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January 10, 2023   •   News   Press Release  

SAFE CU Shifts C-Suite Lineup, Refreshes Member Strategy

Folsom, Calif. – (Jan. 9, 2023) – SAFE Credit Union is reimagining how to put the experience of its members at the forefront in cooperative banking.

President and new Chief Executive Officer Faye Nabhani has announced a reorganization effort expanding the credit union’s senior executive team to include a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and a Chief Experience Officer (CXO).

Nabhani says the changes, which took effect as of Jan. 1, 2023, better mirror SAFE’s goals to elevate the delivery and value of its financial services to its members.

“These shifts reflect a renewed commitment to SAFE’s members and the communities we serve,” Nabhani says. “The more our members can do through their credit union experience, the more opportunities they will have to each achieve more financial freedom. This is about improving how our members live every day.”

The new lineup includes SAFE Chief Financial Officer Chris Harris assuming the new role of Chief Strategy Officer. SAFE Chief Information Officer Mike McCarthy takes on the new title Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Senior Vice President of Finance Alexis Fitzpatrick has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Tiffani Vargas continues in her newly created and recently announced position as Chief Lending Officer (CLO).

A search is underway to fill the Chief Experience Officer position.

As Chief Strategy Officer, Harris leads the planning and development of SAFE’s strategies and growth initiatives, as well as overseeing enterprise risk management, business intelligence, data management, and facilities.

“My objective is to align SAFE’s strategic priorities and decision-making across all lines of business while growing our business intelligence and analytics capabilities. The primary goal: deliver exceptional member value and experiences,” says Harris.

Chris Harris photoSAFE Credit Union’s new Chief Strategy Officer Chris Harris

The newChief Experience Officer will lead member-facing sales, member service and operations and delivery. The new role will lead the communications, community relations and marketing teams to further align member services.

As Chief Technology Officer, McCarthy leads SAFE’s focus on technology. He continues to overseeIT operations, information security, core applications, digital banking, business transformation and the project management office. In addition, he is now responsible for the technical design and services of online, mobile and ATM banking.

SAFE Credit Union’s new Chief Technology Officer Mike McCarthy

“We can’t remain stagnant,” McCarthy told BOSS Magazine this past spring. “We want to keep evolving in the digital space and we want to keep pushing member experience, convenience and value.” 

As the new CFO, Fitzpatrick leads all facets of SAFE’s finance department including accounting, treasury, secondary market and financial planning and analysis.

Alexis Fitzpatrick photoSAFE Credit Union’s new Chief Financial Officer

Of the new executive team, Nabhani says, “These changes include key realignments in our business strategy and member service and workforce experiences throughout our operation areas to ensure we function as one team.”

“Our credit union remains strong and with these shifts we ensure we are prepared for the future,” she says.

Faye Nabhani photoSAFE Credit Union President and CEO Faye Nabhani

Former CEO Dave Roughton retired at the end of December 2022 after leading SAFE for six years. Under his stewardship, SAFE doubled in size from $2.14 billion assets to $4.5 billion, and from 192,000 members to 247,000 members. He was instrumental in partnering with the City of Sacramento to secure the naming rights to the SAFE Credit Union Convention & Performing Arts District. He inaugurated diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at SAFE as well as expanded technological solutions benefiting the credit union and its members.

Under the senior executive team realignment, Colleen Nerius remains Chief Human Resources Officer.

Read more about the new SAFE executive leaders:

Chris Harris

Harris, initially hired as a Controller, has worked for SAFE for 18 years with the last 12 years as its Chief Financial Officer. He is a CPA with 28 years of corporate finance and audit experience, with 23 of those years in the financial service industry. He is a Sacramento Business Journal 40 Under 40 Award recipient and is the vice chair for the Credit Union Self Insurance Group of California. He also serves as an advisory board member for ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC.

Mike McCarthy

McCarthy, who has served in the U.S. Army and National Guard, is experienced in network engineering, information security, and intelligence analysis. He holds a degree from Kaplan University in Information Security and Forensics and several industry recognized technology certificates. He is a member of the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Payments Subcommittee, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, and the FinTech Consortium.

Alexis Fitzpatrick

Prior to joining SAFE, Fitzpatrick was in public accounting for 13 years. During her tenure, she has used financial analysis to help SAFE make forward-looking and strategic decisions. She has helped facilitate the best financial decisions for SAFE by having a clear view of the credit union’s financial health including reviewing and managing the balance sheet and developing strategies to grow revenue and maximize returns to members. She serves as a board of director for the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, and is involved in the American River Parkway Foundation. 

About SAFE

SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with $4.5 billion in assets and about 247,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person services for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA.

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