Schott, Clifford Stanley (1927-2016)
Clifford Stanley Schott: Executive Director from 1980 to 1992 of the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (Ontario) Limited (now Kindred Credit Union) was born 13 November 1927 in rural Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada near the village of Mannheim. Cliff was the second of eight children born to Vernon Schott (24 October 1901-4 May 1974) and Luella Witmer (22 May 1904-13 March 1980). Cliff was baptized at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario, on 5 May 1940. On 1 September 1951 Cliff married Carol Gingrich (10 April 1929- ) at Erb Street Mennonite Church in Waterloo, Ontario. Cliff and Carol had two sons, Gary and Brad, and a daughter Judy. Cliff died on 4 December 2016 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener at the age of 89.
After finishing secondary education at Kitchener Collegiate Institute, Cliff worked as a draftsman at Marsland Engineering in Waterloo, and took many night courses in accounting, as well as courses in public speaking and oil painting. Cliff was in charge of operations at Marsland, and also volunteered on the Marsland Employees’ Credit Union. After 32 years at Marsland, Cliff left the company in 1978 because Marsland was producing war products.
Cliff’s passion for the concept of the credit union and the benefits a credit union brings to people naturally led Cliff to begin work at the Mennonite Credit Union. Cliff served as branch manager of the Elmira branch from 1978 to 1980, and became General Manger of the Mennonite Credit Union (MCU) until his retirement as Executive Director in 1992. Cliff initiated the name change to Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (Ontario) Limited in an effort to focus attention on the need for investments to support lending activities. Cliff was strongly committed to credit union concepts such as shared ownership, meeting members’ needs, mutual support, and building church relationships.
Cliff helped MSCU gain greater clarity in its direction and vision, and built up MSCU’s relationship with Mennonite congregations. Cliff also developed associations with other Mennonite Credit Unions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia and Manitoba. Cliff had good foresight and helped MSCU deal with the complexity of increasing government regulation and kept MSCU on a good capital base which assured its future.
During Cliff’s leadership the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union’s membership doubled, its staff increased from 19 to 55, and its assets grew five fold to $142.5 million. Cliff possessed good insights and took wise initiatives that expanded and built up MSCU. Three new branches were opened in Milverton, Waterloo and Leamington during Cliff’s tenure, and programs for youth were introduced. Many MSCU employees experienced Cliff as a caring and supportive mentor. He is remembered as being a collaborative and visionary leader who liked to trust others and entrust them with responsibilities. He was gracious and encouraging toward employees.
Upon Cliff’s retirement in 1992, he and Carol began to spend most of each year in Riverview, Florida while spending their summers at their Chesley Lake cottage in Ontario until their return to Kitchener in 2012.
Cliff and Carol were members of First Mennonite Church in Kitchener until 1960 when they became charter members of the newly founded Rockway Mennonite Church, Kitchener. Upon their return from Florida they joined Erb Street Mennonite Church, which was Carol’s home congregation. Cliff was very involved in the congregations he and Carol attended. As a young man Cliff assisted Pastor John Hess with the youth program at First Mennonite Church, and later helped start Vacation Bible School at Rockway Mennonite Church and served on the Rockway congregation’s church board.
Cliff is remembered for being principled, creative, firm in his faith, gentle and compassionate, and was highly respected for his clear insights and for his capable management of MSCU.
Driedger, Nick. Interview by author. Waterloo, Ontario. (2018).
Fewkes, Michael. Eulogy for Clifford Schott. (9 December 2016).
"Obituary of Clifford Schott." Erb and Good Family Funeral Home. December 2016. Web. 12 July 2018. https://erbgood.com/tribute/details/13200/Clifford-Schott/obituary.html.
Schott, Carol. Interview by author. Waterloo, Ontario. (2018).
|Date Published||July 2018|
Cite This Article
Knarr, Gary. "Schott, Clifford Stanley (1927-2016)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2018. Web. 18 Oct 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Schott,_Clifford_Stanley_(1927-2016)&oldid=161162.
Knarr, Gary. (July 2018). Schott, Clifford Stanley (1927-2016). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 October 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Schott,_Clifford_Stanley_(1927-2016)&oldid=161162.
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