Bruce K. Foulke Named “Credit Union Executive of the Year” by American Banker
American Heritage Credit Union’s President and CEO, Bruce K. Foulke, has been named “Credit Union Executive of the Year” by American Banker for both his leadership at American Heritage as well as his year-long efforts to support those affected by the war in Ukraine.
Throughout the year, Foulke spearheaded multiple local and global initiatives to support Ukrainian refugees as well as credit unions in Eastern Europe. In early March, Foulke completed his first humanitarian trip to Eastern Europe, where he saw first-hand the devastation caused by the war. He met with representatives of the National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions, Poland (SKOK) to provide counsel and aid to help resume operations and support those who had been displaced as a result.
During that time, American Heritage associates collected thousands of essential items and medical supplies that have since been distributed to civilians of Ukraine through a partnership with Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Inc (UNWLA). High-demand items collected include first aid supplies, outerwear, non-perishable foods, toiletries, diapers, and baby formula.
During the summer, Foulke rallied credit union executives from the United States and Europe to establish The Polish American Credit Union Support Fund, raising more than $400,000 to help purchase and distribute ambulances and other medical transport vehicles to hospitals in Ukraine.
“I am devastated by the events in Eastern Europe and the number of lives it has impacted,” said Bruce K. Foulke, President & CEO of American Heritage. “I felt it was my job as a global citizen to do my part, and I am thrilled that other members of the credit union movement have also stepped up to help support this cause. We are humbled to have this opportunity to help save the lives of children, pregnant mothers, and military personnel and support the efforts of those who continue responding to the call for help.”
Foulke completed his second trip to Eastern Europe during October, where he delivered two ambulances purchased through the support fund to Lviv City Children's Clinical Hospital in Ukraine; The vehicles are now being utilized to transport refugees to Polish healthcare facilities. Additional donations made during this trip included generators, medical equipment, and first aid supplies to Ukrainian children’s hospitals and medical facilities.
“I am honored to have been named Credit Union Executive of the Year by American Banker,” said Foulke. “It is a privilege to be able to champion local and global initiatives, like the ones I have for Ukraine, which would not be possible without the support of our credit union community, our Board of Directors, associates, and our members.”
Since becoming American Heritage’s President and CEO in 1979, Foulke has led the credit union through field of membership expansions, as well as more than 50 mergers with other credit unions ranging from $10,000 of assets to $80 million of assets. Foulke has also added 12 hospitals and various groups of state government employees who reside in the area to its field of membership and now serves more than 275,000 members, making American Heritage one of the 75 largest credit unions in the country by membership. When Foulke assumed his duties in 1979, American Heritage, then known as the Budd Company Workers Federal Credit Union, had assets of approximately $4 million. Today, American Heritage has reached more than $4 billion asset milestone.
Foulke embodies the credit union movement’s mantra of “people helping people” through his leadership positions with the World Council of Credit Unions and other national and global leadership positions in the credit union movement. In 1996, he launched the Kids-N-Hope Foundation in partnership with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the first credit union-sponsored charitable foundation in the country. As its Chairman, Foulke has helped raise more than $2.8 million to fund the Musical Therapy Program housed in its Children's Seashore House campus and has further donated more than $25,000 worth of instruments.