In today's fast-paced world, it is not very often that employers get to celebrate the tenure and commitment of long-term employees that span over three decades. Ascentra is blessed with amazing staff members, and in 2024, we will be celebrating two remarkable employees who have decided to take on their next adventure in life; retirement!
Karen Murphy, Vice President of Deposit Operations, began her career in February 1988 as a loan officer at the former Clinco Credit Union, based out of Clinton. Karen's love for learning led her to an oversight role maintaining the computer systems of the credit union along with supervising the Bookkeeping Department. She excelled in finding efficiencies and improving the way staff performed their jobs and served their members. Clinco became Members Choice Community Credit Union in the late 90's and then merged with Ascentra Credit Union in 2010. As a Vice President of Members Choice Community Credit Union, Karen played an instrumental role in the migration of members’ accounts into the Ascentra systems and continued leading our back-office deposit operations staff for the past 13 years. Even though Karen's role wasn't member facing in one of our branch locations, her passion for ensuring our members received the best service and care was evident in the way Karen performed her job duties. Karen will officially retire on Feb. 9, 2024, after 36 years of service. Her next role will be focused on spending time with family, especially her grandchildren, and enjoying the outdoors with her husband, Steve, on ATV rides.
Brad Knutson, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, began his career in March 1989 as an Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Operations of Alcoa Employees Credit Union. As the credit union grew, Brad took on responsibilities of managing our accounting operations, call center and data processing departments. With the need for the credit union to begin focusing on information technology and his knowledge of core banking systems (and a growing list of integrated solutions), it led to the role of Vice President of Computer Services & Support and eventually his current role. Within these roles, Brad directed and implemented technology plans for the credit union. Brad has played an integral role in leading many large projects over his tenure such as major technology system upgrades, Year 2000 (Y2K), mergers with other credit unions, ATM/debit and credit card platform conversions, digital transformations, several branch building projects (including our new home office in 2019) and most recently in 2022 a major core banking system conversion. His attention to detail, forward thinking mentality and diligent work ethic has positioned Ascentra's information technology platforms and facilities to serve our membership and staff well into the future. Brad will officially retire from Ascentra on Jan. 19, 2024, after 30 years of executive leadership and nearly 35 years of service in total. Retirement will be centered around family activities and projects, travel and camping, volunteering, golfing and some manageable employment to keep busy.
This means that our Ascentra Family will be changing in early 2024. Both Karen and Brad have served our membership, staff and community humbly, with care and dedication. These same characteristics represent our Ascentra employees and the culture of Ascentra Credit Union, as well as their dedication and commitment to our credit union membership! They have a heart for serving others and making a difference in the lives of co-workers, our members and our community. Who wouldn't want to be a part of a purpose driven organization, founded on the philosophy of people helping people and listening, caring, and doing what's right, each and every day? We hope many of our employees reach a multi-decade career of serving others. Thank you, Karen and Brad, for your selfless commitment to the credit union movement for the past 3+ decades! Many blessings to each of you in your retirement adventures!