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Johnson Leaving Whitworth a ‘Polished Diamond'

Tracey Brown

When Tom Johnson assumes his new position as vice president for administration at Spokane Teachers Credit Union, in December, he will leave behind a campus literally "transformed" under his leadership, according to President Bill Robinson.

In his 17 years as vice president for business affairs at Whitworth, Johnson has overseen the advent of round-the-clock security service, a dramatic improvement in employee compensation and benefits, the installation of fiber-optic and wireless networks, a quadrupling of the college's endowments and more than $60 million in capital improvements – ranging from automated irrigation and improved signage and lighting across campus to construction of the library addition, the new HUB and Weyerhaeuser Hall.

Johnson says he couldn't have imagined such a transformation when he arrived at Whitworth in 1989 amid declining enrollments and budget cuts; but he recognized the importance of making a positive first impression to prospective students, and he encouraged the college to chip away steadily at the many campus improvements that Whitworthians enjoy today.

"It speaks to how much can be accomplished with time, prayer and support from our many great donors," he says. "I've often thought of our campus as a diamond in the rough, and I think we've put a good polish on some facets of the diamond."
In his new role, Johnson will oversee strategic direction, innovation and administration for STCU, which is the third largest credit union in the state, with 70,000 members and $850 million in assets.

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