Owen Milne is the executive director of the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. In this role, Owen oversees the strategic board leadership, fundraising, community outreach, innovation, and infrastructure development of the organization. He has served on over ten different nonprofit boards and government commissions since 2008, and brings a wealth of experience in board governance, financial oversight, community investment, and public/private partnerships. He is the recipient of the Rising Star Award from Vermont Business Magazine in 2011, was given the Governor’s Award for Employment of People with Disabilities in 2012, and received the Peter Clavelle Award for community service in 2019. Owen holds a BA in business and an MBA from Champlain College.
“In 2005, I was buying my first house and was in a fortunate position to only need a short-term bridge loan to manage the gap of selling one asset to buy my home. My realtor instructed me to try three different credit unions, and VSECU was my last stop. I was shocked at how much more competitive the VSECU rate was compared to the others and asked: ‘What’s the catch?’ The VSECU representative explained that while the others were likely trying to get as much as possible from a very short-term loan, VSECU was more interested in helping me buy my first home and to entice me to consider membership for my ongoing banking. I’ve been a member ever since and do all of my banking with VSECU. This is the perfect example of the power and potential of leveraging banking as a tool for common good. Success for credit unions should be about creating and sustaining an organizational culture that looks at the world through a lens that yearns to maximize positive social impact. This is why it’s important to recruit Board members who have a balanced understanding of business acumen and community investment.”