CU*Answers recognized its former CEO Randy Karnes as recipient of the Robert H. Mackay award at its Annual Leadership Conference held on June 16, 2022, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Karnes served as the CEO of CU*Answers from 1994 to 2021 and will be retiring at the end of September 2022.

When presenting the award, current CU*Answers CEO Geoff Johnson thanked Karnes for the opportunity when he first joined the co-op eighteen years ago. Karnes addressed the group, saying, “I sincerely appreciate this award, just as I appreciated Bob MacKay. Bob’s talent to inspire cooperative action stood out—not as words, but through his respect for others and his efforts to support community efforts. He was always at the middle of getting things done.”

Karnes exhorted credit unions to do something big this year. “Our communities are forever challenged and that is still our call to action. Cooperative ownership shines in times of stress and diverse pressure. Now is the time for CUSO and credit union leaders to focus on providing solutions. Looking forward, I’m confident about the response of the CU*Answers credit union community, and the power of cooperative owners to lead the way,” said Karnes.

The Robert H. Mackay award was established in 2005 to recognize the leadership contribution of Robert Mackay, retired CEO of Berrien Teachers CU (now known as Honor Credit Union,) who served as a member of the CU*Answers Board of Directors from 1985 to 2007 and as Chairman for 19 of those years. Randy Karnes, former CU*Answers CEO, said “Bob’s leadership and inspiration served not only as a guide but as the compass for CU*Answers to grow and prosper into a CUSO that is now known in the industry for its core values of cooperation, collaboration and innovation.” Each year this award is presented to an individual who exemplifies these leadership skills.