John Pembroke, president and CEO of the Credit Union Executives Society, died Monday at age 55.
Pembroke began working for the organization as its chief operating officer in 2013 and was promoted to chief executive two years later. Founded in 1962, CUES’ mission is to educate and develop credit union CEOs, executives, directors and future leaders.
“John was an inspiring, thoughtful and caring leader, and a good friend,” said Kelly Marshall, CUES board chair and CEO of Summerland Credit Union in British Columbia, Canada, in a press release Tuesday. “John had been courageously battling with health challenges over the past while, and he will be deeply missed professionally and personally.”
CUES described Pembroke in the release as “a progressive and inspiring leader” who leveraged his diverse business, relationship-building and leadership skills to drive organizational growth and profitability at the membership association.
Under his leadership, CUES membership tripled, member loyalty increased and new and innovative talent development offerings were created, CUES said.
“John believed strongly in the power of financial cooperatives to make positive differences in people’s lives and inspired countless individuals to become better leaders. He was a top-notch relationship-builder who was always willing to explore something new and pass along what he’d learned, especially in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space,” said Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association, in a prepared statement.
As a mentor and advocate of a people-first philosophy, Pembroke encouraged and supported the employees at CUES, guiding the team to reach their individual and collective potential. He worked to evolve CUES into an industry thought leader, and made diversity, equity and inclusion a priority throughout the entire organization, CUES said in its release.
Jerry Saalsaa, CUES’ senior vice president and chief administrative officer, will continue as interim CEO until a replacement is identified by the CUES board. Saalsaa has been interim CEO since July, when Pembroke took medical leave.
Pembroke is survived by Monica, his wife of 27 years. Service details are under development and will be announced.