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Leading the Way: From $2 Million to $2 Billion

calendar iconPosted: January 25, 2013

Landmark CEO Ron Kase, who led Landmark Credit Union to a milestone in September 2012 reaching $2 billion in assets size, is retiring after 39 years with the credit union. When Kase joined Landmark, then named Chabelco Credit Union, as a manager in 1973, the credit union had just one location, $2 million in assets, four employees and just over 2,300 members. Today, Landmark has grown to 28 branches, over 500 employees and more than 200,00 in members.


Paul Rienbold, retired Landmark Board Member who was on the committee that hired Kase, said, "There were several applicants with more experience who applied for the position of manager back in 1973. But Ron, in his early 20s, showed a level confidence and drive beyond his years. We knew he was the right one for the job."

Kase noted when he entered the financial field it was difficult for the average person to get financing so with a passion for lending, he sought to help people by providing affordable car, home and small-business loans. "I fell in love with the credit union idea of people helping people," said Kase.

During his tenure, Kase developed numerous services and programs to benefit members and the communities in which Landmark serves. Whether it was the introduction of new loan programs, the ability to work more closely with the underserved markets, or the creation of over 500 jobs in Southeastern Wisconsin, for Kase it was always about taking great care of people. It is with this dedication, as well as the consistent value and convenience provided to members, that Landmark has thrived and grown to become a leader within the industry.

"Ron Kase has been a great leader for Landmark Credit Union. His planning skills and vision are what have propelled Landmark into the top 100 credit unions in the nation," said Grace Kostroski, Landmark's Board Chair.

With his commitment to assisting people and the community, Kase helped Landmark win second place in the 2008 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award program. He also accepted the 2010 Midwest Urban Empowerment Award in the finance category for his leadership in developing financial services for Milwaukee urban community. In 2011, Landmark was named #2 in the nation for strong brands among credit unions of $1 billion or more, by Bancography, Inc a Birmingham, Alabama banking industry analyst.

Kase most recently received the Credit Union Hero of the Year award from Credit Union magazine in June 2012. The award is given once a year to a credit union CEO, officer or board member for lifetime achievement in the credit union industry.

With all he accomplished, Kase says he is most proud "of the fact that through my years here at Landmark, we've been able to help many people help themselves at the start of their economic lives."  

During retirement, Kase plans to spend more time with his wife of over 40 years, his two grown children and four grandchildren.

Landmark Credit Union is $2.1 billion strong, with 521 employees who serve more than 200,000 member/customers at 29 locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

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