For 40 years, David Chatfield, retired President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, worked to advance credit unions in the United States and overseas, extending the benefits of financial cooperatives to millions of people. As a league president, he raised political advocacy and public awareness of credit unions to an unprecedented level.
Chatfield’s accomplishments include many significant “firsts.” He devised the first national credit union political system, laying the groundwork for the strong grassroots system in place today. As the first full-time CEO of the Alaska Credit Union League, he led efforts that resulted in the passage of the Alaska State Credit Union Act. He was also the first person with active credit union experience to serve on the National Credit Union Administration Board.
Ever the innovator, Chatfield was co-founder and first executive director of the Filene Research Institute, the first credit union “think tank.” He also created The Shapiro Group, a model program which has helped hundreds of small credit unions through grants and assistance funded by larger credit unions.
Internationally, Chatfield worked with leaders in more than 10 countries to encourage credit union formation, and was instrumental in the passage of Poland’s national credit union law. His progressive approaches and singular focus have truly increased the impact of credit unions locally, nationally and worldwide.