Spotlight: How this CFO Made the Transition to CEO

By Adam Mertz10.04.2017

It’s been 19 months since Jason Peach moved from chief financial officer (CFO) to CEO of $200 million asset West Community Credit Union in O’Fallon, Mo.

The longtime CUNA Councils member shares his road to leadership and how he has adapted his outlook and responsibilities as a result of that change.

CU Mag: What’s the main message you give CFOs who are transitioning to CEO?

Peach: Don’t be a CFO in a CEO body. I really enjoyed being the CFO. I also love the responsibility and the opportunity to lead as CEO, and that meant the job needed to be different. I needed to be different.

You move to a different chair and you get a lot of freedom to be in a different place, and you have to be comfortable with that.

I focus on delivering the message about our mission to our workforce and to our board, and put the focus on what we do every day instead of trying to make the financials work or figuring out the accounting rules.

I don’t come in carrying that responsibility anymore.

CU Mag: What career experiences best set the stage for you to become CEO?

Peach: I had a mentor who would not let me come in to the accounting space without first going out into the retail environment. 

If you’re going to be in a business that’s about serving people, especially in the retail channel, and you want to lead people, it really helps to know what they’re experiencing—to know the value of those contributions and their challenges.

I think it makes me a little more empathetic and a little more focused on that critical touch point with our members.

(via Credit Union Magazine)

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