SC Telco Federal Credit Union announced today that CEO Steve Harkins will retire in April 2020 after 33 years of service to the organization. His successor will be announced in late January.
Steve Harkins has been SC Telco Federal Credit Union CEO for over thirty years and has worked in the financial industry for over four decades. During his tenure with the credit union, assets grew from $56 million to $380 million and membership increased three-fold – making the organization the largest credit union headquartered in the Upstate and was recently named as Best-In-State Credit Union (2018/2019) by Forbes.
His servant-minded leadership is beyond compare, being named one of the Top 20 Most Influential Leaders in the Upstate of South Carolina in 2015 by GSA Business Group. Most recently, Harkins was honored with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation – an honor that recognizes a professional who has dedicated their life to promoting the credit union philosophy, creating innovative concepts, and exhibiting leadership that has made an impact in the credit union movement on a local and national stage. Harkins is well-deserving – a perfect ending to this chapter in his career.
“I began my career in 1979 with a goal to help people. That’s why I got into this business,” Harkins stated. “I believe that everything we accomplished; we accomplished together. My career is truly reflective of all the people that I have worked with and interacted with along the way.”
Harkins embodies the guiding principle of credit unions – “people helping people” – acting as a model for the credit union’s culture of charitable giving and volunteerism. One of the many designations the organization received under his leadership was the Community Development Financial Institution certification from the Department of Treasury. With a focus on providing financial services to underserved markets, he laid the cornerstone for the organization’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity, as well as cultivated relationships with The Salvation Army and Homes of Hope. His countless hours of service included serving on several boards: Communities in School (past treasurer), The American Red Cross (past treasurer), Pettigru Historic District Association (past treasurer), Kiwanis Club of Greenville (past distinguished president), Kiwanis of Greenville Foundation (current treasurer), and Catawba College Board of Visitors (member – alma mater).
In addition to his impact at SC Telco, Harkins has also played a vital role in ensuring that credit unions continue to have a strong presence within the marketplace, while upholding the principles by which they were founded. He has served as Chairman of Innovative Business Solutions, LLC, helping grow the credit union service organization (CUSO) to better service the credit union community in South Carolina, as well as serving as a board member for First Carolina Corporate Credit Union, Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, and the South Carolina Credit Union League.
SC Telco Chairman Mike Strickland said: “Steve’s leadership, vision, and commitment to the organization’s mission of improving the financial lives of our members have both materially and relationally strengthened SC Telco, preparing us for an even better future. I’d like to thank him personally, and on behalf of the Board, for his service to the credit union.”
The organization will announce Harkins’ successor in late January.
Steve Harkins, Biography: A native of Pennsylvania, Harkins matriculated to Catawba College and earned bachelor’s degrees in business administration and economics. He holds the Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designation. He began his career in February of 1979 with State Employees’ Credit Union and joined SC Telco in 1987 as a Vice President. In 1993, he was named CEO. Harkins is married to Cindy Sharber Harkins, formerly of Elizabeth City, N.C. They have two adult sons and are proud grandparents of two grandchildren.
About SC Telco : SC Telco Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1935 as a not-for-profit financial cooperative, and today has over 56,000 members and $380 million in assets. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the credit union’s footprint spans the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina with branches in Greenville, Taylors, Easley, Spartanburg, and Columbia. Learn more at sctelco.com.