President and CEO of Consumers Credit Union to retire; successor is named

Kit Snyder. Courtesy Consumers Credit Union

The longtime leader of a West Michigan credit union is retiring next year and will be succeeded by the institution’s COO.

Kalamazoo-based Consumers Credit Union said Tuesday, Dec. 21, its President and CEO Kit Snyder will retire, effective July 4, 2022.

The board of directors unanimously voted COO Scott Sylvester will take over as the new president and CEO upon Snyder’s retirement.

Snyder was hired in 1983 as one of the first presidents and CEOs of Consumers. At that time, the organization was known as Southwestern Michigan Utilities Employees Credit Union until a charter expansion and name change four years later to Consumers Credit Union. Over the past 38 years under Snyder’s leadership, the organization grew nearly 18% per year, catapulting from a $3 million operation with three employees to a near $2 billion entity with over 400 employees that serves 117,000-plus members across the state.

Snyder recently was inducted into the Credit Union Executive Society (CUES) Hall of Fame as a result of his work to promote the industry.

“The board of directors and I would like to thank Kit for his incredible leadership as CEO these past 38 years,” said Brent Basset, board chair of Consumers Credit Union. “Kit’s dedication to servant leadership and his commitment to financial wellness for members and community has transformed lives. Our organization is the strongest it’s ever been, in part due to Kit’s passion and focus. His vision to work with the board on a seamless succession plan is a showcase of his ability to set up Consumers for long-term growth and achievements.”

Snyder said he is pleased with the credit union’s “tremendous” growth under his tenure.

“I’ve had the honor of working with a board of directors and a team that is second to none,” he said. “… It’s now time to watch our growth continue through trusted leadership and team synergy.”

Consumers’ board began planning the CEO succession nearly five years ago and unanimously voted to put Sylvester at the helm.

“It’s amazing to think that in 1994, when I hired Scott Sylvester, we’d fast-forward to this time and place,” Snyder said. “Scott has proven from the outset of his career with Consumers his willingness to build consensus and take decisive action for the betterment of our credit union and membership. From teller to CEO, what an honor to have worked alongside him.”

Sylvester has worn many hats for Consumers since he started, advancing from teller to accounting clerk, then senior accountant to manager of information systems and vice president of technology, followed by chief financial and chief technology officer.

In his COO role, Sylvester was charged with:

  • Overseeing office facilities, including office remodels and new construction
  • Leading facilities for new market growth
  • Coordinating strategic and operational activities, including new technology initiatives
  • Handling creative planning and oversight of the new 92,000-square-foot Groves headquarters
Scott Sylvester. Courtesy Consumers Credit Union

“It’s an honor to take over leadership from a colleague and friend who I have worked with day in and day out for decades,” Sylvester said. “I am most proud of the team we have built and the technology focus we’ve developed to serve members efficiently and with top-notch security.”

Sylvester is a certified chief executive (CCE) with studies and training through the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, the Johnson School of Business at Cornell University of Virginia, and Executive Development at the Broad College of Business, Michigan State University, where he also finished his undergrad with a B.S. in marketing.

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