President and CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union
Richard Romero is an architect of financial performance and cultural transformation. He’s also an ardent believer in the cooperative approach to banking.
Since joining Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union as President and CEO in 2012, he has succeeded in raising the credit union’s net worth by more than two percent. As a result of the credit union’s improved financial position, he has been able to build his team’s ability to provide education and services to Seattle’s underserved communities.
His introduction to banking came from his mother, who worked at a bank while he was growing up in Peru. Her familiarity with the nuances of banking would be a big help when they relocated to the United States several years later. While he did not grow up with the same reservations and mistrust that some immigrants have of financial institutions, Romero did experience many challenges of moving to a foreign country and learning a new language and culture.
Prior to reaching executive levels, Richard rose through the ranks at financial institutions all along the West Coast – Great Western Bank, Fidelity Federal Bank, Washington Mutual, and Telesis Community Credit Union and Firefighters First Credit Union in Los Angeles. It was along this path he cemented his understanding of retail banking, customer service, and technology.
He has served on several local committees and boards including, the YearUp Leadership Council and the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions Board of Directors and Leadership Eastside Board of Directors. In 2015 he received the Desjardin’s Youth and Adult Financial Education Award and in 2016 he received the Crosscut Courage in Business Award, for his work with immigrant communities. He enjoys giving back by mentoring and providing career guidance, having worked his way through the ranks.
As a person who always enjoyed the LA sunshine, he thought he could never live in Seattle. Today, Richard and his family love all that the Northwest has to offer, and are glad to call it home.