Desert Schools Federal Credit Union CEO Susan Frank has announced the end of a 25-year career with Arizona’s largest credit union today; one that has included countless accolades, awards and the utmost respect of a community.
Frank’s career began with Desert Schools in 1992 after serving 12 years with Bethpage Federal Credit Union in New York. She became the first woman in the country in 1999 to lead a credit union with $1 billion or more in assets when she was appointed CEO of Desert Schools. Frank has been instrumental in expanding the number of products and services offered at Desert Schools, as well as initiating a total quality management philosophy. She supervised the launch of numerous new branch locations, guided the financial growth of the credit union from $450 million to $4 billion in assets, and helped to grow membership to more than 300,000 members.
“I have been honored and humbled to serve our employees, members and our community during my time at Desert Schools. I’ve not only been able to build my career here, but I have built a life and a professional family,” said Frank. “I am grateful to have been surrounded daily by arguably some of the very best professionals and human beings I’ve ever known. Leaving Desert Schools has not been an easy choice, but it is time to pass the torch to someone who I know will continue to move Desert Schools forward in innovative and strategic ways.”
Apart from instituting innovative policies within the financial realms of Desert Schools, Frank has also been responsible for implementing a culture of giving back within her organization; building the framework for Desert Schools’ mission to include community service as a pillar of the company.
Through her work, Frank has enabled Desert Schools to become a corporate leader in community giving; spearheading donation and fundraising efforts for community partners through programs like Shine On, Desert Schools’ largest non-profit partnership to date which launched in 2014 and provides grants to deserving local non-profits annually. She has dedicated her career to serving her community and is a believer in the positive culture that giving back fosters within the workplace.
“I have come to know Susan quite well over the last several years,” said Claudette Gronski, Chairperson of Desert Schools Board of Directors. “Susan is not only one of the most savvy, but most generous leaders I know in this community. It’s been an honor to serve Desert Schools and our members alongside her.”
Outside of Desert Schools, Frank’s work in the community extends to serving on various boards and committees, like the Assistance League of Phoenix and Arizona Coyotes Foundation. She currently serves as a board member with the Valley of the Sun United Way and is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of Communities In Schools of Arizona, and a past president and member of the Kiwanis Club of Phoenix.
Frank will be succeeded in the role of CEO by current Desert Schools President Jeff Meshey. Meshey was promoted to president in 2014 and has 22 years of experience with the company, all of which have been served with Frank holding the senior most executive leadership position.
“I couldn’t be more honored to step into the role of CEO following all of my years serving at Desert Schools under Susan’s guidance and leadership,” said Meshey. “We have been working on a plan for the last several years in order to provide a seamless transition for our members and employees. I look forward to continuing to serve our community for many years to come and to continue the legacy of impactful work that Susan has started at Desert Schools.”
Meshey has long been a key contributor to Desert Schools’ immense success in the Arizona market. He was instrumental in leading the credit union through the economic downturn in 2008 and helped to move the organization’s area of service solely from school employees to a full community charter. Meshey will transition into the role of CEO in February 2017.