Merrimack Valley Credit Union (MVCU) President & CEO John J. Howard received the U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo Memorial Award from the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) during their annual Veterans Day breakfast on Friday, Nov. 3. Prior to his career in banking, Howard served in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was stationed in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
The award honors U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, a Lawrence, Mass., native who was killed during the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan in 2021. The 25-year-old sergeant had volunteered to assist Afghan women and children with evacuation efforts when the tragic incident occurred, killing her and twelve other American soldiers.
John J. Howard was one of four panelists for the MVCC’s annual veterans breakfast. He was joined by retired Brigadier General John J. Driscoll, army veteran and Haverhill businessman Michael Malvers, and David Morales, general manager at UniCare.
“The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce Veterans Assistance Committee looks for former veterans who have served their country with distinction, who have served their community in the quest to help others in need and who have entered the world of business and risen to a position of leadership,” says Joe Bevilacqua, president and CEO of the MVCC. “John Howard has met and exceeded each of these criteria.”
Howard became president & CEO of MVCU in 2018 following a merger with Bridgewater Credit Union where had been president & CEO since 2015. Since then, the institution has grown into the fifth largest credit union in Massachusetts with $2.3 billion in assets following a merger with RTN Federal Credit Union earlier this year. He led the development of MVCU’s company culture that was recognized when Boston Business Journal named MVCU one of its Best Places to Work this spring, and was recently named CEO of the Year during the Cooperative Credit Union Association’s annual APEX conference on Oct. 12.
Photo, left to right: John J. Driscoll, John J. Howard, Joe Bevilacqua, Michael Malvers and David Morales.