PenFed CEO James Schenck Honored With Lifetime Service Award

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posted on August 30, 2023
James Schenck Penfed Distinguished Service Award F

James Schenck, president and CEO of PenFed Credit Union, has been honored with the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce 2023 Lifetime Service Award. The NVCC's Distinguished Service Awards Committee noted that his selection was due to his "exemplary military service and Regional leadership as President and Chief Executive Officer of PenFed Credit Union and PenFed Foundation CEO."

In a conversation with NVCC, Schenck noted his mission is to serve military veterans, a goal informed by his career path as a veteran and as a business leader looking to incorporate military veterans into the civilian workforce. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Schenck served for 13 years in the U.S. Army, first as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, then at the Pentagon, working for the secretary of the Army. Schenck became president and CEO of PenFed Credit Union in 2014.

"Those who have served in our nation's military bring an amazing amount of leadership, resilience, wherewithal, and focus on the mission to our business world," Schenck told NVCC. "They live with a purpose. They love to do things bigger than themselves. They love to give back to society. They have high levels of integrity and ethics. That's what veterans bring to a business organization."

As part of his advocacy efforts on behalf of veterans, Schenck, in his leadership role at PenFed, has focused on hiring military veterans, as well as donating 2 percent of his organization's net income to more than 200 military charities. In total, the PenFed Foundation has raised more than $50 million for veteran causes through his efforts.

"When you see an organization concerned about its employees, you'll see a great culture and organization," Schenck noted. "We have a lot of those in northern Virginia. If you want people to follow you, you must be there for them during the good and the bad. You have to understand that sometimes they face things at home that can impact their work."

Schenck's award comes on the heels of a record-breaking year for PenFed. In 2022, the credit union noted that more than 287,000 new members joined in the first half of 2022, the fastest growth in the company's history up to that point. In addition to his support of numerous charitable causes, PenFed is also a strong partner of the National Rifle Association. For full details on PenFed, visit penfed.org.

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