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2019 Power 50: Doug Petersen

Doug Petersen President & CEO Workers Credit Union, Fitchburg Residence: Brookline, N.H. College: Bentley University
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Doug Petersen

Eight years after becoming Workers Credit Union’s president and CEO, Petersen has taken the Fitchburg-based institution to $1.8 billion in assets – up more than 70% in just five years – and roughly a doubling of lending to $1.3 billion, along with more than 100,000 members. Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, but in Workers Credit Union’s case, they mean the company has grown enough to need more space.

Workers emphasizes it’s not leaving Fitchburg behind but is building a new 60,000-square-foot headquarters in Littleton. Growth won’t end, either. New branches are due this year in Hudson and Worcester, and another is planned next to the new Littleton office. Petersen has seen that growth first-hand since joining Workers in 1995 as CFO, and his involvement in the community has extended to chairmanships at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Central Massachusetts and to board seats with the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation and the President’s Council of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital.

Where is the Central Mass. community headed? Businesses continue to grow while our cost of living remains relatively low compared to the Boston area, making Central Mass. the perfect place for growing families, retirees and young people. Low unemployment, businesses expansion and government investment in our cities are all positive signs for our economy.

Questioning his sanity: A few years ago I skied Tuckerman’s Ravine, a bowl on the southeast face of Mount Washington. You have to hike in a few miles while carrying all of your equipment just to get to the base, and then because there are no lifts you have to hike up the mountain. The snow was hip-deep, so I don’t remember if hiking up or skiing down was harder. I do remember hiking over a crevasse made me question my sanity. It was a great workout for only a few runs.

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