Two of The League's long-time employees are retiring in June, having worked with four League presidents and having served credit unions in over a half-dozen functions over the years. Join us in thanking them for many years of service to Wisconsin credit unions!
(L to R) Mary Wichman and Karen Raether
Mary Wichman - retiring with almost 33 years of service
Mary started in 1985, working for the W.C.U.L. Services Corp. (LSC) in the former supply department, print shop and mailing areas, fulfilling many credit union statement mailings and print jobs.
She later worked for both the former League Collection Agency (LCA) and accounting department, and became full-time in accounting after LCA closed in 2005.
Since then she's been responsible for accounts payable and receivables, 990s, and helping wherever needed. She also processes The League’s mailings.
Her immediate plans, she says, include doing absolutely nothing for about a month. After that, she'll be looking forward to her daughter's wedding in October - a Halloween costume event - and hopes to plan a coastal tour of the U.S. by motor home.
Mary said that throughout her career, she's always been given the opportunity to learn, and she encourages young credit union professionals to do the same.
"There's always more to learn, and if you push yourself you'll always be valuable to your credit union," Mary said. "The League has been good to me and I'll miss all the friendships I've made over the years. It's hard to believe that when I started my son was 5, and is now 38. That's how fast the time goes."
Karen Raether - retiring after more than 43 years of service
Karen joined The League in 1975 as Education Department secretary. In 1977 she went to work for the W.C.U.L. Services Corp. as administrative assistant, which included writing its newsletter and creating promotional materials. She then became its marketing rep, traveling the state connecting credit unions with needed services and business partners.
In 1986, due to a retirement, Karen stepped in to become the manager of the printing and mailing departments for about ten years. She later transitioned to the accounting department. In 2002, she replaced Arlys Dove, who retired as Executive Assistant to League President & CEO Brett Thompson.
Karen remembers misspelling “credit union” on her typing test when she applied for her first position at The League.
“Imagine that! I was so young and didn’t know what a credit union was really. So now I am so happy to see the YP Network thriving,” Karen said. “I love credit unions; the people are so kind to each other – like family I grew up with. I get emotional when I hear all the stories. I’m getting emotional now – thanks for the memories.”
She says she will take it easy for a while and is not sure of what will occupy her time – perhaps volunteering at an animal shelter. Karen’s husband is determined to become a farmer as he recently cleared land to make a garden, which she calls a field, and will be raising chickens and who knows what else. “Well, back to our roots I guess. Both of our grandparents had farms,” she chuckled.
Both Karen and Mary will work as needed through June to help as The League transitions all of its office operations to Madison
(read more about the logistics
You’ll have a chance to wish Karen well in person at Convention
in Green Bay, May 9-12. You can share your good wishes with Karen and Mary on The League's Facebook page