MWCC Foundation Names Douglas J. Petersen 2016 Citizen of the Year

Doug Petersen Picture 2012
Doug Petersen

The Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation will honor Douglas J. Petersen, president and CEO of Workers’ Credit Union, as the 2016 Harold E. Drake Jr. Citizen of the Year for his leadership and service in the community. He will be recognized during the foundation’s annual celebration on May 25 at MWCC’s Gardner campus.

The Citizen of the Year Award is presented in memory of Harold E. Drake, Jr., treasurer and former president of Royal Steam Heater Co. and Lynde Hardware & Supply, Inc. The award recognizes community members who exemplify Harold Drake’s extraordinary commitment to the North Central Massachusetts region.

“Doug Petersen contributes a tremendous amount of his time, energy and expertise serving the North Central Massachusetts community,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino. “His leadership benefits the residents of our region in numerous ways, and we are proud to honor him as our 2016 Citizen of the Year.”

Mr. Petersen is involved in many professional associations, business ventures and community causes. He serves as chairman of the boards for the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, and is also a member of the MWCC Foundation board of directors and a member of the HealthAlliance President’s Council.

He said he is honored to be selected to receive an award that has recognized many “important people who have given to the community and been an inspiration to us all. I’m very excited to be a part of that.”

A prominent figure in North Central Massachusetts business circles since joining Workers’ in the mid-1990s, Mr. Petersen was appointed to the top position of the nonprofit financial institution in 2011. The sixth oldest credit union in the country, Workers’ was established in Fitchburg in 1914 to assist Finnish immigrants and has expanded over the past century to 86,000 members. In December, Workers’ announced it reached $1.3 billion in assets under Mr. Petersen’s leadership.

“Workers’ is so active in the community and part of our heritage is to give back to our members,” he said. “One of the ways to give back is to help strengthen the community. From that standpoint, it’s an honor to be able to lend a hand in different areas. It’s very rewarding to help out different organizations that all basically have the same goal of helping others. I’m fortunate to be able to do this because of the tremendous support I receive from the Board of Directors and our 280 employees. Also, it corresponds with who the credit union really is. The credit union is here to improve the daily lives of our members. That’s our core purpose. The opportunity I have to help in the community helps many of our members directly, and all of our members indirectly.”

Among his professional affiliations, Mr. Petersen is the vice chairman of the board of directors for the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations, and a member of the Massachusetts Advocacy Committee, the board of directors for Student CU Connect LLC, and the board of directors for Member Gateways LLC.

Mr. Petersen earned an MBA in finance and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Bentley University. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Brookline, NH and have two children and one grandchild.

Tickets to the annual foundation celebration are $100 per person. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Carla Zottoli at 978-630-9276 or czottoli@mwcc.mass.edu.