Board of Directors
Credit unions are different from other financial institutions because they are not-for-profit cooperatives whose primary goal is to serve their members. Our Board of Directors is also unlike our counterparts who serve on the boards of commercial banks. Credit union board members, including those at Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union, serve as unpaid volunteers.
The seven members who serve on Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union’s Board set the credit union’s policies and maintain the best interests of our member-owners. They each serve three-year elected terms and never receive any monetary compensation for their efforts. They are guided by the credit union philosophy of serving members.
I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in Tucson. My father is a retired fire captain and my mother is a retired teacher. After graduation from Pueblo High School I attended Northern Arizona University where I earned a bachelor of science degree in accountancy. I returned to Tucson where I began a 36-year career with a regional CPA firm. During that period, I specialized in income, estate and fiduciary taxation. In addition to being a CPA, I am also a Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. I spent most of my career helping closely held businesses and families navigate through the financial aspects of their life. I am honored that TOPCU has added me to its Board of Directors, and I am committed to helping the organization fulfill its mission. I also believe that TOPCU has the opportunity and resources to help improve the financial lives of all its members and their families.
In my current role as the Management Coordinator for Tucson Police Department, along with a staff of nine, my section is in charge of the fiscal oversight and management of all funds (approximately $170 Million annually). Oversight includes the General Fund and 70 federal, state and local grants. In addition, my section is charged with fiduciary responsibilities associated with the statewide Southwest Border High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (SWB HIDTA) Program . Prior to this, I was a Lead Budget Analyst for the City of Tucson’s Budget and Research Department in charge of providing oversight of operational and capital budgets for the Tucson Police, Tucson Water, Environmental Services, Development Services and Urban Planning Departments. My technical experience is based on studies in the field of business and finance associated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of New Mexico; a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of South Dakota; and as an adjunct undergraduate instructor in business and economics at Park University. My practical experience in management, supervision and leadership is based on my career as a Major in the United States Air Force (now retired). This experience was developed during my 21 years as a Navigator/Weapons Systems Officer in B-52G and B-1B aircraft culminating as a senior evaluator and lead planner integrating flight operations with ground missions during the initial stages of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001. I am also the proud grandfather.
I relocated to Tucson in 1979 to attend the University of Arizona and have since called The Old Pueblo home. My wife and I love what Tucson has had to offer our family; both professionally and socially. My primary career path has been business development, with a focus on business start-ups and reorganization. I currently hold the position of CEO for Chicago Music Store, LLC and Chicago Store Properties, LLC. My formal education includes a B.A. from Montclair State University and a M.M. from the University of Arizona. I joined the Board of Directors for Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union in 2013 to be part of a locally driven financial institution where service to members and the community are of the highest priority.
I became a member of TOPCU in June of 1980. The credit union was as a convenient way to save money, to have the benefits of person to person service, and a place that everyone does not have to fit into a specific box. I am originally from Tucson, but left to go to school in Utah. I came back to the Old Pueblo to work and eventually raise a family of which three generations are TOPCU members. After being here for 37 years, I’m still very satisfied. I joined the TOPCU board to assist in maintaining the member service atmosphere and hopefully help the credit union and members thrive. I spent 31 years with Tucson Fire Department, retiring at the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations, with responsibility for emergency response for the City of Tucson. Most of my fire service career was spent on the city’s south side or downtown areas. In addition to being on the Board of Directors, I’m also on the Board of Trustees for the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation. In 2001, I was honored to receive the Southern Arizona Wrestling Coach of the year. I am the proud grandfather of two grandchildren who represent the third generation of TOPCU members!
Old Pueblo born and bred, I earned an Economics degree from the University of Arizona and a Masters in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) before embarking on a 15-year global odyssey of marketing, sales, and subsidiary leadership roles in Mexico, Singapore, S. Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan before returning stateside (Pennsylvania) in 2005 to take over the reigns of a billion-dollar global pharmaceutical portfolio at Merck. Recruited by J&J in 2010, I currently manage a global portfolio that addresses public health threats associated with neglected tropical diseases, drug-resistant pathogens, and emerging pandemics. My return to Tucson in 2018 has restored my love of the Sonoran Desert and for the city that I (finally) call home.
G. Vernon Babilon