Bill Kiss has been with Gulf & Fraser for 26 years—initially as the Chief Financial Officer and then taking on the role of Co-Chief Executive Officer in 2011. He is also Director of Gulf and Fraser Insurance Services.
Bill is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) having worked for a local chartered accounting firm for 10 years prior to joining Gulf & Fraser. Throughout that period, Bill worked in increasingly senior roles on the Gulf & Fraser external audit team.
Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Statistics as an undergraduate degree and a Licentiate in Accounting post-graduate degree from the University of British Columbia. He is a Certified Credit Union Director (CCD) as a result of attending the Credit Union Executive Society’s governance program at the Rotman School of Management.
Bill is active on several boards within the financial industry and enjoys connecting with credit union leaders across Canada throughout the year. He served three terms on the Board of Central 1®, an organization representing member credit unions in BC and Ontario, ending in 2022. During his time with Central 1, he served a three year term in the capacity as Board Chair, two years as Board Vice-Chair, and various terms chairing the Risk Review, and Investment and Lending, Audit & Finance, Technology and Conduct Review and Governance committees. He also participated as a member of all of the various committees. Through his involvement at Central 1, Bill had direct input into key initiatives that directly affect the experience of credit union employees and millions of credit union members.
Bill is a member of the Board of Directors for The Co-operators Group Limited, a leading Canadian co-operative which provides multi-line insurance and financial services. The Co-operator’s membership includes co-operative organizations across the country, credit union centrals, and representative farm organizations. Bill has been active on the Co-operators’ Risk and Compensation Committee for four years and now serves on the Audit & Finance Committee.
From 2013 – 2018, Bill served on the CUMIS Board of Directors—a provider of insurance products and services to the Canadian credit union system. He was a member of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee throughout his tenure.
Bill works closely with Co-CEO, Jeff Shewfelt, to oversee operations. They share joint responsibility for all CEO duties and attribute their success to their team members and to trust and mutual respect. Bill and Jeff have worked together in various capacities for 30 years and as Co-CEOs since 2011. They demonstrate the ultimate co-operative: learning from each other, expecting the best from each other, and knowing that— collectively—they are better.
"We are very different in personality and skillset—that is why and how it works. We respect each other. We learn from each other."
Bill's main focus these days is on how best to position Gulf & Fraser to service its members.
"We’ve been setting ourselves up for changes for the last several years—right-sizing our branches, preparing for changes in banking processes, banking technology and creating the Money Advisor role."
Bill offers this advice to other credit union leaders:
"Thrive. Don’t just survive. Keep growing to maintain relevance. Ensure executives are open to collaboration. Keep in close contact with other credit unions."