DES MOINES, Iowa (4/21/09)--The Iowa Credit Union League announced that Alvin W. (Al) Jordan, former league president/CEO, died April 18 at the age of 101. Jordan committed his life to furthering the credit union movement and lived by the philosophy of “people helping people,” the league said.
“Al Jordan was one of the greatest credit union advocates in the 20th century,” said Patrick Jury, league president/CEO. “He was the central figure in the development of the Iowa Credit Union League, and our industry mourns his passing.” "Al Jordan had a tremendously positive influence on the careers of many in the credit union movement over his own long and fruitful tenure," said Dan Mica, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association. "A pioneer for credit unions, he will be much missed--but is certainly appreciated." Jordan’s credit union career spanned seven decades. He served as treasurer of the old Western Union Employees CU from its founding in 1938 until he joined the staff of the league in 1953. While with the credit union he served as vice president of the league board and president of the Central Iowa Chapter of Credit Unions. He started at the league as a special representative, more commonly known in those days as a “field man.” In this position, he helped organize new credit unions and assisted existing credit unions in the area of operations--much as the league’s management consultants do today. When the managing director--the league’s chief executive--resigned in 1953, the board named Jordan temporary managing director. The appointment was made official in 1954, with the title later being changed to president. In the early 1950s, when Jordan took over, the league had only four employees, offered limited services and operated out of rented office quarters. By the time he retired 28 years later, in 1981, the Iowa Credit Union League had emerged as a national leader in the credit union movement, the league said. The National Credit Union Foundation presented Jordan with its highest honor, the Herb Wegner Memorial Award, to recognize his national cooperative leadership. Also, in 1995, the National Cooperative Business Association bestowed Jordan its highest honor by inducting him into its Hall of Fame at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. More than any other individual, Jordan was responsible for the development of the league’s data processing center. He traveled throughout the state talking to credit union groups, explaining how the center would work and what it would allow credit unions to do. “Al Jordan was a wonderful diplomat because he was the consummate gentleman,” said Tom Griffiths, former league CEO. “His genuine interest in the ideas and requirements of others allowed him to move comfortably and with respect among leaders in highly competitive situations. Today, many of his competitors are only remembering Al as their friend.”