January 6, 2023
FirstLight Federal Credit Union today announced that its Board of Directors has named Margie Salazar as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1, 2023. Salazar previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of FirstLight Federal Credit Union.
After 38 years of service, Karl Murphy will retire as Chief Executive Officer at the end of January. Murphy, 62, joined the credit union in 1984 and has served as Chief Executive Officer since 2003.
"Karl has been a remarkable leader during incredibly transformative times in the financial industry. He is one of the most effective CEOs I have ever had the pleasure of working with," said Jaime Barceleau, Chair of the Board for FirstLight Federal Credit Union. "The Board is truly grateful to Karl for all he has done for our members and the Las Cruces, Fort Bliss and El Paso communities. We are also excited that his focus in succession planning has allowed us to appoint new leadership from within our credit union."
Salazar, 47, has worked at the credit union for 25 years, starting her career as a teller while attending college. During her career, she has held several positions overseeing various areas of FirstLight, including branch operations, marketing, human resources, consumer, mortgage and business lending, asset quality, E-Services and most recently finance and risk management.
"Margie is an accomplished leader with extensive experience in the financial industry. I have had the pleasure of working with Margie for many years and know she has the spirit and temperament to lead our credit union. She understands the needs of our members, our employees, and our community stakeholders," said Karl Murphy. Adding, "Margie is an innovator in the finance space and will thoughtfully guide FirstLight into the future," he added.
Margie obtained her Bachelor of Business degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She is active in the credit union industry and a community advocate –having served as President of the Board of the El Paso Chapter of Credit Unions and President for the Armed Services YMCA. She currently is a member of the National Association of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals and Chair of the Board for the YMCA of El Paso and serves on the advisory council for UTEP’s El Paso Banking Academy
"I am excited, grateful, and humbled, says Ms. Salazar. Adding, "I am extremely passionate about the credit union movement and our over-arching mantra of "people helping people". And as a proud Latina from El Paso, I look forward to building upon our mission of improving lives so our members and community alike can achieve their dreams.
She resides on the Westside of El Paso with her husband of 24 years and their two children. On her free time, she enjoys hiking, mountain biking, playing board games and helping her parents with their small business.
About FirstLight Federal Credit Union
FirstLight Federal Credit Union is a local financial cooperative serving over 109,000 members in the El Paso, Fort Bliss, and Las Cruces communities. Founded in 1955 by nine pioneers to help military and civilian personnel, the credit union has grown to $1.5 billion in assets serving El Paso, TX and Doña Ana, NM counties. Since 2018, the FirstLight Community Foundation has donated $100,000 in student scholarships while providing funds to local food banks to mitigate food insecurity. For more information about FirstLight or our Community Foundation, visit www.firstlightfcu.org.