Partin (right) with Sharonview member Kenny Fortner at a branch groundbreaking event. (Photo: Sharonview FCU)
When asked about his most significant career milestones, retiring credit union CEO Bill Partin didn’t name accomplishments, but instead people – people who served as his mentors, opened doors to new opportunities or saw something in him that he didn’t yet see in himself. The first was his manager at Lloyds Bank California, where Partin, a Los Angeles area native, began his financial services career in 1980 as a drive-up teller.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in finance, he decided he wanted to be a stockbroker and spent three years working for Dean Witter Reynolds, making cold calls and embracing a new wardrobe that included a white shirt, red suspenders and a bright red power tie. But with a wife and two young children to support, he chose to pivot to a role as a discount broker in 1989 at Lockheed Federal Credit Union (now the $9.1 billion, Valencia, Calif.-based Logix Federal Credit Union), which brought not only a more stable income but his second and third milestone introductions.
The first was a manager who gave Partin a chance to do some public speaking and encouraged him to pursue leadership roles. The second was John Janclaes, who Partin hired as a sales manager, and who introduced him to a business philosophy that stuck with him throughout his career: “Work harder on yourself than you do at your job.” Janclaes, who is now president of Nymbus CUSO, would later hire Partin at the $2.4 billion Partners Federal Credit Union in Burbank, Calif., where Janclaes served as president/CEO for over 16 years. What’s more, Partin noted he had no idea what a credit union was when he joined Lockheed, but quickly fell in love with the movement’s mission.
Partin’s journey over the next three decades included completing his MBA, running a broker-dealer, learning how to manage different areas of credit union business while climbing the ranks at Partners, and eventually moving cross-country to South Carolina in 2013 to serve as president/CEO of the $1.9 billion, Indian Land-based Sharonview Federal Credit Union. With plans to retire at the end of 2022, Partin recently gave one of his final interviews as a credit union CEO to CU Times for this Q&A. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
CU Times: How and when did you know you wanted to become a CEO?
Partin: I’ve always been a big fan of personal …….