Credit union names CEO


Julie Blitchok. Courtesy Educational Community Credit Union

A credit union in the region has hired a new president and CEO, whose industry experience is expected to spur further growth.

Educational Community Credit Union in Kalamazoo, or ECCU, said yesterday that Julie Blitchok will start her new role on March 2.

She is the successor to CEO Charles Cornelius, who is retiring after 36 years of service.

ECCU said Blitchok will work with staff and follow the credit union’s “collaborative approach to meet the needs of its membership.”

Credit union exec

Blitchok has 23 years of credit union leadership experience.

Most recently, she has served as senior VP of Retail Operations for Lake Michigan Credit Union, or LMCU, in Grand Rapids for the past 13 years.

While at LMCU, Blitchok was responsible for 37 branches, the call center and community relations. She was also part of the executive team that managed an era of “tremendous growth” in assets, branches and members.

Previously, she served as CEO for small- and mid-size credit unions and as a board member for the Michigan Credit Union League.

Blitchok earned her M.B.A. from Grand Valley State University and holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Selection process

Blitchok was selected from three finalists, who were chosen from a group of ten candidates.

ECCU said Blitchok was picked for the role because she shares the vision of the credit union and its leaders, which is to “provide quality service to members and financial products that better their lives.”

Her range of industry expertise is expected to enable ECCU to continue on its path of growth.

David Aubry, ECCU board chairperson, said Blitchok’s extensive retail expertise, combined with previous CEO experience will help position ECCU to "leverage its community charter."

“Julie's strong sense of corporate culture will build on our culture of service,” Aubry said. “Her vision of expanding retail services also fits perfectly with our strategic plan to boost the retail experience for members.”


ECCU is a full-service financial institution with seven locations.

It exceeds $415 million in assets and serves more than 37,000 members, who are located within a 21-county area in West Michigan.  

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