Daniel Weickenand, CEO of Orion Federal Credit Union, was named CEO of the Year by Inside Memphis Business magazine on Jan. 26, 2018.
Weickenand has devoted 25 years to the credit union industry. His management expertise in turning around distressed financial institutions led him to Orion in 2010. At that time, Orion’s membership was 49,000 and assets totaled just over $517 million. He made quick work of the lean years and transitioned Orion to the successful member and community-focused institution it is today. Under Weickenand’s leadership, Orion has grown to become the largest credit union in west Tennessee with more than 62,000 members and $700 million in assets. Orion’s vision, “To be the leading source of financial independence in the communities we serve,” is a guiding principle held by Weickenand.
“I’m honored to be recognized with this award. Great accomplishments are rarely achieved by one individual, but by a group of individuals working together. This is what has and is taking place at Orion, we pride ourselves on our commitment to the organization, each other, and our great community,” stated Daniel Weickenand.
Weickenand’s comprehensive leadership strategy includes community support initiatives, impactful products and services, and outstanding customer service. Weickenand encourages all departments to collaborate to launch new ideas and better products for Orion members, building a stronger, better serving company.
Weickenand’s best-known saying is, “A better Memphis, means a better Orion.” It is that philosophy that has led Orion to support many community initiatives through non-profits and sponsorships of a number of open and inclusive festivals. He is the kind of leader that promotes Orion’s social responsibility and common sense efforts to give back in the neighborhoods of Memphis. Orion goes beyond financial sponsorships of many Memphis based non-profits by placing an importance on creating a relationship with these organizations. Orion encourages meaningful volunteer opportunities for employees to support their missions.
As a community-minded leader, he negotiated a deal in 2015 to build an Orion branch in Memphis’ Medical District. The LEED Silver® facility, located across the street from Le Bonheur, was constructed on a contaminated site, which was once home to a dilapidated gas station. Orion chose the site based on its commitment to impacting the community. Orion went beyond reactivating a dead street corner and built a branch that would reflect the change and evolution going on in the Medical District of Memphis. This decision was more about bettering Memphis than Orion’s bottom line.
Weickenand is an active volunteer, invested in the Memphis community, and has served on numerous non-profit boards in Memphis. He also serves on the National Association of Federal Credit Union’s Board of Directors, which provides credit unions with the best in federal advocacy, education, and compliance assistance. Weickenand joins an elite list of Memphis leaders honored by this award including, Rick Shadyac, ALSAC (2016); Kevin McEniry, nexAir (2016); and Stacy McCall, ServiceMaster by Stratos (2017).