Chris Brooks Appointed Board Emeritus After 49 Years of Service

Chris Rutledge, CEO/President of Gulf Winds Credit Union

Chris Brooks was appointed to the role of Board Emeritus on July 19, 2021. Brooks transitions to Board Emeritus after 49 years on Gulf Winds’ Board of Directors. Brooks also provided 15 years as a Gulf Winds staff member, including serving in the role of General Manager from 1993-1998. In 2009, Brooks received the distinction of being named the “Volunteer of the Year” by the Florida Credit Union League (FCUL). As an Emeritus Official, Brooks will serve as an advisor to the board of directors and offer guidance based on his experience and expertise in the financial industry.

“Chris Brooks has provided valuable leadership and direction for our Credit Union as both an Official and CEO,” said Board Chair R.L. “Ozzie” Oswald, Sr. “I know he will remain committed to serving our members in his new role and will continue to exemplify the credit union philosophy, People Helping People.”

Brooks grew up in Goodway, Alabama with 8 brothers and 3 sisters. He served in the Army’s 101 First Airborne Division before attending the University of Alabama. After graduating from Alabama in 1959, he moved directly into a position at Chemstrand and became involved with the Credit Union.

“I have been very fortunate to be a part of the long history of this Credit Union,” said Brooks. “I have always received great service as a member. As an employee and Board Member, I tried to treat the staff well and make sure our members were provided top service, now referred to as, Service That Soars Above. I’m happy to  continue being a part of the Credit Union.”

Brooks was also an important advocate for credit unions on the state and national level. He was an active member of the Northwest Chapter of Credit Unions, serving as Chapter President for three years. Additionally, he was a Director of the FCUL Board for nine years, serving as Treasurer for seven of those years. He was involved in the Credit Union industry on a national level as a Board Member for the Payment Systems for Credit Unions and the Southeast Marketing Council for the Credit Union Mutual Insurance Society.

“Chris has been a critical leader for this Credit Union and an important advocate for credit unions around the country,” said Chris Rutledge, CEO/President of Gulf Winds. “We are proud to honor him as Board Emeritus.”

The Emeritus Program is available to board members who have served Gulf Winds Credit Union for at least 30 years. This program invites previous board members to attend board meetings and bring their advice to any meeting they wish to attend. Brooks plans to remain involved at Gulf Winds and will continue attending board meetings to help advise the current directors.