Looking back on 38 years with Visions Federal Credit Union

By Brandi Bailey

April 17, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 1:10 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) He's spent his last 38 years with Visions Federal Credit Union and is now looking for a new path. CEO Frank Berrish looks back on the past.

"When I first came to this credit union it just had two offices. It was underneath the IBM cafeteria and didn't have public access. Of course I was a young Turk with lots of ideas which allowed me to say we need branches," Berrish said.

With only 17 employees to start, Berrish was second in command, and latched on to each new idea that came to him.

As a result of those ideas, Visions grew into 32 offices across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with close to 400 employees.

"We took it to limits we never thought were possible," said Berrish.

Berrish attributed a lot of the credit union's growth to staying ahead of the game.

"This area is not growing, so a lot of our growth is being better than our competitors. I think once you do that you'll achieve more that you can ever imagine," Berrish said.

Local leaders say Berrish works to not only better the credit union, but also the community as a long time board member of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.

"He's a visionary. He really is. He looks outside the box and brings back new ideas and he's brought many new ideas here to the chamber in his nine years on the board," said President of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, Lou Santoni.

Berrish will also be leaving the chamber board in May as part of his retirement, but there's no telling what's next.

"I believe there will be another chapter in my life, so there will be something definitely replacing the credit union," Berrish said.

He took Visions' assets of $25 million to $3.1 billion and 31 branches during his tenure. Berrish has a constant flow of ideas that he says cannot be wasted.

Visions currently provides 24/7 service to nearly 160,000 members.

Berrish's retirement is effective May 1.

The credit union has filled his position, but is not yet naming their next CEO.