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Four Credit Union Leaders Inducted Into Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame

The Tennessee Credit Union League and Volunteer Corporate Credit Union (VolCorp) inducted four credit union leaders into the Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame during the League’s 90th Annual Convention and Expo in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame, created in 2010, recognizes the commitment, leadership and dedication deserving individuals have made to the Tennessee credit union movement.

“It takes many, many years of passionate service and dedication to this great industry to be recognized with an honor such as this,” Jeff Merry, president and CEO of VolCorp. “Each of these inductees has demonstrated a commitment and impact that will be felt for years to come. I am very excited for and would like to extend a heart-felt congratulations to each one of them on behalf of myself and the entire VolCorp family.”

Caren Gabriel, retired president and CEO, Ascend Federal Credit Union

“As president and CEO of Ascend Federal Credit Union, Caren Gabriel was responsible for overseeing the administration of the credit union and guiding Ascend to continued growth,” wrote the nominator. “Under Gabriel’s leadership as CEO, the member-owned credit union’s assets more than tripled, growing from $960 million to $3.8 billion. She also launched the Member Return Program, with a total disbursement of over $104 million to Ascend members since 2004.”

Kendall Foster, recently retired president and CEO, Scenic Community Credit Union

“Kendall lives out the credit union philosophy of people helping people every single day,” wrote the nominator. “He has had an open door policy for all members since becoming a part of the CU movement over 37 years ago. If a member asks to see the CEO, if at all possible, he will stop what he is doing to talk with that member and encourages his leadership staff to do the same. Kendall recognizes the benefit of credit unions and is quick to promote them at every opportunity.”

William Jennings, board chair, Old Hickory Credit Union

“Mr. Jennings is a firm believer in the credit union philosophy of people helping people,” wrote the nominator. “He was instrumental in securing property in order for the credit union to open a branch in a very underserved area of Davidson County. He always wants to put the member first when making decisions about the policies of the credit union. He has been the guiding force behind Old Hickory Credit Union’s commitment to the membership by listening to their concerns and requests for additional services.”

Karla Knisley, project specialist, Volunteer Corporate Credit Union

“Karla has been with VolCorp passionately serving credit unions for 38 years,” wrote the nominator. “Starting as an operations clerk in 1986, Karla has been all over the corporate whenever called upon rising to the occasion in areas such as Operations, Data Entry, Marketing, Consulting, Member Service, Treasury, Payment Services, as COO, and, currently, in Special Projects. Karla has served credit unions with an unrelenting passion and energy for always doing everything she can for the credit unions we serve.”

“We are honored to recognize this year’s inductees who have made remarkable contributions to the Tennessee credit union movement,” said Fred Robinson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Credit Union League. “We congratulate this year’s inductees!”

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