Pressure is a Privilege: Growing on Johnson’s Legacy

By Lisa Hochgraf

As we prepared to host Thanksgiving for 18 a few weeks back, I found my “Meal, Ready to Eat” as I was getting down the chafing dishes.

Commonly known as an “MRE,” this is a self-contained, individual ration in lightweight packaging given to U.S. service members for use when organized food facilities are not available.

CUES President/CEO Fred Johnson, who retires Dec. 31, gave an MRE to everyone on the CUES staff a while back, and mine had been tucked away on the shelf for some time. “Wow!” I thought. “Fred’s legacy is in action already, reminding me to ‘be prepared.’ I wonder what part of his leadership will crop up next?”

Already in the frame of mind to reflect on legacy and leadership, I flew to Madison to attend The Nov. 29 reception honoring Johnson’s 23 years of service to CUES. During that event, the CUES building was named “The Fred Johnson Center for Leadership Development” and Johnson’s many contributions to professional development for credit union executives were noted and praised.

Incoming CUES President/CEO Charles E. Fagan, III, who will take the reins Jan. 2, said he was confident about his new assignment–and then he saw the long list of Johnson’s accomplishments, including the establishment of CEO Institute and theCenter for Credit Union Board Excellence.

Continue Reading