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St. Norbert College Alumnus Honored for Exceptional Volunteer Service

From Bay Federal Credit Union, August 20, 2015
by Amy Ivey, aivey@bayfed.com, 831-477-8409

Bay Federal Credit Union in Capitola, Calif. is celebrating 30 years of volunteer service by Bob Bugalski on the Credit Union's Board of Directors. Mr. Bugalski retires from his volunteer position having seen the Credit Union grow and thrive under his compassionate leadership. He remains in service to the Credit Union in an advising capacity as Director Emeritus.

"It has been a true honor for me to work with Bob," said Carrie Birkhofer, President and CEO of Bay Federal. "I first met him almost 26 years ago when I was hired as Vice President of Finance. I have found Bob's charisma and passion for service inspirational." That passion has fueled Mr. Bugalski's many accomplishments throughout his tenure at Bay Federal and through his personal life and career in education.

After graduating from St. Norbert College, Mr. Bugalski and his newlywed wife, Barbara, left their home in Milwaukee after a job offer came from Mora High in Watsonville, California. After time at Mora and then Watsonville High Schools, Mr. Bugalski was hired by Cabrillo College in Aptos, where he coached the basketball team for 32 years, becoming a well-respected figure in the local community. "They treated me like a native-son," Mr. Bugalski says of the people of Santa Cruz County.

In 1986, Mr. Bugalski was elected to Bay Federal's Board of Directors. During his 29 years volunteering for the Credit Union, Mr. Bugalski remained focused on Bay Federal's commitment of "people helping people." Serving the community was his driving force, and Mr. Bugalski applied his coaching skills and philosophies to his board experience. He consistently campaigned for education and training for both his fellow board members and for all of the employees at Bay Federal. Mr. Bugalski championed many of the training initiatives that remain today and give the Credit Union a strong core of committed staff and leaders. In his characteristic humility, Mr. Bugalski does not see his great accomplishments as individual achievements, but rather as collective efforts. During his tenure as a Director, Mr. Bugalski saw the Credit Union grow from under $50 million in assets to almost $750 million today.

To honor Mr. Bugalski's exceptional service, Bay Federal Credit Union has recently named their headquarters' board room the Robert A. Bugalski Board Room. "Bob has always challenged me and inspired me," said Mrs. Birkhofer on the night of dedication, "and his countless volunteer hours have been instrumental to the ongoing success of Bay Federal Credit Union."