Pictured: Community Alliance Credit Union chief executive Bob Kotic and chair Mary Youssif welcome new directors Peter Kell and Nieves Murray. Credit: GREG ELLIS
Community Alliance Credit Union welcomed Nieves Murray and Peter Kell as new board members this month.
Chair Mary Youssif announced the three-year appointment of the two new directors after a lengthy selection process that left Ms Murray and Mr Kell impressed.
Their appointment to the seven-member board followed the resignation of Grant Fulton and Chris Grange.
Ms Murray is the chief executive officer of IRT and last November was named Illawarra Business Person of the Year.
She is also known for establishing the Wollongong Vinnies CEO Sleepout that raised more than $83,000 in its first year and $124,000 in the second year to help homeless people.
Mrs Youssif said Ms Murray was passionate about the region and organisations whose purpose was to add value to their communities.
"I was impressed with the rigour that was associated with the appointment of directors," Ms Murray said.
"For me, part of the attraction is this is a community-based organisation. It is also in the Illawarra and has a strong focus on the region and it is an organisation that has a great reputation around the city.
"I thought I could contribute. And purely from a selfish perspective I know it was going to stretch me professionally."
Mr Kell, who returned to Wollongong 18 months ago, is the former chief executive officer of Anglicare, former president of The Illawarra Connection and was the founder of Kells the Lawyers.
"Peter has had a long association with Illawarra Credit Union and we are delighted to welcome him back," Mrs Youssif said.
Mr Kell said his appointment was like coming full circle.
He was an adviser to the credit union during its early years of formation.
He remained in that role and participated in many board committees until 2004, when he left to become chief executive of Anglicare.
"One of the things I was wanting to do when I came back to Wollongong was to re-engage in some kind of community activity," Mr Kell said.
"I was a baby lawyer when Illawarra Credit Union was founded, 40-something years ago. Illawarra Credit Union is now the major part of Community Alliance."
Mr Kell said he looked forward to his new role in a very competitive and busy market for financial institutions.
"We have to be providing good quality, sensible, fair services for people," he said.
"I have been very impressed with the quality of information that comes to the board and the quality debate that takes place and the mature decision-making I see happening. I am looking forward to being a part of that and contributing to it."
Mrs Youssif said Community Alliance invited eight candidates to apply because it wanted to appoint the best directors it could possibly find.
"We are delighted to have both Peter and Nieves on the board. I feel like for Peter it is like coming home," she said.