Illinois Credit Union Hall of Fame
William M. Reidel
Bill Reidel spent a lifetime serving the needs of credit union members throughout Lake County. For forty years Bill worked at Consumers Cooperative Credit Union in Waukegan, 25 of them as CEO. During that time, Bill presided over record growth attributed to his leadership skills and his vision to expand products and services and introduce the use of technology for convenience, ease and economies of scale. Consumers Cooperative Credit Union is now one of the top ten credit unions in Illinois in asset size.
Bill began his career in 1964 as a loan interviewer and collector. Bill developed his skills for helping members through his efforts to assist those in financial need. Bill became an “institution” in Waukegan and surrounding communities. To this day, Consumers has second and third generation members that can still trace their roots to a “first loan” provided to a parent, grandparent or relative.
His reputation for service and fairness enhanced his credibility with legislators and local political leaders. He has received resolutions commending his service from the Governor of Illinois, the Illinois House of Representatives, the City of Waukegan, and a letter of Commendation from the Illinois Senate.
He also was active in the Thomas W. Doig Chapter, serving a term as Chairman and worked with the Filene Research Institute. He served on the Lake County Advisory Board for 15 years and on the Board of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, including one term as Chairman.
Bill’s commitment to making life better for individuals extended outside the credit union as well. He assisted with United Way fundraising events, the March of Dimes, Chapter Relays, teaching at a local college, organizing local parades and festivals, as well as attending Hike the Hill events and the Operation Grassroots Rally in Washington.
Consumers Cooperative Credit Union was chartered in 1930. It has survived the Great Depression and other turbulent financial times. Much of its success may be attributed to Bill Reidel’s unselfish dedication to the philosophy of “people helping people”. Under his tenure, the credit union matured from an “addition product” of the Waukegan Trading Company to the full service financial cooperative it is today. Membership grew from 16,000 members to over 47,000 and assets went from $14 million to more than $365 million.
Bill Reidel has left a lasting legacy in the credit union movement, at Consumers Cooperative Credit Union and in his community.