Webster First President and CEO Michael Lussier to retire in May 2024

Updated April 22, 2024  |   Published April 16, 2024

After 37 years of service to Webster First Federal Credit Union, President and CEO Michael N. Lussier is announcing his retirement effective May 1, 2024. The credit union’s Board of Directors have named current Vice President of Risk Management, John Thomasian, as his successor.

“Michael’s notice of retirement allowed the Board of Directors time to establish a CEO selection committee to review its succession plan, hire a new CEO as well as assist in the transition from Michael to John Thomasian,” said Christopher Daoust, chairman of the Board of Directors at Webster First. “The Board of Directors thanks Mike for his leadership and outstanding service to WFFCU and the credit union movement. We wish him all the best, secure in the knowledge that WFFCU has the capabilities and strategic focus to continue delivering quality service for its credit union members.”

As Webster First’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Lussier was determined to move the credit union forward. When he first began leading this small-town credit union in August 1987, it had just $87 million in assets and approximately 24 employees. The Board of Directors hired Lussier as Chief Financial Officer at the age of 26, and shortly after during August of 1990, appointed him President and CEO.

In 1995 Lussier changed Webster First from a state to a federally chartered credit union, opening the doors for growth. He kept up to date on credit union affairs by serving as chairman of the board for the Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation (MSIC) and for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). He was also a member of the board for the Credit Union League of Massachusetts.

Lussier believed if you had good facilities, good people, and good technology, the rest would fall into place. Ten new branches and eight subsidiaries were opened during his leadership. He guided Webster First through twelve merger acquisitions which included Norton Company, Craftman Tools/Parker Manufacturing, Holmes Transportation, Blackstone Valley, Worcester Community, Charlton, Filene Federal, Industrial, Saugus Federal, Winthrop Federal, Louise Mills Federal, and Fitchburg Federal. In 2017 he wrote “The Credit Union Merger & Acquisitions Handbook,” which was distributed to credit unions around the country with the help of NAFCU. Today, Webster First has an asset size of over $1.4 billion, and a handful of awards for excellent member service.

“As I reflect on my time at Webster First Federal Credit Union, I’m filled with immense gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside such a dedicated and talented team,” said Lussier. “From the moment I joined, it’s been an incredible journey, one defined by teamwork, excellence, and a shared commitment to serving our members with the highest standards of professionalism and care.

I have always believed in providing exceptional customer service, implementing innovative solutions, and going above and beyond to support our members.  Our entire team at Webster First FCU has done the same. The collaborative spirit that permeates our workplace is a testament to the caliber of individuals who make up our organization. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones and overcome challenges with resilience and determination.

"John's leadership, integrity, and passion for our credit union are evident to all who know him."As I prepare to pass on the gavel, I couldn’t be more delighted to see John Thomasian step into this role. John’s leadership, integrity, and passion for our credit union are evident to all who know him. I have every confidence that under his guidance, Webster First Federal Credit Union will continue to thrive and uphold its reputation as a beacon of excellence in our community.

In closing, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each member who has utilized our services and has accomplished a part of their dream by doing so.  It has truly been an honor to serve so many of you during my career. I look forward to witnessing the continued success and growth of Webster First Federal Credit Union under John’s leadership.”

John Thomasian is a graduate of Lussier’s alma mater, Nichols College, with a degree in Finance and Accounting. He is also a graduate of NAFCU’s Management Development Institute and served as a member of NAFCU’s Political Action Committee. Thomasian’s financial expertise includes experience as a Chief Finance Officer and a chairman of the Town of New Braintree’s Finance Committee. He was a recipient of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty award in 2021.

Mike Lussier and John Thomasian stand together

Mike Lussier and John Thomasian stand together

“Working alongside Mike for the past 14 years has really opened my eyes to how influential of a leader he has been. Not only to Webster First, but to the entire credit union movement,” said John Thomasian. “He had a vision for Webster First to invest in its branch network, digital products, and employees, which in turn allowed the credit union to provide exceptional service across its membership. By doing so he has made Webster First one of the top performing credit unions in the state of Massachusetts. Having Mike as a mentor has allowed me to observe the fundamental foundations modeled that made him a successful CEO. I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as Webster First’s next President/CEO and look forward to expanding and enhancing the integrities it was built upon.”