At its annual convention Aug. 19-20 in Portland, the Maine Credit Union League presented University Credit Union President and CEO Renee Ouellette with the 2021 James M. Gratto Award for Outstanding Credit Union CEO.
UCU employees nominated Ouellette for her extraordinary leadership of the credit union during her first 18 months as CEO, which coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. In nominating Ouellette, UCU employees expressed their gratitude for her calming demeanor, clear communication, collaborative approach to problem-solving, and prioritization of employee and member wellness throughout the pandemic.
“We are incredibly proud of Renee being honored as the 2021 Outstanding CEO with the James M. Gratto Award,” said Deb White-Rideout, executive vice president of UCU. “She understands the value of teamwork, community service and is a natural leader. Renee cares deeply for the credit union and our team, which shines through in all she does.”
“Renee is incredibly deserving of this special recognition and is the exact type of leader you want to work for,” said Maine Credit Union League President/CEO Todd Mason. “She took over as president and CEO just a few months before the pandemic hit, and successfully navigated her employees and her members through an extraordinary time. I’m sure she had no idea how the world would change when she accepted the position, but she led with grace, determination, and a strong sense of service. Our credit union movement is stronger because she is in it!”
Ouellette is a Certified Public Accountant and highly skilled finance professional with nearly 25 years of experience, including the last 10 years at UCU, most recently as senior vice president of finance. In addition to the CPA designation, she holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Husson College and an associate degree in business management from Eastern Maine Technical College. She is also a graduate of the Association of Management Information in Financial Services (AMIfs) Comprehensive Performance Measurement School.
Outside the office, Ouellette serves on the steering committee of the New England Financial Executives Council and volunteers on the boards of Finance Authority of Maine, Special Olympics of Maine, and the Bangor Chapter of Credit Unions. She is based out of UCU headquarters at 15 Main Street in Orono.