Capping a four-decade career in the financial services industry, Kinetic Credit Union said Thursday that longtime President and Chief Executive Officer Janet Davis is retiring at the end of January.
Davis, who started at Kinetic as a share draft officer in 1983, has led the credit union since 1991, back when it was called TIC Federal Credit Union because of its founding in 1956 at Fort Benning, with TIC an acronymn for “The Infantry Center.” The name was changed to Kinetic in 2014.
Under Davis, Kinetic has grown steadily through the years, with it now the eighth-largest credit union in Georgia with $378 million in assets. It operates 10 locations throughout the Columbus area, which includes branches it absorbed following its merger with MEA Federal Credit Union last year. It has about 145 employees who serve more than 48,000 members globally, considering military personnel deployed overseas are among its customer base.
“It has been an honor to serve the members of Kinetic Credit Union and the board of directors for the last 35 years,” Davis said. “I am very proud to say we have built Kinetic into one of the truly unique and exceptional credit unions in the country, with so many members who consider Kinetic a highly trusted financial partner.”
The Kinetic board of directors is now searching for a successor to Davis, with a goal of identifying her successor before the end of this year. Ron Hinze, board chairman called Davis an “inspirational leader.”
“Her passion for our members and her leadership in the credit union movement is unrivaled,” Hinze said in a statement. “Her extraordinary performance and strength of character has been instrumental in building our credit union into a formidable financial institution that’s well-poised for the future. Janet will leave a rich legacy of utilizing strategic vision and conservative financial philosophy that has made Kinetic the successful organization it is today.”
Under Davis’ tutelage, Kinetic expanded from three to its current 10 locations. She also bolstered its membership, with the credit union in 2005 opening its ranks to anyone “who lives, works, worships or attends school” in Muscogee, Harris, Chattahoochee and Marion counties in Georgia, as well as in Lee, Russell, and Macon counties in Alabama.
In 2006, the first “dialogue-style” branch opened, offering an airy, modern atmosphere with multiple ways to handle business transactions with the credit union, including personal teller machines with touch-screen video and the ability to communicate with employees working from a remote location. The credit union is now updating its existing offices with the digital technology.
Through the years, Davis has been heavily involved in community and leadership roles. Those activities include chairing the statewide Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, the Georgia Credit Union League, Cooperative Services Incorporated, Members ATM Alliance, and the Georgia Credit Union Foundation. She has been director for Georgia Central Credit Union, National Credit Union Foundation, and Card Services for Credit Unions.
In Columbus specifically, she has been a chair or worked with the Better Business Bureau, the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation, the Columbus Literacy Alliance, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce board, the Columbus State University Board of Trustees, CSU’s Athletic Fund Board and the CSU Honor Advisory Board.
Honors for Davis have included Professional of the Year Award from the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, the Moses C. Davis Professional of the Year from the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, the Superlative Alumnus Award from CSU’s School of Business, the CSU Alumni Service Award, and the Thomas Y. Whitley Distinguished Alumnus Award from CSU in 2011, which is the highest honor an alum can receive.
In 2016, Davis was inducted into the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders in Washington, D.C. It honors those who have made a “significant impact” on the credit union movement at a local, state or national level, with the recipient have a permanent plaque at the Credit Union House in the nation’s capital.
“It has been my greatest pleasure to lead a group of employees who are committed to improving the lives of our members,” Davis said. “We have a talented team in place that’s ready to take us into the future. It has been an incredible journey. Through it all, I am most proud that we have a credit union that is financially strong, member focused, and well-positioned for great things going forward.”