Chris Rutledge Named CEO of the Year by National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions

Chris Rutledge, CEO/President of Gulf Winds Credit UnionPensacola, FL (August 24, 2021) – Chris Rutledge, CEO/President of Gulf Winds Credit Union was chosen as CEO of the Year by the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU). Rutledge will be honored during NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus, September 12-15, along with the other winners in NAFCU’s 2021 Annual Awards Competition.

“Chris Rutledge’s dedicated efforts are reflected in the continued success of Gulf Winds Credit Union,” said Board Chairman R.L. “Ozzie” Oswald Sr. “This award reflects his thoughtful leadership, innovative ideas and exemplary service on behalf of our members.”

This year’s NAFCU Annual Awards Competition honored eight winners in total and was selected by a committee of credit union leaders. Nominees for CEO of the Year, Credit Union of the Year, Professional of the Year and Volunteer of the Year were judged in two categories: credit unions with assets of more than $250 million and those with assets of $250 million or less. Rutledge was a winner among credit unions with more than $250 million in assets.

Rutledge has served as Gulf Wind’s CEO/President since 2002. During his tenure, the Credit Union has grown from 29,000 members to over 76,000 members. Rutledge earned his B.S. in Accounting from Auburn University and remains a faithful fan of the Tigers. He is heavily involved in the local community as a philanthropist. He volunteers for Manna Food Pantries, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida as a Big Brother. 

“I couldn't be prouder to accept this award on behalf of the team members and officials that I have been blessed to work with at Gulf Winds,” said Rutledge. “Any leader knows that they are only as strong as the team that surrounds them. Our team has always challenged each other to live up to our vision of providing Service That Soars Above. When times get difficult, they support our members, each other, and our community as if they are part of the same family. It has been my pleasure to lead such a dedicated and generous team for the last two decades.”

Before joining Gulf Winds as CEO, Rutledge held positions as the Senior Vice President of Financial Services for the Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union, Chief Financial Officer of Georgia United Credit Union, and Senior Supervision Analyst for the National Credit Union Administration. Throughout his career, Rutledge has provided significant experience to the credit union community, serving on the Board of Directors for Corporate One Federal Credit Union, on the Board and Supervisory Committee for the Southeast Corporate Federal Credit Union, as Chapter President for the Wiregrass Association of Credit Unions, and as an Asset-liability Committee (ALCO) Member for the Georgia Central Credit Union.

Annual Awards Competition winners will be celebrated during the Congressional Caucus and profiled in the September-October 2021 edition of The NAFCU Journal magazine.