Dale Johnson retires and Gary Ahlgren is next CEO of Sun Community
EL CENTRO, CA (February 1, 2017) — Juan Cruz (Cruz), Board Chair for Sun Community Federal Credit Union (SCFCU), a $400 million credit union based in El Centro, CA, announced the retirement of its President and CEO, Dale Johnson (Johnson), and the hiring of Gary Ahlgren (Ahlgren) as the successor CEO. Ahlgren is currently Executive Vice President of USE Credit Union, a $850 million credit union based in San Diego, CA.
Johnson’s decision to retire brings to close a remarkable career spanning more than 40 years in financial services. “It has been my privilege to serve Sun Community and its membership for the last six years. We have the best people, and that is why our credit union has enjoyed such great success in our markets. Our core values include treating every person with respect and serving the community–that is why we are here,” remarked Johnson.
Johnson’s experience in the financial-services arena as an executive and certified public accountant allowed him to serve in key roles, steering institutions back to profitability. Johnson, an Army veteran, even served as the CEO and founder of a community bank in the mid-2000s before joining SCFCU. Under Johnson’s leadership, SCFCU returned to profitability and has grown to $400 million in assets. Some of his most notable contributions to the organization include redefining the organization’s key disciplines and practices, which allowed it to enjoy exponential growth year over year. Additionally, he secured a field of membership expansion into Riverside County and partnered with the Board of Directors in the CEO succession planning process that resulted in the hiring of Ahlgren. Johnson will complete his tenure with SCFCU on January 31, 2017. “We are forever grateful for Dale’s leadership and contributions to our organization and community. We wish him well as he moves into retirement,” said Cruz.
Ahlgren will assume responsibilities on February 1, 2017 as Johnson’s successor. Cruz believes that, after considering highly qualified candidates in a search conducted by Peter Myers of DDJ Myers, a Phoenix-based organization and leadership-consulting firm, Ahlgren’s “wealth of experience in strategic planning, organization design, balance-sheet optimization, lending, operations, branches, and governance will help continue Sun Community’s trajectory of success.”
Ahlgren has overseen nearly all operational aspects of USE Credit Union, including lending, information technology, marketing, branches, back-office operations, organizational improvement, and leadership development. He spearheaded USE’s revamp of their business model, reduced expenses, and increased efficiencies, ultimately raising the organization’s capital position by over 50%. Ahlgren commented, “I am grateful for the opportunity and recognize that there are large shoes to fill with Dale’s departure. The future is exciting and bright as we explore how to meet the community’s needs. Ultimately, we are here to provide the means to help people achieve their dreams to improve people’s lives and the community at large.”
Myers, Senior Vice President of DDJ Myers led the CEO succession planning process on behalf of SCFCU. Myers commented, “This is a committed group of individuals first and foremost. The Board and Dale have been facing into the CEO succession conversation for over a year, focusing on what is best for the community, the membership, and the staff. Gary is the clear choice to continue that mission.”
About Sun Community Federal Credit Union
Sun Community Federal Credit Union was organized on March 9, 1954, as the Imperial Valley U.S. Employees Federal Credit Union, with ten charter members. Over the years, the field of membership was enlarged. In January 1968, the name was changed to Government Agencies Federal Credit Union. Mergers followed, with IMPCO Federal Credit Union in October 1980 and Imperial Community Federal Credit Union in August 1991, as well as the purchase of Borrego Springs Bank in July 2001. In September 2002, we officially changed our name to Sun Community Federal Credit Union to better serve the people of the Imperial County. 62 years later, following our merger with Palm Springs Federal Credit Union in August 2015, and further expanding into Riverside County, Sun Community has 10 branches and serves over 36,000 members who live, work, worship, or volunteer in Imperial or Riverside County.