WATERVILLE — When Ryan Poulin took over as president and chief executive officer at what was then Notre Dame Federal Credit Union in 2001, he found an old photograph in a closet of his new office.

The photo, taken in 1980, was of a young boy who had just won a new bicycle in a credit union contest.

That little boy was Poulin, age 7, flanked by his grandparents and his father.

“I was amazed — thrilled,” he said of finding the photograph. “My roots go deep here — my grandparents and my aunts and uncles stood in line and were the first ones to open their accounts when the credit union started in 1956. Their account numbers have two digits in them to this day.”

The photo now hangs on the wall in his office.

Poulin, 41, president and CEO of New Dimensions Federal Credit Union — the name changed in 2005 — has been named the 2014 Business Person of the Year by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

“We were inundated with nominations for Ryan as business person of the year from his colleagues, board directors and community members who have worked with him,” said chamber President and CEO Kimberly Lindlof. “In fact, we may have received more nominations for him than we have for anyone over the years in my tenure as chamber president and CEO.”

Poulin said the award from the chamber came as a complete surprise.

“I was shocked and dumbfounded,” he said. “When my staff sat me down and told me, I was speechless. Then I said, ‘Why me?’ And they said, ‘Why not you?’ I was really taken aback.”

The chamber’s Business Person of the Year Award is given to an area business principal or officer who has displayed solid leadership in setting the positive direction of his or her company and has maintained integrity, professionalism and vision within the free enterprise system of our region, according to the chamber. The nominee must be located within the chamber’s geographic area of service, must be a chamber member, must endorse the free enterprise system and must be an owner or chief executive officer.

Poulin, who grew up in Sidney, where he lives with his wife and two children, graduated from Messalonskee High School in Oakland in 1992. He went on to attend Mid-State Business College in Augusta, where he obtained degrees in business management and accounting.

In 1994, the year he joined the credit union as a teller, Poulin signed up with the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department and held positions as firefighter, captain, and assistant chief. He served with the department for 10 years before leaving to focus on his family and his credit union career, according to a chamber profile of Poulin.

In 1996, he was named the credit union’s Employee of the Year and in 1998 he became vice president. His community service includes membership in the Central Maine Fire Attack School, Sidney Athletic Association, Mount Merici School, Seton Village, Maine Credit Union League Insurance Trust, president of the board of directors for the Kennebec Valley Chapter of Credit Unions and is an active member of the Governmental Affairs Committee for credit unions in the state of Maine.

He continues to be politically active on both the state and federal levels and has played a key role in the legislative process for credit union issues, according to the chamber. In 2003 he was named as the Maine Credit Union Political Campaign Volunteer of the Year and currently serves on the board of directors for Tricorp Federal Credit Union, which serves credit unions all over New England.

Poulin is also an active promoter and volunteer for the Maine Credit Union Campaign to End Hunger, Maine Special Olympics and the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. In 2014, Poulin helped organize and sponsor a car show to benefit the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. In its first year, more than $8,000 was raised at that event. Poulin has also organized and coordinated the Maine Children’s Cancer Walk for the Waterville area for the past several years.

In 2005, Poulin was instrumental in changing the name of the credit union from Notre Dame to New Dimensions — keeping the familiar ND letters in the name. He said the change was made because some area people thought they had to belong to Notre Dame Catholic Church to do business there. The credit union was founded in 1956 in the basement of the old Notre Dame church in Waterville.

The credit union has nearly doubled its assets to about $71 million — loans, deposits, real estate — under Poulin’s leadership. The credit union now has 38 employees in 22 offices in the building on Grove Street that was built in 1987. The credit union also has an office with three employees in Augusta.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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