2022 Awards of Excellence - Ellen Ford

Hall of Fame


Nomination Letter:
Ellen Ford was the daughter of a local hospital nurse and a Navy cook, so it’s no surprise that she took a role serving her community and helping people. In her thirty-seven years at People’s Credit Union, she rose from a teller to join the finance team and ultimately to the CEO for her last seventeen years. Under Ellen’s leadership, People’s doubled in size and implemented significant technological improvements. She also changed the culture to be high trust, collaborative, and rooted in credit union values. In 2013, Ellen received the Providence Business News’ Women in Business Career Achievement Award.

Ellen also contributed to the local and credit union community with her volunteer work. She served on the:

  1.        Board of Directors of the Robert Potter League for Animals
  2.        Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Depository Advisory Council
  3.        Board of Directors of the Credit Union Association of RI for 10 years as Treasurer, Vice Chair and Chair
  4.        Three-state merger Decision Making Body that became CCUA
  5.        CCUA Board of Directors as member and Chair
  6.         CULAC trustee for Rhode Island

During my transition to CEO, Ellen’s support and counsel was a big part of my success. For Ellen, it wasn’t about her legacy. It was about ensuring the employees, members and community continued to have an institution that had a positive impact. I still reach out to Ellen for counsel and I am grateful knowing that I can rely on her.

The most meaningful representation of Ellen’s commitment to the credit union and People’s values, was her support of our 38-year employee, Kathy Belmore. Kathy was diagnosed with cancer soon after Ellen’s retirement. Kathy did not have a family member to support her and needed additional assistance understanding her diagnosis and treatment options. I reached out to Ellen for advice and without hesitation, or me asking, she volunteered to help her with medical decisions, appointments, and other support. This was not only a significant time commitment, but also a challenging emotional commitment . Ellen never complained and worked tirelessly to ensure that Kathy had quality of life up until her passing.