James D. Likens

Western CUNA Management School
President Emeritus

For forty-three years until his retirement in 2015 Jim Likens was President & CEO of WCMS where he headed up all phases of the academic program including design of the curriculum, selection of the faculty, and student life.

Active for many years in credit union service Jim particularly enjoyed facilitating credit union planning sessions. He also helped in credit union political advocacy, spoke widely at credit union conferences, and testified as an expert witness in major legal cases involving credit unions.

At Pomona College, Jim was the Morris B. and Gladys S. Pendleton Professor of Economics.

Jim is a long-term member of the board of directors of First City Credit Union in Los Angeles. The credit union has almost $700 million in assets and more than 52,000 members.

Jim holds a B.A. in economics and an MBA in management from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Finance and Industry, Who's Who in American Education, and Who's Who in the West.

Jim is a past recipient of the R.J. Wig Distinguished Teaching Award at Pomona College. The California Credit Union League presented him with its first Outstanding Volunteer Award in 1998. The Credit Union Executive Society named him Director of the Year in 2001 and in 2009 inducted him into its Directors Hall of Fame. In 2001 he was awarded the Leo H. Shapiro Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor given by the California Credit Union League. In 2005 he received the Herb Wegner Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed in the U.S. credit union movement.

He lives with his wife Chris at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont where in retirement he has written three memoirs including Head and Heart: My Life in Credit Unions.