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Summit FCU taps COO as its next CEO

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Summit Federal Credit Union (FCU) announced it has chosen Laurie Baker as its next president and CEO, effective Feb. 1.

Baker — who is currently the Summit’s senior VP and COO — will replace Mike Vadala, who is retiring after working at the Summit for more than 35 years, including 25 years as CEO.

The selection of Baker followed a “nationwide search,” Summit said in its Monday news release.

Baker brings to the role a “wealth of experience” as a credit union senior executive, as an industry advisor and strategist, and as a community leader, the credit union said. She has worked at the Summit for more than 25 years, including as COO since 2001.

As COO, Baker oversees the credit union’s human resources, marketing, business relations, member service center, branch operations, and retirement & investment services units.

“Laurie rose to the top of a very qualified candidate pool and demonstrated a great vision for the future of our credit union,” Tom Quirk, chairman of the Summit’s board of directors, said. “Laurie is already known throughout the credit union industry as being a leader on credit union issues and will continue to be a positive influence in this next chapter of our growth.”

As the Summit’s assets have grown to more than $1 billion, Baker’s appointment makes her a member of a “small, esteemed group.” The Summit cites National Credit Union Administration statistics, indicating that women lead a “mere 13% of billion-dollar credit unions in the U.S.”

Founded in 1941, the Summit Federal Credit Union is a nonprofit, member-owned financial cooperative. With about $1 billion in assets, the Summit has more than 230 employees and provides financial products and services to more than 85,000 members in Central and Western New York. Its Central New York branches includes offices in Syracuse, Cicero, Camillus, Cortland, and Seneca Falls.

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