Unitus Community Credit Union Announces Retirement and Key Leadership Promotion

Unitus Community Credit Union, based in Portland, Oregon, is celebrating a much-deserved retirement and promotion from within the organization. After 16 years of exemplary service, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Gayle Evans is retiring.

Unitus is promoting Vice President of People and Culture Jessica Brown to the executive leadership team to take on the CHRO role. In addition to executive leadership duties, Brown will oversee Unitus’ Human Resources, Organizational Development, and workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) functions.  

Evans joined Unitus in 2007 after serving in human resources leadership roles at The Standard and Pacific Health Horizons. During her time at Unitus, she helped the organization grow, transitioned employee benefits, and led DEI efforts across the organization.  

“I am so honored to have served Unitus, its employees, members, and community,” Evans reflected. “It was a difficult decision to retire but I know the credit union is in good hands with Jessica. I’m looking forward to celebrating her achievements as I continue to support Unitus as a member.” 

In 2022, the Portland Business Journal named her a “Woman of Influence” in its annual awards. Evans’ advocacy, volunteerism, and mentorship will be missed at the credit union. 

“Her external involvement with the credit union industry, state policy making, business groups, and communities will have a lasting impact,” explained President and CEO of Unitus Community Credit Union Steven Stapp. “We look forward to continuing to work with her in her role as a Board Trustee at Western Oregon University, where we’ve developed a deep partnership in supporting the Bilingual Teacher Scholars Program.” 

Brown, SHRMCP, has more than 18 years of experience in human resources and holds a master’s in business administration. In her 4+ years at Unitus, she’s significantly improved the employee service experience and implemented new benefits such as the student loan repayment program and new wellness offerings. Brown also guided her team through record-level recruitment volume and improved new hire onboarding while navigating the pandemic, guiding Unitus’ transition to hybrid work models.  

“We are truly making meaningful change in the People and Culture department at Unitus,” said Brown. “From creating remote work opportunities to improving employee benefits and building a culture of care, our team is committed to serving our staff in the spirit of our shared values. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to take on this new role and to continue developing an engaged and highly qualified workforce at Unitus.” 

“While we will certainly miss Gayle, we are fortunate that we have a leader in Jessica Brown who can step up and assume new responsibilities,” said Stapp. “Jessica’s promotion is another example of the career development culture we’ve created at Unitus through which we focus on opportunities within our organization to grow employees into leadership roles.” 

Brown began her role as Unitus’ Chief Human Resource Officer on Nov. 3. 

Posted in Oregon, Regional Member News.