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Rick Thomas

Vice President, Community Development & Transformation

Rick Thomas joined CU Strategic Planning in February 2021, bringing nearly 30 years of community development and executive management experience.

In his current role as Vice President of Community Development & Transformation, he leads an elite group of managers to design comprehensive plans that affect change, credit union by credit union, and touch millions of lives.

Rick stretches CU Strategic Planning’s experience deeper into community development and serving Native CDFIs. He implemented a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program for the Affiliated Tribes of NW Indians, a certified Native CDFI member of the NW Native Lending Network. As impressive, he designed and implemented a $7.75 million NOAA grant for the Nisqually Tribe to enhance tribal river systems and wild hatchery operations, improving wild salmon populations that many local tribes rely on. He enjoys the honor of a tribal name bestowed upon him by the National Resources Director of the Nisqually Tribe.

His passion for community development started during his 17-year venture in Uzbekistan where he developed low-cost projects to empower the underserved in Ferghana Valley communities with a concentration on single women with children and retired adults, including knitting, sewing, and briquette manufacturing production facilities.

Trilingual, he also assisted with the translation of Soviet-based financial reporting to US GAAP financial reporting standards for shareholders and lending institutions including EBRD, ADB, and IFC. Rick holds an MBA, a BA of Psychology, and BSBA in Marketing.

He lives in Lacey, Washington with his wife and three children ranging from pre-to-prime teen years. He finds peace in playing the guitar.

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