Hughes to Step Down after 50 Years at Brookline Municipal CU; DeMaio Named New CEO
Jim Hughes began his career at Brookline Municipal Credit Union in1964 and never looked back.
Hughes, who became CEO in 1971, is retiring at the end of July. Hughes says he started his career as a "member guy" and leaves as a "member guy," always staying focused on what's best for the members. "We are here for the membership. We do a lot locally. We do a lot of charitable work and we work to pay better rates on deposits and loans than banks," said Hughes, though he noted income is tough to come by today.
The town of Brookline, which is walking distance to Fenway Park, and surrounded by Boston on three sides, has seen a boom in real estate prices and is thriving, said Hughes. The $41 million credit union predominantly serves the employees and retired employees of the Town of Brookline and residents of the Town of Brookline.
"As the town has grown up, so has the credit union," said Hughes. "We used to have lines out the door, down the street on paydays. Now with direct deposit, ATMs, and online services more people can use us without stopping in."
Hughes is passionate about the credit union "movement" and says it is becoming less of a "movement" as many credit unions have become overly concerned with growth. "I think over the years we've lost sight of it being a movement. There's been an infusion of bankers, not that that's bad, but there's been more of a focus on growth," he said.
A long-time chairman of the Credit Union League of Massachusetts, Hughes said the pending merger between the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island Credit Union Leagues/Association, makes a lot of sense for the future. "There's a lot of value in us staying together," he said.
Hughes is succeeded by Paul J. DeMaio who joined the credit union in 2000 in a back office role focused on accounting and core processing. DeMaio came to the credit union from the Office of the State Auditor where he was a field auditor. A graduate of Northeastern University and a father of four, DeMaio looks to carry on the tradition set by Hughes. "I'm staying the course. We will continue to be an important part of the community," he said.
Hughes and DeMaio will continue their local sports rivalries even after Hughes retires. "Paul played hockey in Newton. Brookline used to beat up Newton in hockey and football and is just better," said Hughes.