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.
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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.