Longtime 717 Credit Union Leader Honored for Contributions

WARREN, Ohio – The Ohio Credit Union League recently recognized several Ohio credit union leaders at the organization’s annual conference, including Gary Soukenik, retired 717 Credit Union president and CEO.

Nearly 400 credit union professionals and 300 industry partners gathered at the annual InVest48 conference April 22-24 in Columbus to collaborate, learn and explore new business solutions for credit unions. 

Soukenik, who retired in 2023 after a 46-year career, received the Louise McCarren Herring Movement Advancement Award for his long-term contributions to the credit union movement.

“Gary is a visionary leader who transformed the credit union into a thriving financial powerhouse that today serves more than 100,000 members in six counties,” a statement from the Ohio Credit Union League reads. “Under his leadership, 717 was one of the first financial institutions in the area to launch ATMs and ITMs. He championed diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and helped drive legislative action that supported credit unions.”

Michael Barr, president and CEO of the Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union, received the Robert Kloss Professional Achievement Award; and James Tebbutt, general counsel of the Kemba Financial Credit Union, received the Claude Clarke Advocacy Impact Award.

“These individuals have made lasting contributions to their credit unions, members, communities and the advancement of the movement,” said Paul Mercer, president of the Ohio Credit Union League. “Their commitment to the people-first philosophy has propelled their organizations forward and inspired credit union leaders across Ohio to work harder, and together, to improve the lives of 3.2 million Ohioans.”

Pictured at top: From left are Bill Burke, Ohio Credit Union League board chair and president and CEO of Day Air Credit Union; Gary Soukenik, retired 717 Credit Union president and CEO; and Paul Mercer, president of the Ohio Credit Union League.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.