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STCU names Spokane native Ezra Eckhardt as its next president

Spokane native Ezra Eckhardt will become STCU’s next president and CEO on Jan. 1. (Photo courtesy of STCU / Photo courtesy of STCU)
Spokane native Ezra Eckhardt will become STCU’s next president and CEO on Jan. 1. (Photo courtesy of STCU / Photo courtesy of STCU)

Spokane native Ezra Eckhardt has been chosen as STCU’s next president and chief executive.

Eckhardt will replace Tom Johnson, who is retiring Jan. 1 after seven years at the credit union’s helm.

STCU was founded by Spokane teachers in 1934. Under Johnson’s leadership, the credit union nearly doubled its membership, added seven branches and grew to $2.6 billion in total assets.

“Ezra won’t need much introduction among the region’s business and community leaders,” Johnson said in a news release. “I’m gratified that the credit union will be in the hands of someone with a long history of community involvement.”

Eckhardt graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned an MBA from Gonzaga University. He spent six years in the Army and worked for Honeywell and Microsoft before pursuing a banking career.

Eckhardt worked for Sterling Bank until its merger with Umpqua Bank, when he became Umpqua’s executive vice president of operations. Since early 2016, Eckhardt has served as the chief operating officer at Oregon-based Wave Form Systems Inc., a provider of advanced surgical technologies.

Eckhardt serves on the boards of directors for the Spokane International Airport and Gonzaga Preparatory School. His volunteer work also includes past or current roles with the Downtown Spokane Partnership, Greater Spokane Incorporated and Habitat for Humanity.