.
In March 2013, Brauer oversaw a strategic merger that added new communities and members to the credit union’s field of membership. She also oversaw a number of new products and services at the credit union, including participation in multiple ATM networks, home-banking, and a mobile app.
Notably, Brauer was instrumental in implementing Clarence Community & Schools FCU’s Clarence Youth Savings Program with the Clarence Central School District. In 2008, she was able to parlay this relationship into the launch of a high school branch where students can participate as part of the school’s career-based business curriculum. Over the years, Brauer has expanded the credit union’s commitment to the school system by developing a renowned financial literacy program that earned national recognition.
Throughout her career, Brauer was engaged with the credit union community, attending countless trainings, conferences and workshops to further her knowledge of credit union issues and procedures. She’s long been active with the Erie-Niagara Chapter and served on the Association’s CEO Roundtable steering committee. She was named the Association’s “Outstanding Professional” in 2013.
Outside of the credit union movement, Brauer has remained committed to a number of civic and charitable organizations, including the Clarence and Akron Chambers of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Clarence, the Clarence Hollow Association, Meals on Wheels, Hospice of Buffalo, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Clarence Food Pantry and many more.
Rick A. Mantey has dedicated more than 25 years to the success of the credit union movement.
With Mantey at the helm, Ulster FCU’s assets have grown from $5 million to over $125 million, and membership has doubled from 4,000 to 8,000. During this period, Mantey led the credit unions efforts to expand their suite of products and services to meet the ever-changing needs of their membership.
For many years, Mantey has extended his leadership to the statewide credit union movement. For ten years, from 2001-2011, he served on the Association’s board of directors, and in 2011, he was unanimously elected “Honorary Director” by the board.
At the Chapter-level, Mantey was the longtime president of the Catskill-Hudson Chapter Council, where he worked diligently to foster unity and cooperation among credit unions in the region.
Over the years, Mantey took an active role in credit union advocacy, and he’s lobbied for credit union interests at both the federal and state levels. As an Association board member, Rick actively advocated for legislation dealing with bankruptcy abuse prevention, state-chartered credit unions and the state CDFI Program. He also served for five years as a CULAC/CUPAC trustee.
An ardent supporter of the greater credit union community, Mantey actively promoted the fundraising efforts by the New York Credit Union Foundation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Thanks in part to his efforts, the Foundation was able to disburse over $1 million to credit unions and their members affected by the tragedy.
Mantey’s tireless dedication to the credit union movement—and volunteer service—has been driven by his deep desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Thomas J. Powers, Jr., credit union career spans more than four decades.
He began his credit union career in the accounting department at the former Pan-Am FCU, now known as People’s Alliance FCU. At Pan-Am, Powers rose through the ranks to become executive vice president and CFO before being named VP/CFO of American Broadcast Employees FCU. He was next appointed VP of operations at First Atlantic FCU in New Jersey, and was then named president/CEO of the credit union, where he led the credit union through an extensive re-brand and name change.
Over the years, Powers would go on to serve as president/CEO at First Commonwealth FCU in Pennsylvania and CFE FCU in Florida. Along the way, he oversaw significant brand changes, sustainable growth, financial stability and a commitment to member service.
In 2006, Powers took over as president/CEO of Hudson River Teachers FCU, where he played a key role in renaming and rebranding the credit union as Hudson River Financial. Under his leadership, the credit union has grown from $28 million in assets to over $60 million in assets, and now serves more than 6,500 members. He also oversaw the construction of the credit union’s new main office and branch location, and spearheaded the process to receive approval for the transition from a SEG-based charter to a community charter serving three counties in southern New York.
Powers has also been active in the greater credit union community. He’s served as president of the Association’s Westchester-Rockland Chapter for the past nine years, where he’s overseen a number of initiatives to foster local credit union cooperation. He is also a passionate credit union advocate who frequently participates in federal- and state-level advocacy efforts, as well as other industry events.
Throughout his more than 40 years of service to the credit union movement, Powers has remained deeply committed to the credit union mission and philosophy, and has actively worked to instill that ethos in his employees.