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Evangelical Christian CU's Holbrook to Retire.

Byline: Peter Strozniak

Mark Holbrook, the 36-year president/CEO of the $1 billion Evangelical Christian Credit Union will retire on May 31, the Brea, Calif.-based credit union announced March 2.

Holbrook is widely acknowledged for helping to promote the Evangelical Christian Credit Union model and movement throughout the world.

"It is an immeasurable privilege to have served ECCU these past 40 years," Holbrook said. "I have been abundantly blessed in countless dimensions, especially in the joy of serving with so many gifted and committed coworkers. I will miss ECCU greatly, and will be eager to see how the Lord leads and uses the credit union in days and years to come."

Holbrook joined the credit union in 1975, a decade after its formation, quickly rising to leadership. As CEO, he led a number of significant transformational changes to serve the Evangelical community.

Like many cooperatives around the nation, however, ECCU was substantially affected by the Great Recession. In 2009, Evangelical Christian started grappling with an increase in church foreclosures, which captured national media attention.

In a USA Today article, the credit union said it had to foreclose on seven of its 1,100 loans in 2008. At least one Texas church had filed for bankruptcy, owing the cooperative nearly $2.8 million.

In 2013, Evangelical Christian was embroiled in yet another foreclosure case with one of Florida's largest churches, Without Walls International Church in Lakeland. It initially went into foreclosure in 2008 and owed Evangelical Christian $13.9 million. By March 2014, the church filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and owed the cooperative $29 million.

Last year, ECCU announced it was modifying its business model to also serve individual members of the Evangelical Christian community while continuing to serve churches.

ECCU said it hired D. Hilton and Associates to conduct a nationwide executive search to find the new top executive.

"I am confident the new executive team will provide the necessary leadership to facilitate a successful transition to the new chief executive and continue to find innovative ways to serve members," Holbrook said.

Until a replacement is hired, the senior executive team will assume Holbrook's day-to-day duties.

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Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Mar 13, 2015
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