John Thomasian to assume role of CEO at Webster First after Michael Lussier’s retirement

WORCESTER, MA (April 16, 2024)After 37 years of service to Webster First Federal Credit Union, President and CEO Michael Lussier announced his retirement effective May 1, 2024. The credit union’s Board of Directors named current Vice President of Risk Management, John Thomasian, as his successor.

“Michael’s notice of retirement allowed the Board of Directors time to establish a CEO selection committee to review its succession plan, hire a new CEO as well as assist in the transition from Michael to John Thomasian,” said Christopher Daoust, chairman of the Board of Directors at Webster First. “The Board of Directors thanks Mike for his leadership and outstanding service to WFFCU and the credit union movement. We wish him all the best, secure in the knowledge that WFFCU has the capabilities and strategic focus to continue delivering quality service for its credit union members.” 

When Lussier first began leading this small-town credit union in 1987, it had just $87 million in assets and approximately 24 employees. The Board of Directors hired him as CFO at the age of 26, and during August of 1990, appointed him President and CEO. 

In 1995 Lussier changed Webster First’s charter from a state to a federal, opening the doors for growth. He kept up to date on credit union affairs by serving as chairman of the board for the Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation (MSIC) and for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). He was also a member of the board for the Credit Union League of Massachusetts. 

Ten new branches and eight subsidiaries were opened during his leadership as well as twelve merger acquisitions. In 2017 he wrote “The Credit Union Merger & Acquisitions Handbook,” which was distributed to credit unions around the country with the help of NAFCU. Today, Webster First has an asset size of over $1.4 billion, and a handful of awards for excellent member service.  

“As I reflect on my time at Webster First Federal Credit Union, I’m filled with immense gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside such a dedicated and talented team…” said Lussier. “I have always believed in providing exceptional customer service, implementing innovative solutions, and going above and beyond to support our members. Our entire team at Webster First FCU has done the same. The collaborative spirit that permeates our workplace is a testament to the caliber of individuals who make up our organization…I couldn’t be more delighted to see John Thomasian step into this role. John’s leadership, integrity, and passion for our credit union are evident to all who know him. I have every confidence that under his guidance, Webster First Federal Credit Union will continue to thrive and uphold its reputation as a beacon of excellence in our community…”

John Thomasian is a graduate of Nichols College with a degree in Finance and Accounting. He is also a graduate of NAFCU’s Management Development Institute and served as a member of NAFCU’s Political Action Committee. Thomasian’s financial expertise includes experience as a CFO and a chairman of the Town of New Braintree’s Finance Committee. He was a recipient of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty award in 2021.

“Working alongside Mike for the past 14 years has really opened my eyes to how influential of a leader he has been. Not only to Webster First, but to the entire credit union movement…” said Thomasian. “He had a vision for Webster First to invest in its branch network, digital products, and employees… By doing so he has made Webster First one of the top performing credit unions in the state of Massachusetts. Having Mike as a mentor has allowed me to observe the fundamental foundations modeled that made him a successful CEO. I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as Webster First’s next President/CEO and look forward to expanding and enhancing the integrities it was built upon.” 

Michael Lussier and John Thomasian

Retiring CEO Michael Lussier

Incoming CEO John Thomasian

About Webster First Federal Credit Union

Webster First was founded in 1928 with 24 depositors and a capital outlay of $350. Now, they’ve grown to serve over 90,000 members with 13 branches serving Worcester, Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. They have been voted as the Telegram & Gazette’s Best Credit Union of Central Mass for the past 5 years and are one of only 4 credit unions from Massachusetts to make Newsweek’s list.


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