Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame

The Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame recognizes the commitment, leadership and dedication that deserving individuals have made to the credit union movement.

Tenure of service, contributions, achievements and the impact the individual has made, not only at their respective credit union(s) but also in the industry, are among the considerations. The inductee(s) for 2018 will receive special recognition at our Annual Meeting & Convention to be held in Gatlinburg, May 23-25, 2018.

Hall of Fame Nomination Form (link to PDF file)

TN Hall of Fame Nomination Form 2018

Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame Inductees

2017 Inductees

Bonnette Dawson, President/CEO, Old Hickory Credit Union

Bonnettte Dawson, President/CEO, Old Hickory Credit Union

From left, Fred Robinson, Bonnette Dawson, Jeff Merry

Kathy Campbell, CEO, Northeast Community Credit Union

From left, Jeff Merry, Kathy Campbell, Fred Robinson,

Robert H. (Bob) Burt, Past Director, Ascend Federal Credit Union

From left, Jeff Merry, Mrs. Earlene Burt, Fred Robinson


2016 Inductees

Tom Hilton
Former CEO
Y-12 FCU

M. Wayne Hope
Former CEO
Enrichment FCU

2016 Hall of Fame Inductees Tom Hilton and Wayne Hope

Tom Hilton and Wayne Hope

2015 Inductees

Jim Ward
Board Member
Ascend Federal CU

Janice Jones
United Southeast Federal CU

Alwin James “Rusty” Girdner
Retired President/CEO
Tennessee Credit Union League


2014 Inductees

With 44 years of service to the credit union movement, Ms. Sara Broxterman personifies the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.” Her credit union career began at Navy Memphis Credit Union in 1960 working as a clerk making $0.50 per hour. She retired in 2004 as President/CEO of Kimberly Clark Credit Union in Memphis. During her 23 years at Kimberly Clark Credit Union, assets grew from $11 million to $73 million, and members increased from 3,000 to 10,000. Sara’s leadership helped to not only position her credit union, but many others on the cutting edge. As a charter member of shared branching in Tennessee, she was instrumental in bringing the shared branching system to Tennessee and a pioneer in adding share draft accounts to credit union services.

Serving for over 34 years, Mr. Bruce Runyan is a dedicated board member for Ascend Federal Credit Union. Like all of Ascend Federal Credit Union’s board members, Mr. Runyan is a faithful and tireless servant in his completely voluntary, unpaid position. Through regular attendance at board meetings, numerous committee meetings, and the annual strategic planning session, his service has been vitally important to the purpose, mission, and vision of a credit union which serves more than 144,000 members from 16 locations. The long list of educational opportunities and programs Mr. Runyan has pursued includes annual attendance at the Tennessee Credit Union League’s Annual Meeting, CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, CUNA’s Volunteer Leadership Institute, and CUNA’s Volunteer Achievement Program.

For 36 years, Ms. Jimmie Bearden guided the growth and expansion of AEDC FCU, now Ascend FCU, as the CEO. Jimmie’s credit union career spanned almost 50 years, beginning as a clerk in 1956 and becoming CEO in 1968. As CEO, Jimmie implemented checking accounts, offered mortgage loans, IRAs, ATMs, and opened branches on Saturdays. All of these services, which are now considered standard offerings in many credit unions, were pivotal in the growth of AEDC FCU. Active in the movement, Bearden served on numerous National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) committees and was awarded NAFCU’s Professional of the Year Award in 1991. Sadly, Ms. Bearden passed in October, 2010.

Pictured left to right, Kimberly Clark CU board chairman, Milton Ward; Vol Corp President, Rick Veach; son of the late Jimmie Bearden, Richard Bearden; Bruce Runyan; Sara Broxterman; and League President, Fred Robinson.

2013 Inductees


Dickie Johnson, Electric Service Credit Union


Blake Strickland, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union


Rick Veach, President/CEO Volunteer Corporate Credit Union; Dickie Johnson; Blake Strickland; and Fred Robinson, President/CEO Tennessee Credit Union League

2012 Inductees

Thomas F. Gaines, III, Tennessee Credit Union League

John McKittrick, ORNL Federal Credit Union

Paul C. Monk, Clinchfield Federal Credit Union

2011 Inductees

William “Bill” and Alice Jenkins, Rohm and Haas Employees CU

Hardie Phipps, Kennedy VA Employees FCU
Sandy Lingerfelt, Clinchfield FCU

2010 Inductees

Dr. W. Craig Esrael, First South Credit Union

Milton Ward, Kimberly-Clark Credit Union

Honorable Mention

2017 – Jerry Arnold
2016 – Becca Montgomery
2015 – E. Odell Smith
2015 – James Marvin McBee
2013 – Caren Gabriel
2013 – Lin Winkler
2013 – Cyrus Eddie Hays
2012 – Eleanor Crow
2010 – Ken Swann