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In Remembrance of Filene Friend and Colleague Thomas Bowen

The credit union movement has lost a dedicated champion, a creative mind, and a playful spirit.

Thomas Bowen, a Filene i3 innovator and renowned credit union executive, passed away on August 19. He was known throughout the movement as a challenger of the status quo, constantly looking for new ways to help consumers thrive through cooperation and collaboration. 

During his time in the Filene i3 program, Thomas helped develop the LOT$A MOT$A, Choice Endings, and MVP (Member Value Promise) concepts.

Beyond being a tremendously creative force helping propel credit unions forward to innovative new ways of helping improve the lives of consumers, Thomas was a source of joy for his i3 colleagues and could always be counted on to bring laughs—and a bit of unique flair—to any event.

Thomas and Filene’s own Tansley Stearns worked side by side when they were both in the i3 program. “I’ll never forget Thomas’ first i3 meeting. His brilliant mind, charismatic quick wit, generous spirit and vibrancy created an inspiring energy. Thomas cared deeply about this movement and about creating opportunities for people. Charged by his intellectual curiosity and unstoppable creativity, he was always challenging himself to grow and learn.”

It’s been said that once an i3er, always an i3er, and Thomas lived up to that promise. As recently as this summer, Thomas volunteered his time to serve as a mentor helping new i3 applicants gain the confidence and skills they needed to make a good first impression.

In fact, the i3 applicants he mentored this summer remarked that they “loved working with him,” that “he was wonderful at fostering the creative process,” and that “their team was lucky to have him.” Indeed, Thomas’ generous, caring style left an indelible, positive mark on those he helped so recently.

All of us at Filene extend our most heartfelt sympathies to Thomas’ family and friends. He was a dear friend and colleague and we are certain his spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of the newest generation of credit union innovators he helped inspire.

A scholarship fund through the Cooperative Development Foundation has been established in Thomas' honor to benefit Emerging Co-op Leaders.