Whatcom Educational Credit Union has looked internally in choosing its new CEO.
Jennifer Kutcher, a 16-year employee of WECU, was named president/CEO by the firm's board of directors. Kutcher will replace Wayne Langei, who will retire at the end of August but will remain a consultant through January 2015. Langei has held WECU's CEO position for 41 years.
Earlier this year WECU named three internal candidates as finalists for the job: Kutcher, Jeff Dykstra and Robert Langei. All three candidates went through a training process designed by the outside consultant O'Rourke and Associates.
Kutcher is a Western Washington University graduate and was WECU's chief lending officer.
The credit union has undergone phenomenal growth under Langei's tenure. When he was hired as CEO in 1973, it was known as Bellingham Teacher's Credit Union, had three employees and $1 million in assets. Today WECU has 330 employees and 11 branches. It currently has more than 73,000 members and slightly more than $1 billion in assets.