Dean Marchessault, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Eagle Financial Credit Union, has been selected as a Top Performing CEO by the Hartford Business Journal 2020 C-Suite Awards.

The acknowledgement, according to the publication, honors Marchessault and other C-level executives in Greater Hartford who have “contributed to their company’s or organization’s overall growth, and who have shown a commitment to good ethics, effective reporting, and involvement in the community.”

“During Dean’s 20-year career at American Eagle, including the last five as president and CEO, he has transformed the Credit Union in every aspect and has garnered the respect of members, co-workers, and communities along the way,” said Michael P. DePasquale, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Under his leadership, Dean and his team has created the largest credit union in Connecticut with assets totaling $2.1 billion and providing banking services to more than 160,000 members.”

Prior to his current role as President and CEO, Marchessault spent the previous 15 years building, updating, and modernizing all aspects of American Eagle -- from marketing to retail to lending to operations. His expansive knowledge has transformed what began 85 years ago as East Hartford Aircraft Federal Credit Union into Connecticut’s largest community-based credit union with members in Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, and Tolland counties in Connecticut and Hampden County in Massachusetts.

As Executive Vice President, Marchessault was part of an executive team that led the charge in 2014 to change its federal charter to a state one and received permission to extend its services into New Haven County.  That resulted in a name change from American Eagle Federal to American Eagle Financial Credit Union and a huge opportunity for growth.

Since then, and under Marchessault’s leadership as CEO American Eagle continues its public branch expansion with openings in Avon and North Haven. The Credit Union also won approval from the state Department of Banking to expand its field of membership into Hampden County in Massachusetts, making it the first Connecticut credit union to conduct business beyond the state’s borders.

In Marchessault’s five years as CEO, American Eagle’s assets increased $800 million, from $1.3 billion to $2.1 billion, a 62 percent increase. In addition, assets per employees increased from $4.9 million to $6.5 million; number of employees increased from 219 to 319; delinquent loan ratio dropped more than half from greater than 1% to .45%; and  profitability has doubled from a ROA (return of assets) of .25% to .56%.

Marchessault’s involvement in the community is extensive. He serves as a representative of the Credit Union League of Connecticut (CULCT) Legislative Committee for which he meets with Connecticut legislative leadership in Hartford and Washington, DC to advocate for credit union support, tax exempt status and regulatory relief to better service the membership. 

Marchessault also serves on the Credit Union Legislative Action Committee (CULAC) Board of Trustees and is active in the CUNA (Credit Union National Association) Annual Government Affairs Conference and “Hike the Hill” to advocate for credit union advancement, regulatory change, and to defend the industry’s purpose and mission.

His leadership within the industry also includes membership in the CUNA CEO Network.  This exclusive organization is designed for the open and cooperative exchange of ideas between credit union CEOs to help them effectively lead their organization, improve their credit union’s performance and nurture professional relationships that will shape and strengthen the credit union movement.

Marchessault has been a member of the East Hartford High School NAF Academy of Finance Advisory board member for 20 years. NAF is the National Academy Foundation which runs vertical learning schools and programs in high schools across the country. American Eagle runs an on-campus branch at East Hartford High School that provides three internships for students learning the credit union business. The students learn service and systems skills, and how to interact with the public on financial matters. 

In 2018, Marchessault received the Business Person of the Year Award from the CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce for over 20-year career at American Eagle, as well as his advocacy for and involvement in supporting the chamber and small businesses in the community.

Marchessault was also the recipient of the 2016 Advocate of the Year from the Credit Union League of Connecticut. He was acknowledged for the work he did with the trade group and the delegation in Connecticut and Washington, DC, to advance issues that support credit union awareness and growth.