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Access Community Credit Union CEO Set to Retire
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 7:00 AM

Keith Watson

After 17 years G. Keith Watson, president and chief executive officer at Access Community Credit Union in Amarillo, has announced his retirement, effective March 1, 2017.

In 1976, Watson was hired by the credit union’s sponsor company, Southwestern Public Service (SPS), as an accountant. That same year, Watson served as a volunteer member of the credit union’s audit committee. He served on various committees thereafter, including the board of directors during the 1980s. In 1986, he was promoted to manager of payroll services for the company, a position he held until 1997. In 2000, he was hired as vice president and chief financial officer for Access Community CU, and he later became executive vice president and CFO.

In 2006, Watson was appointed by the board of directors as president and chief executive officer. Under his leadership, credit union assets have increased from $67 million to $114 million, and during that same period two branch locations were added.

Watson was instrumental in leading and executing the credit union’s rebranding effort and expansion from a single-sponsor entity to a full-service, community-focused, financial institution. For years, Access Community CU has been recognized by Bauer Financial, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating firm, with a 5-star rating, and  they received an A+ in financial health from, placing it in the top 200 credit unions in the nation.

Chairman of the Board Scott Davis said, on behalf of the credit union, “We congratulate Keith Watson on his upcoming retirement. His leadership and wisdom have been instrumental in transforming our credit union for the future needs of our members. Keith has long been a faithful steward of our credit union and culture, and we wish him continued success in his new personal beginning.”

John Hays, currently executive vice president and chief operations officer, will succeed Watson as president and CEO in March. Hays has spent 17 years working in the financial industry, 11 of those with Access. He has served as the credit union’s COO since 2009, and prior to that was vice president of lending.