Sierra Central Credit Union announces retirement of CEO John Cassidy


John Cassidy, CEO of Sierra Central Credit Union announced his retirement in January, ending his 22-year career as CEO of Sierra Central Credit Union.

John Cassidy, the longtime CEO of Sierra Central Credit Union announced Monday that he will retire Jan. 15, 2022, ending his 22-year career as CEO of Sierra Central Credit Union.

Cassidy was appointed CEO in 2000, which he called a “remarkable opportunity to lead a team of outstanding employees who grew assets, members and employees from 17 to 20 main-street branches, which serve Northern California, (including one in Susanville). Sierra Central, based in Yuba City, California has assets of $1.4 billion and since 2000 has funded more than $4 billion in loans for credit union members.               Cassidy added, “most folks who are lucky enough to become CEO of an organization are only successful as a result of the efforts of committed, caring and effective employees.”

He is proud to have worked for an outstanding board of firectors and alongside a collaborative team of professionals who provide excellent customer experiences and financial expertise.

After being hired, the board of directors told Cassidy to establish the Sierra Central brand as the premier local banking institution of choice throughout Northern California. At that time, the board was concerned that with so many local and regional banks being merged out of business, local communities would suffer significantly. With this expectation, Cassidy built a team of responsive executives and employees and transitioned a struggling financial institution into a recognizable, sustainable and powerful brand.

“I am extremely proud that Sierra Central has become a dynamic presence in the North State, as well as a highly respected corporate citizen.”

Since Cassidy arrived in 2000, the credit union has been aggressive in promoting the Sierra Central brand. Efforts included expanding the image of the company, in unique ways including an 11-year production of the Sierra Central Sports Roundtable, the first regional studio sports talk show on what is now called NBC Sports Bay. This program featured former Sacramento King Harold Pressley. Over the past 22-years, the credit union has dedicated millions of dollars in funds to local worthy causes.

In addition, Cassidy created “THE EVENT” music festival annual fundraiser, which featured country music star Tyler Rich. Sierra Central’s significant asset growth, led to the construction of their state of the art two-story headquarter building in 2015, which is located in Yuba City.

During his tenure as CEO of the credit union, Cassidy has had the honor of serving as the honorary commander for Beale Air Force Base, California Credit Union League (Chairman, annual Children’s Miracle Network Wine Auction Chair, which raises over $1 million each year for the state’s children’s hospitals and CCUL Political Action Committee Chair.

“It has been an honor to work with our congressional representatives, senators and state assembly members over the years to enhance the financial services options available to credit union members and consumers.”

Cassidy, who turns 62 this month, will continue to work on charitable causes throughout the state, as well as regional economic development efforts that improve the quality of life for individuals, families and businesses throughout Northern California.

“I started working as an 8-year-old delivering newspapers in San Francisco, so I am ready to finally slow down a bit to spend quality time with our two grandchildren, travel with my wife and work on my golf game as well as my fly-fishing skills.”

The credit union’s board of directors have appointed Sierra Central president Ron Sweeney as Cassidy’s successor. Cassidy and Sweeney have worked together to grow the cooperative’s assets into the billions over the past 20-years. Cassidy went on to say, “it is unique for a CEO to last 22-years in any industry, but my leadership team, led by our president Ron Sweeney, has always gone above and beyond to find ways to bring the best products, services, technology and customer experiences to our over 70,000 credit union owner-members; Ron’s 37-years of experience in the credit union industry will provide Sierra Central with top-shelf expertise and leadership. I am excited for his new adventure and have the utmost confidence that he will continue to grow this company with great success.”

Sweeney, 58, previously worked for Travis Credit Union and the National Credit Union Administration before coming to Sierra Central in 1999. He was hired as a consultant to rebuild and optimize the credit union’s accounting and finance functions and was later hired by the board to assume the role of chief financial officer. In 2006, Sweeney took on the role of president and chief operating officer, the position he has held for last 16-years.

“I am grateful to our board and John for giving me this opportunity. John and I have built a successful organization and I plan to carry on with our winning traditions and culture. I was blessed to have worked for John these past 20-years. He is a great boss and leader who is an extraordinary advocate for Sierra Central and its members. John brought tremendous energy and passion to the credit union and is the force behind its success.”