Outstanding Chief Executive Shares Wisdom

by Jessica Jones

As president/CEO of MECU of Baltimore, Inc. and the 2012 CUES Outstanding Chief Executive award winner, Bert J. Hash Jr. is a highly accomplished man. In his 16 years leading MECU, the credit union has grown from a single branch into multiple locations throughout the Baltimore area, from 60 employees to 300, and from $430 million in assets to $1.2 billion. But if you ask him about the accomplishment he is most proud of, he only wants to talk about how important his employees are to the success of MECU.

“One of the questions that was asked by one of our employees was: What do I want my legacy to be? He happened to be someone who joined MECU as an intern in high school at the age of 17. He started in the mailroom and now he’s in the IT department. So I told him, my legacy is him. It’s his growth. The growth of the organization, the board, the management team, and the employees are our success,” Hash says.

Hash came to MECU with 27 years of experience in banking, where he says he built crucial people skills that helped him quickly connect with and rally the employees of MECU. He believes constant communication with and between all levels of the credit union is key to building a staff that is committed to the goal of returning value to the members—including and especially during times of change.

“When you’re making change, everyone’s supportive of change until you tell them you have to move your desk, and then they’re not supportive. You just have to continue to communicate to everyone. It’s hard to get people to buy in unless you communicate to them what will happen to them and what will be their responsibility and role in this change,” Hash says. “We kept open those lines of communication and continued to talk to the employees.”

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