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Gary Tuma Retires After 26 Years as Smart Financial CU's CEO
Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:00 AM

Gary Tuma Retires After 26 Years as Smart Financial CU's CEO

After 26 years of serving as Smart Financial Credit Union’s chief executive officer, Gary Tuma has retired effective Dec. 31, 2015. Smart Financial appointed previous chief lending officer Larry Seidl as Tuma’s successor effective Jan. 1, 2016.

“It has truly been an honor to work with the team at Smart Financial Credit Union,” said Tuma. “I am confident that Smart Financial will continue to flourish under Larry’s guidance and leadership.”

Under Tuma’s leadership, Smart Financial grew from $82 million to more than $600 million in assets and increased membership from 37,000 to more than to than 77,000 members and counting. In 2013, the Houston-based credit union formed its own foundation, the Smart Financial Foundation, to better guide its corporate philanthropy efforts and support charities that help children, indigent healthcare, and the educational community.

Smart Financial was honored two years in a row by Texas Monthly as one of the Top Places to Work in Texas, and in 2014 it relocated from its Newcastle location to a new corporate headquarters in the Westchase District, naming the new building in honor of Tuma.

One of the crowning moments of Tuma’s time with Smart Financial occurred in February 2015 when the credit union entered into a ten-year naming rights agreement with the City of Sugar Land and ACE SL, LLC securing the naming rights for the new $84 million indoor performance center. Set to open in the fall of 2016, the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land recently celebrated a topping off ceremony marking one year until the venue’s projected opening date.

Tuma dedicated his 36-year career to serving various Texas credit unions in Austin, Corpus Christi, and Houston. He currently serves on the board of directors for the CHRISTUS Foundation, Smart Financial Foundation, and Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. 

In 2011, the Texas Credit Union League named Tuma its Professional of the Year, and Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Tuma to a six-year term on the Texas Credit Union Commission. Notably, Tuma previously served on the boards of directors for the Texas Credit Union League; Austin, Corpus Christi, and Houston Credit Union Chapters; and the Texas Institute of Certified Credit Union Executives, among others.

Tuma was an Honors graduate of the Southwest CUNA Management School in 1984. He also received a Certified Credit Union Executive designation in 1988. A native Texan, Tuma currently lives in Sugar Land with his wife Patti and his dog Humfrey.

For more information on Smart Financial Credit Union please visit,

About Smart Financial Credit Union

Smart Financial Credit Union has been dedicated to providing superior service to every member since 1934. With 20 locations in Greater Houston, Smart Financial provides a full range of financial services to more than 77,000 members. For more information, please visit or engage with them on Facebook or Twitter @SmartFinancialCU.