Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame
Joseph A. Klein
As one of the founders of the Bakelite Ottawa Plastics Credit Union and the Credit Union Executive Society, Joseph A. Klein is a natural choice for the Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame. These were only the beginnings of his passion for the credit union movement.
Klein was a director of the Bakelite Ottawa Plastics Credit Union for 36 years and chief executive officer for 29 years. He retired in 1989.
Joe simultaneously served on the board of the Tri County Credit Union for 19 years. He served on every committee during his tenure there.
At the chapter level, Klein was a director for the Tri County Chapter for 15 years. He served as president for seven years and treasurer for four. Joe held many notable positions including education liaison. He was a representative to the Illinois Credit Union Foundation and for the CUNA Mutual Policy Owners. Joe served on the board of the Illinois Credit Union League for nine years.
In addition to Klein’s notoriety in the credit union movement, he also served on the Ottawa United Fund board. He represented his area in the Bike Across the Magnificent Miles of Illinois for the Chicago Lung Association.
Joe has been active with the Local 129 Labor Union at Bakelite, Union Carbide and American Hoescht plants. He is currently an officer of the Knights of Columbus of Ottawa. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elks Club, St. Patrick’s Church, AARP and treasurer of Union Carbide Old Timers. Wherever he goes, he is quick to spread the word about credit unions.