BCU CEO and Retail Branch Operations Senior Manager among 2023 CU Times Luminaries finalists

CHICAGO, IL (September 6, 2023) — BCU is proud to  announce that President & CEO, Mike Valentine; and  Senior Manager of Retail Branch Operations,  Brandon Ewing, have joined the Credit Union Times  LUMINARIES Class of 2023 Finalists in the Executive  Leadership – Individuals and Community Impact –  Individuals categories, respectively. 

Mike Valentine’s impact as an exceptional leader  has empowered BCU to reach double-digit annual  growth and ensures BCU is the preferred Credit  Union for top workplaces and is a top workplace, saying, “At BCU, members are our reason for being, and our employees are the reason for our success.” Under Mike’s leadership, BCU earned the Gallup Exceptional Workplace recognition in 2023, and in the last five years has been honored with half a dozen additional awards. 

Mike is selfless with his energy and commitment to the industry, recently leading the way in support of the NCUF FinHealth Fund and speaking passionately on the topic of financial well-being for all. He advocates fiercely for digital transformation that’s equally focused on creating extraordinary member experiences. 

Mike’s infectious, positive attitude is felt by the entire organization. From formal business communication to social events and incidental hallway and video conversations, employees feel what Mike fosters – an inclusive and caring culture for employees, their families, BCU’s Company Partners, and the communities they serve. His mantra, “listen to understand, not to react,” exemplifies why Mike Valentine is a leader everyone wants to follow. 

Brandon Ewing is devoted to his community – both as a Senior Manager of Community Retail Branch Operations at BCU, but also as a person who is deeply dedicated to actively creating an impact at every opportunity. 

Ewing is the youngest Waukegan Public School Board President in Waukegan School district history and is also the creator of Fathers Matter, a Facebook community with over one million followers that promotes positive images of fathers and serves to address the issue of fatherlessness, providing a brotherhood of support to those fathers doing the right thing. As a devoted father of 3 boys, this topic is near and dear to Ewing’s heart. Ewing is also the co-founder of the Millennials Connected networking group, a committee member of the #JustDoIt_Vote Coalition, and host of Real Talk Live with Brandon Ewing, a show that aims to connect the current leaders of Lake County with the next generation. 

This small sampling of Ewing’s work in the community is just the tip of the iceberg. His dedication to BCU and the development of his staff are crucial to his purpose as well. He focuses on giving his team opportunities and tools to be successful through mentoring and coaching, all while allowing them to bring their authentic selves to work every day. Ewing has remained committed to promoting financial literacy and access to historically disenfranchised and underbanked communities. 

The CU Times LUMINARIES Awards aims to shine a spotlight on individuals and organizations that are changing the financial services industry by taking the most creative and bold steps to push their members’ best interests forward and making an impact where it matters most.

About BCU

BCU is a not-for-profit, member-owned Credit Union that is fiercely dedicated to Empowering People to Discover Financial Freedom. At just under $6B in assets, BCU is driven by its commitment to providing a fast, easy, secure banking experience and extraordinary service for close to 350,000 members. The BCU field of membership includes employees and families of large employers that are focused on the financial well-being of their workforce; those who live or work in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and the island of Puerto Rico; and subscribers of BCU’s wholly-owned Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), Life. Money. You.® within communities and Fortune 100 workplaces throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. All BCU members enjoy lifetime access to financial services and well-being programming that inspire confidence through the brand promise “Here Today For Your Tomorrow.”  To learn more about how we can help you realize your financial dreams, visit Members of the media can obtain more information by visiting

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Hannah Blumberg

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