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ABNB FCU's Bob Morgan Recognized for 45 Years of Service to Credit Union Movement

May 8, 2013 by Lewis Wood

Robert E. "Bob" Morgan, the retired President/CEO and current Board member of Chesapeake-based ABNB Federal Credit Union has been awarded the Virginia credit union system's highest individual honor, the James P. Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the award at the Virginia Credit Union League's 79th Annual Meeting in Roanoke, Virginia on April 19.

Robert E. "Bob" Morgan, the retired President/CEO and current Board member of Chesapeake-based ABNB Federal Credit Union has been awarded the Virginia credit union system's highest individual honor, the James P. Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the award at the Virginia Credit Union League's 79th Annual Meeting in Roanoke, Virginia on April 19.

"Virginia's credit unions have been blessed with leaders fiercely committed to the success of the system, and Bob Morgan long ago cemented his place among our greatest leaders," said Rick Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League.  

Morgan got his start in the credit union system as a volunteer official for eight years at St. Matthews Federal Credit Union. Beginning in 1967, he served first on the church-based credit union's supervisory committee and then its Board of Directors.

In 1974, he was named President/CEO of ABNB Federal Credit Union, then a 15-year-old, steadily growing credit union serving military personnel in the Norfolk area. ABNB evolved from credit unions that served the Little Creek and Norfolk Navy bases, and today boasts 45,000 member-owners and $390 million in assets.

Morgan notes that his long service in credit unions has been fueled by his belief that credit unions truly are a better financial services option for today's consumer.

"I always appreciated a quote from Edward Filene (the father of the American credit union system), who stated, 'Anything that anyone of us can do to bring economic security to the peoples of this whole world ... is a step in the direction that we all want to go,'" notes Morgan.

Morgan's 45 years in the credit union system features service at the local, state and national levels. He served in leadership positions  and various capacities for more than two decades with the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Credit Union League, an organization of credit unions in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Norfolk areas dedicated to providing mentorship, education and legislative affairs support for member credit unions.

At the state level, Morgan served for 20 years on various committees of the Virginia Credit Union League, the statewide trade association for the commonwealth's credit unions, including 12 years on the League's Board of Directors. From 1996 to 1999, he chaired the League Board during one of the credit union system's most turbulent periods, as the system fought for and eventually won landmark federal legislation that ensured credit unions' survival by opening credit union membership to more Americans.

"I was proud to be called to serve credit unions during that time," notes Morgan. "We were fighting for our very survival, but our members and our credit unions understood the situation and took the fight for consumer choice in financial services to the halls of Congress. The legislation we fought for represented a tremendous victory for the nation's credit unions and set the stage for the growth we see in credit unions today."

His service at the national level included volunteer positions with the Credit Union National Association, credit unions' national trade association, and his beloved Defense Credit Union Council, an organization that promotes and supports credit unions primarily serving or historically linked to the armed services.

"I always let credit unions' 'People Helping People' philosophy guide me," says Morgan. "I hope that shone through in all these years of service to a movement I believe still has its best days ahead."

The James P. Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes those individuals who have unselfishly devoted their time and energy to ensuring a brighter, better future for credit unions. It is named in honor of the late James P. “Jimmy” Kirsch, a longtime credit union volunteer whose passion for the movement led him to leadership roles at the state, national and international levels.

The award is given by the Virginia Credit Union League, the state trade association that has promoted, protected and supported the commonwealth's credit unions for almost 80 years. Learn more at www.vacul.org.

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