Recently retired from a 37 plus-year career in the Credit Union system, 31 of those serving with Credit Union Central of Ontario and Central 1, Dorothy Watson has been formally recognized as a champion of credit unions and co-operative values.
In recognition of her career, upon her retirement, Central 1 established the “Dorothy Watson Co-operative Young Leaders Bursary”, a fund administered by the Ontario Credit Union Foundation (OCUF). In 2020, she was also the recipient of the “Gary Gillam Award for Corporate Social Responsibility”, co-sponsored by Central 1 and Alterna Savings Credit Union. Dorothy was further honoured as the recipient of the “2020 Distinguished Service Award” from the (OCUF).
A graduate of York University’s bilingual campus, Glendon College, with an Honours B.A., Dorothy pursued continuous learning throughout her career, having completed Queens University’s extensive Executive Development program and most recently Foundations of Governance from CUsource Learning, along with a myriad of other courses.
Her credit union work career began at Co-operative Trust Company, first in Toronto and then in the Ottawa office. She then moved to the Ottawa Women’s Credit Union where she subsequently became the General Manager and succeeded in growing the credit union’s assets over 100% before joining Ontario Central.
Initially overseeing several departments including Human Resources, Credit Union Training, and Marketing, Dorothy then turned her focus to leading a service excellence culture change journey at Ontario Central more than doubling member approval ratings injust two years. She was also a founding Board member of CUsource Learning and served on that Board for six years.
With the merger on Ontario Central and B.C. Central to form Central 1, Dorothy actively participated in the complex transition process, brought ten Ontario credit unions back into Central membership, and consistently advocated for credit union values. The CEO ofCentral 1, Mark Blucher, when announcing the Gary Gillam Award, said “Dorothy Watson worked tirelessly to advocate for social responsibility within the credit union system. Her efforts continue to influence credit unions across Canada in their approaches to working with their communities, and we are honoured to recognize her lasting impact.”
Dorothy is excited about the opportunity to continue to support Oshawa Community Credit Union as a Board member, Audit Committee and Policy Committee member or in any other governance capacity if requested.