Marshall Boutwell’s life didn’t turn out exactly as planned. He never expected to run a large credit union, let alone one that helps students attend college at GGC.
Raised in a military family, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and held several command and staff positions. He learned all he could about leadership, aware of his responsibility when leading soldiers into combat. Highly decorated, he earned several medals including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Flying Cross.
When a reduction in force ended his military career, he had to rethink his future. He earned a degree in trust management from Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. His banking career included positions at several Atlanta-area companies.
In 1994, he became president/CEO of Gwinnett Federal Credit Union, now named Peach State Federal Credit Union (PSFCU). Founded to serve teachers, the organization once operated out of a car trunk filled with boxes of its members’ files.
From such humble beginnings, it grew to 5,000 members and $14 million in assets. Under Boutwell’s 20-year leadership, PSFCU expanded to 41,000 members, $265 million in assets, about 100 employees and 12 branches. Its Lawrenceville headquarters has PSFCU well-prepared for future growth as the credit union continues its pattern of 15 percent annual growth. It is one of the fastest-growing credit unions in the state and in the nation.
PSFCU remains education-centric, serving employees of city and county school systems, governments and more than 400 other employee groups across its seven county footprint.
“Credit unions are there to help people afford life,” Boutwell said. “Unlike banks, we don’t have investors/stockholders, we don’t pay federal taxes and our board is all-volunteer. Our members are also our owners and they have expectations of service, so we have a social mission. We invest 10 percent of our profits in the community through support of education, schools and the arts.”
Boutwell is enthusiastic about PSFCU’s commitment to education. “What teachers do is multi-generational,” he said. “It carries on.”
When Georgia Gwinnett College was established, it became part of PSFCU’s commitment to education. PSFCU funds two scholarships for education majors and committed $50,000 to the Daniel J. Kaufman Scholarship Fund.
To Boutwell, corporate citizenship is a duty and education the most effective way to support the community.
“Companies owe it to themselves and to the community to do everything they can to support education,” he said. “We get a lot more than we receive.”
In addition to leading an organization committed to its corporate citizenship, Boutwell himself serves the community through board positions for several industry-related groups, Aurora Theatre and the Lawrenceville Planning Commission. He also is active in Rotary.
“I know that I have an impact on people and that I have a tendency to end up in leadership positions,” said Boutwell. “I spent 25 years training for this job and didn’t know it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because it feels like I’m on vacation. I love what I do.”
View more about PSFCU’s history on its website.