Longest-serving volunteer in Arsenal’s history honored
After 28 years of volunteering at Arsenal Credit Union and leading the board of directors for 18 of those, Randy Pratt has officially retired.
“It has been a pleasure serving,”
said Pratt, who was presented with a framed Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award at the credit union’s annual meeting on April 18. “I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of guys and gals on the board. They’ve worked hard for all the years I’ve been here; they’ve supported the management of this organization just tirelessly. It’s incredible.”
The biggest surprise of the recognition ceremony came when President/CEO Linda Allen announced the credit union was naming its top scholarship awards after Pratt. The news moved him emotionally, leading him to break down a few times while trying to express his appreciation for being honored in such a way and for his love of the credit union. The pure, raw emotion he showed touched many people in attendance and was easily the highlight of the evening.
A cause near and dear to his heart
While Pratt served on virtually every committee at the credit union at one point or another over the years, the one nearest and dearest to him was the scholarship committee. He served as a scholarship judge for many years and chaired the committee quite a few years, too. He always looked forward to emceeing the scholarship awards presentation and honoring the students.
Decades of commendable service
Pratt joined Arsenal in 1970 when he was in the U.S. Air Force and started volunteering at the credit union in April 1990 while he was employed at what is now known as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), a combat support agency under the U.S. Department of Defense and a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community. He was elected chairman one year after joining Arsenal’s Board of Directors and served in the top leadership position for nine consecutive years (April 1991-April 2000).
He remained on the board another two years before announcing his first retirement from it. That same year the credit union created a new position for him, director emeritus, and he served in this advisory role for seven years (2002-2009). In 2010 he returned to the board as an elected official and served another nine-year stint as chairman before retiring a second time.
Only one person has served longer than him as board chairman at Arsenal – Edward Lurton, who led for 18 consecutive years (1957-1974), plus one prior year (1950). But Pratt now owns the record for most years of volunteer service ever given by one individual at Arsenal. Overall, he served two years longer than Lurton.
“We are so lucky to have had such a passionate and devoted chair and board member – and for your service to the credit union,” Allen told Pratt before giving him a hug as the ceremony concluded.
Pratt was known for always coming fully prepared to board meetings, committee meetings and strategic planning sessions, many of which he led. His sense of humor would keep the business atmosphere at them light. Whenever there were any figures, reports, services or issues he didn’t understand, he would ask questions. His votes were always a careful balance between what was good for members and what was good for the credit union. During his tenure, he represented the credit union at the local, state, national and international levels through conventions and work groups.
Randy’s service to the country and other interests
He retired from his job at NGA, the employer group that Arsenal was founded to serve, in April 2004 after almost a 25-year career there. Among the positions he held at the federal agency were compiler, computer operator, programmer, program manager, supervisor, and branch chief, all in aeronautical information. He worked at department level and staff level, heading up their international offices when he retired. He also served his country for almost seven years as a member of the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of E-5 Staff Sergeant after less than three years.
Outside of Arsenal, other volunteer work that he has done in the past includes serving on trustee boards for two subdivisions and coaching kids sports teams (soccer, basketball and softball). As an avid golfer, he also ran two golf leagues for retirees.