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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 11 years ago

Local executive lands new job

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Tom Randle, one of the longest tenured credit union executives on the Gulf Coast, is going from building home loan portfolios to actually building homes.

Tom Randle, one of the longest tenured credit union executives on the Gulf Coast, is going from building home loan portfolios to actually building homes.

Randle, who most recently had been the chief executive of the Sarasota Coastal Credit Union, began an interim job as executive director of the Sarasota division of Habitat for Humanity Nov. 9. Randle says his new job is a quintessential stroke of good timing: Habitat's previous top executive, Tony Souza, resigned just as Randle found himself out of a job when Sarasota Coastal merged with a larger Pinellas County credit union Oct. 30.

Through some acquaintances, Randle met with Habitat's board about its vacant leadership position. The board asked Randle to take over for the rest of 2009, to focus mostly on strategic planning for 2010.

Randle's tenure at Sarasota Coastal closely tracked the Gulf Coast housing boom and bust. In the early part of the decade, the institution was one of the fastest growing credit unions in the country, rising 50% in assets and deposits in 1999 and 2000. But by 2008, the $235 million asset credit union was facing significant loan loss issues, which is why it began seeking a partner.

Running a nonprofit isn't much of a stretch for Randle, who has worked for nonprofit credit unions since the early 1980s and once founded a training organization for credit union CEOs. And Randle tells Coffee Talk he would prefer to stay in Sarasota, even if that means no longer working for a credit union.

“Habitat is a great organization,” says Randle. “I'd love to be able to stay here and help them.”

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