Scott Hannah, former Province columnist and founder of the Credit Counselling Society, dies

Family describe Hannah as someone who helped, educated, and inspired hope in people.

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Financial expert Scott Hannah, a former Province columnist and president of the Credit Counselling Society, has died.

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Hannah, who offered readers across the country sage advice on managing debt, died June 17, the Credit Counselling Society said in a statement on Wednesday.

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He was 65.

“All those who knew him will be forever grateful that his family shared their father, husband, son, and brother with the nation. Scott leaves behind an indelible legacy and a team motivated and inspired to continue helping, educating, and giving hope to millions more,” the statement said.

He began writing columns for The Province in 2009 and had retired earlier this year. One of his most popular columns, “Is using a credit line to buy a car better than dealer financing?” continues to be well read every month.

The society said he helped, educated and inspired hope in people.

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“Recognized as a genuine and respected leader, he cared deeply about people — above all his family, but also friends, colleagues, clients, business associates, and consumers,” the statement said.

“His steadfast encouragement and passionate resolve to support those who needed it most, became hallmarks of his values.”

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His colleagues also described him as having a unique style of coaching and mentoring that was punctuated by humour and tangible accountability.

“Never one to shy away from a friendly coffee bet, he doled out reminders to take setbacks in stride, and to walk before running; however, run he did.”

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He led an active life and loved golf, running, swimming and coaching his sons’ soccer teams. He also competed in triathlons and was always game to climb a mountain or take part in a polar bear swim.

In his obituary, Hannah’s family said he had an inner child and playful spirit and was game for anything. They described him as the neighbourhood dad and the “best water gun fighter, sandcastle builder and defender, bike fixer and party guy.”

Scott Hannah
Scott Hannah, President and CEO of Credit Counselling Society with a “house of cards” made of credit cards, New Westminster. Photo by Gerry Kahrmann /PNG

In 1996, Hannah was tapped by the credit granting community to establish the Credit Counselling Society, which he did, the society said, with “a focused vision combined with a passion to help” people.

“Decades later, CCS continues the important work of helping thousands of Canadians manage through their financial challenges successfully,” said Isaiah Chan, the society’s vice-president of programs and services.

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He adds that Hannah never lost sight of putting the needs of others first, and helped raise thousands of dollars for food banks.

The society’s president Peta Wales said it became evident after succeeding Hannah after his retirement, that she had “inherited an incredible organization with a culture of caring so rarely seen — not just for the clients and communities we serve, but for each other.”

As he worked on policy change with every level of government and industry associations, Hannah ensured the best interests of consumers remained at the heart of every decision, the statement said.

Hannah attended the British Columbia Institute of Technology and was a registered and qualified insolvency counsellor.

In 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from University Canada West for his distinguished service in the field of credit counselling and customer credit education at local, provincial and national levels.

He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Scott Hannah
Scott Hannah of Credit Counselling Society in Vancouver, B.C., October 30, 2017. Feature on people’s economic “failure to launch”. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

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