SCMS Grad Wanted to be a Pilot, but Discovered his Passion was Actually Serving People


Jerry Clancy has been serving the nearly 12,000 members of Lone Star CU (Dallas) since the late ‘60s. He joined the credit union as a collector in 1993. At that time, the credit union had just over $627,500 in assets. Clancy worked hard and climbed the ranks, becoming CEO in 1993. Today, the credit union boasts $99.7 million in assets.

Clancy shares with LoneStar Leaguer readers his story and how Southwest CUNA Management School helped him become a more successful leader.

Question: What did you want to be when you were younger?

Clancy: I wanted to be a pilot.

Question: How did you find your way to credit unions?

Clancy: I was working at Lone Star Gas Co when the opening at the credit union occurred and I requested a transfer.

Question: Why are you so passionate about credit unions?

Clancy: The credit union motto of “people helping people” is what life is about and credit unions give each employee an opportunity to do that.

Question: You started out as a collector at the credit union and have worked your way up to CEO. What was your first big break?

Clancy: I enjoyed what I was doing and just stuck with it. My “big break” was going to work for my former boss, Clyde Choate, who I worked with for over 25 years. He was great to work for and we both recognized the opportunity that working in the credit union offered.

Question: In the early 70s you decided to start [and graduated in 1974] Southwest CUNA Management School. What motivated you to go through SCMS and what did it teach you?

Clancy: My boss, Clyde Choate, introduced the idea to me and after discussing it, I made the commitment to enroll. It was my first opportunity to receive a more formal education into the credit union world.

Question: What role has SCMS played in your career?

Clancy: When you live with someone for two weeks each summer for three years, it affords you the opportunity to establish lifelong friendships and acquaintances.

Question: How have the experience, knowledge and skills gained from graduating SCMS better prepared you for the many the challenges that the credit union movement has faced over the last decade?

Clancy: It helped prepare me to accept and make the adjustments necessary for the inevitable changes that were beginning to occur within the credit union world. And with the speed of change over the last decade, much of the knowledge and skills gained have allowed us to be more successful.

Question: And finally, why would you recommend SCMS to other credit union executives?

Clancy: SCMS is a rigorous program, and sometimes the thought of quitting did enter my mind. I give credit to Joe Wasaff [now CEO of America’s CU] for encouraging me to stick with it. SCMS is an excellent program. It reinforces the skill sets required in today’s credit union environment as it builds the confidence we need to overcome the challenges we are currently faced with and I don’t know of any better place that you can gain the knowledge and networking capability than SCMS.

SCMS is recognized in the credit union movement for innovative, intense, hands-on, professional development. It is a three-year program designed specifically to develop and enhance leadership skills. More than 1,000 credit union professionals have already taken advantage of what SCMS has to offer. To learn more, visit

If you have any questions about SCMS, please contact SCMS director Janine McBee, at (469) 385-6400, ext. 6634 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6634.

TCU Neeley School of Business

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