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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

CDFI Advocate & Incoming Telhio CU CEO Advances Credit Union Leadership Diversity

CU Strategic Planning, the leading Community Development Financial Institution-certification and financial award consultants, applauded the $1.38 billion Telhio Credit Union board’s selection of Derrick Bailey as its incoming CEO. Current CEO Leslie Bumgarner has announced she will be retiring in 2023; Bailey currently serves as president of the credit union.

Telhio is the fastest growing credit union in Central Ohio. Over the last five years, Telhio has seen exponential growth in its commercial lending and mortgage portfolios.


“It is an honor to drive the growth of a leading-edge credit union in our region,” Bailey said. “Our team is focused on an effective strategy that supports individuals and families and helps small and medium businesses create jobs that provide opportunities for local communities to thrive.”

Bailey recognized Telhio had a great brand in the market after he left his position at a bank that was leaving the area and joined the credit union. What’s kept Bailey in credit unions is the collaborative nature and ability to help Telhio’s community at a granular level, part of which can be attributed to the credit union’s status as a CDFI-certified credit union.


Telhio accomplishments and what’s next

Telhio won $2.4 million in CDFI grants, an effort spearheaded by Bailey, working with CU Strategic Planning, and has applied for substantially more CDFI Fund financial awards. Telhio wants to extend its reach regionally to serve more communities and people with limited access to banking, he added.


“As a CEO, I feel that I can have the most impact on the community we serve,” Bailey said. “Strengthening the communities we serve is important to me. Helping the community by creating jobs through business lending and serving those who are underserved by access to banking services is my job as the leader of a credit union.”


Bailey is also the first Black CEO of a billion-dollar credit union in Ohio, and one of only 14 Black CEOs of a billion-dollar credit union in the U.S., according to the African American Credit Union Coalition.


Bailey joined Telhio in 2013 and within six months commercial lending became the top performing division. He developed innovative policies and procedures to provide loans to community companies and organizations, helping Telhio become a Top SBA lender (#2 overall, #1 credit union). Three years later he joined the executive team, providing the same leadership to the mortgage division, helping Telhio to become one of the top consumer mortgage lenders in the market (#12) and one of the top commercial mortgage lenders in the market (#16).


Credit union leaders’ support

“Bailey brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm that will help Telhio continue to grow and thrive into the future,” retiring CEO Bumgarner said. “Under his leadership, the credit union has a bright future ahead.”


AACUC CEO Renee Sattiewhite added, “The AACUC proudly supports the advancement of Black people in the credit union movement toward C-Suite positions through our mentorship and professional development programs. We extend a hearty congratulations to Telhio and Derrick Bailey!”


CU Strategic Planning Chief Experience Officer Mike Beall touted Bailey’s appointment as a great advancement for Telhio, CDFI credit unions and credit union leadership diversity. “Derrick’s determination to help Telhio improve the financial opportunities for Ohio’s working families and the communities in which they live is already a great CDFI success story. His passion as an incoming CEO is going to make Telhio a fantastic CDFI to watch in the years to come.”


Bailey said that becoming a CDFI allows credit unions to continue to move the mission of “People Helping People” forward. “Using grant funds, we have been able to support the community by providing loans to complete certifications for skilled trades,” he outlined. “We look for unique ways to serve those who would not have access to banking and lending services. Recently, we have partnered with fintechs for solutions to help workers in the gig-economy who tend to have a harder time finding lending services access local lenders. Being a CDFI help us extend more loans to small businesses, helping create jobs in the communities we serve.”

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For more than a decade, CU Strategic Planning has provided business planning services for credit unions with a focus on community development. The company facilitates strategic planning meetings and develops business plans in addition to being the No. 1 CDFI grant-writing firm for credit unions in the country. Through grants, strategic and tactical planning, DEI consulting, community summit facilitation and more, CU Strategic Planning achieves its mission to unlock opportunities for credit unions to change lives and their communities. With this funding CU Strategic Planning’s funding for credit unions reached $770 million for credit unions.


Telhio is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or goes to school in central and southwestern Ohio. Founded in 1934, originally as the credit union for the Columbus Telephone Co., Telhio is a not-for-profit financial cooperative where its members are also its owners. Telhio offers 12 branching offices throughout central Ohio and southwestern Ohio and nearly 4,000 shared branching locations nationwide. Additionally, Telhio Credit Union participates in the highest level of combined federal and private share savings insurance available, insuring deposit accounts up to $500,000.* For more information, contact Telhio Credit Union at 614-221-3233 or visit www.telhio.org.


*Federally insured by NCUA. Additional coverage up to $250,000 provided to consumer account holders by Excess Share Insurance Corporation, a licensed insurance company.

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