OMAHA – The Nebraska Credit Union League honored Ken Bradshaw, President/CEO of Liberty First Credit Union in Lincoln as the 2011 Professional of the Year during its awards banquet on June 3rd.
Ken Bradshaw began his career in the credit union industry at the young age of 29. As in typical Ken fashion, he jumped in with both feet as CEO/President of Oklahoma Highway Credit Union, now Oklahoma Employees Credit Union, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He then continued on as President/CEO for Oklahoma Central Credit Union. Looking for additional opportunities at a larger Credit Union, Ken took a position as Vice President of Operations at Northeast Credit Union in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These positions of leadership became the backbone for Ken’s management style and strength that put him in his current position of President/CEO of Liberty First Credit Union in Lincoln, Nebraska. During his 19 year career at Liberty First, Ken has taken the small one building credit union and turned it into the largest credit union in Lincoln with 3 branches and over 16,000 members.
Ken’s commitment to credit unions goes beyond having a job in the industry for over 36 years. He has made personal and professional efforts to push the credit union movement forward by participating in chapter, league and national events as well as contributing to credit union political action committees on a personal level. Ken has held several leadership positions at the League, including Chairman of the Board of Directors, a position he was re-elected to on June 3rd. Ken also currently serves as Chairman of the League’s Governmental Affairs Committee and was the first Chairman of the League’s Cooperative Solutions Group Board of Directors.
Ken has also attended the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. for a combined 25 years during his 35 year credit union career. In 2010, Ken starred in the making of a DVD designed to educate other credit union professionals on the importance of contributing to credit union political action coffers.
Ken not only lives the philosophy of “People Helping People” in his professional life, he lives it in his personal life as well. Understanding the need for balance between personal and professional life, Ken has engaged himself in several community and civic activities. Since 2003, he has served as the President of the Capital Beach Community Association and has been on the Board of Trustees for Trinity United Methodist Church. In everything Ken does from personal to professional he is always willing to give a little extra of himself.
Ken was nominated for this prestigious award because his credit union believed that his 36 year career in the credit union industry has not only made him a strong leader but during that time he has also had a positive impact on members and employees lives. He passionately advocates for credit unions in everything he does and is always looking for additional ways to service members. He is a leader that has taken credit unions in poor financial condition to thriving credit unions still in existence today.
With every new initiative or issue, Ken first addresses it from the perspective of how it will affect the member as he truly believes they are why credit unions exist.