June 23, 2022
The Summit is delighted to announce that retired President and CEO, Michael Vadala, has been named to the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders, Class of 2022; and Cody Seward, The Summit’s Virtual Branch Manager, has been named Young Professional of the Year at the New York Credit Union Association’s (NYCUA) Annual Meeting and Convention in Lake George, June 16th – 19th.
Michael “Mike” Vadala was the President and CEO of The Summit from 1995 to 2020. During his tenure, assets grew from $161 million to $1.1 billion. The Summit currently has over 89,000 members from over eight hundred groups, and $1.2 billion in assets.
Before joining The Summit, Vadala worked as an auditor at the New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) and for Eldredge, Fox and Poretti CPAs (now EFP Rotenberg). He was hired as The Summit’s CFO in 1984, was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1992, and to President and Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 1995. He retired in May of 2020.
Throughout his career, Vadala was instrumental as a voice for the credit union industry. He served on the Board of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) from 1997-2006, ascending to the position of NAFCU’s Chair in 2005. Vadala was recognized as “Credit Union Professional of the Year” (2010) by the NYCUA. Vadala was often invited to testify on behalf of NAFCU at hearings before both the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, speaking on various important issues facing credit unions. He was instrumental in the passage of the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998, which re-authorized credit unions to serve multiple groups.
In his role at The Summit, Vadala, who referred to himself as a “believer,” combined fiduciary acumen with a penchant for community work. “I always wanted to work for this kind of organization,” Vadala explains. “I’ve stayed with credit unions because I believe in having a tax-free, member-owned, non-profit alternative to for-profit banks. There are some that think credit unions operate like a bank, but I don’t. I never want to forget that we’re owned by the members and it’s for their benefit.”
Vadala recognized the importance of connecting the credit union to the community, and was involved in numerous local charities, including the Leukemia Society; the Center for Missing Children; Hunter’s Hope; United Way; and March of Dimes, who named Vadala their “Volunteer of the Year” for 2004. From 2012 to 2014, Vadala chaired the Credit Union Classic, an LPGA Symetra golf tournament, held at Drumlins Country Club in Syracuse. In 2014, Vadala received the Eloise Trainor Award, given by the LPGA Symetra Tour to the person who did the most for Women’s golf.
In 2015, Vadala founded the Danielle Downey Classic, a week-long LPGA Symetra Tour event benefiting the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection. At its zenith, the tournament reached 360 pro-am participants, 450 volunteers, 144 International professional golfers, and thousands of fans. Throughout the six years of the tournament, over $200,000 was distributed to local charities.
This example, set by Vadala, has led to The Summit heavily incorporating the support of charitable causes into their mission, both with monetary donations and with volunteer opportunities. In addition, many employees are inspired to personally give back to their communities with their time and money to support a variety of causes that are close to their hearts.
Vadala resides in the Rochester area with his wife of thirty years and has four children.
A graduate of SUNY Brockport with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in History, Cody Seward originally intended to have a career as a middle school/ high school history teacher. But for the past 14 years, he has combined his training in education with an innate acumen for the world of finance.
In 2008 he started his career in the financial industry as a Customer Services Specialist with Washington Mutual & J.P. Morgan Chase in Albion, N.Y. He quickly rose through the ranks, being named Loss Mitigation Specialist in 2009 (consistently performing among the top in his team), followed by Relationship Manager in 2010, managing a personal portfolio of loans and consistently performing among the top of his team in the number of loans to underwriting. His background in education served him well when he was promoted to Relationship Manager Job Coach in 2011, where, in addition to training new hires and current employees, he designed and implemented training materials. A move to Rochester, N.Y. later that year led to a promotion as Training Specialist II in the downtown branch of J.P. Morgan Chase where he developed and conducted training of new hires and current employees and was able to hone his facilitation skills.
In May of 2015, he accepted a position at The Summit as Training Coordinator. He developed, scheduled, and implemented new hire, sales, and ongoing trainings, working with every department in the organization to determine and restructure training needs. A true educator, he incorporated e-learning, with instructor-led and video training. In 2020, he was promoted to Manager of Operations. In July 2021, he added the position of Virtual Branch Manager to his duties at The Summit.
Cody is very much an advocate for the Credit Union movement as is demonstrated by his ongoing participation with the NYCUA Young Professionals Commission (YPC) for which he has served as Treasurer (2019-2020), and Chair (2020-2021). In addition to managing the financial affairs of the commission, he has developed and implemented initiatives specifically for credit union young professionals, and assisted NYCUA with their mission to engage, connect and empower the next generation of industry leaders.