(Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - Washington, DC) The following statement was released today at a press conference at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, and was attended by members of the Federation’s executive committee, staff, and member credit unions.
Good morning! I am Lynda Milton, Board Chairman of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and CEO of Team Financial FCU in Houston, Texas. As you may know, the Federation is the only national association for credit unions serving low-income communities. Our 230 member credit unions serve nearly 1.7 million low- and moderate-income people from Maine to Alaska to Hawaii.
You have probably heard about the departure of Cliff Rosenthal, President and CEO of the Federation for more than 30 years. It is difficult, of course, to part with someone who has meant so much to this organization, and who has brought the Federation and the CDCU movement to heights that, as Cliff says, we never dared dream of back in 1980.
His accomplishments are too numerous to mention here, but I’ll just note a few:
Quadrupling the membership of the Federation
Pioneering the concept for the federal Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund
Achieving regulatory recognition for supplemental capital
Developing numerous programs to reach so many segments of the underserved population, including through African-American faith-based credit unions, credit unions serving Latino membership, forging ties with the disability community, and more
And not least, he has brought the Federation to a sound, sustainable financial footing.
Cliff will be reviewing the Federation’s accomplishments of the last 30 years at the Federation’s 38th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved in Atlanta, June 13-16. We hope you will join us for his farewell address. By that time, he will be well into his new position as Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in charge of the Office of Financial Empowerment.
I would like to use this opportunity to tell you what comes next for the Federation.
The Federation’s Board of Directors met this past weekend here in Washington to formalize our transition plan. At our meeting, we ratified the appointment of Pamela Owens as the interim CEO of the Federation immediately after Cliff’s last day of service, May 4. Ms. Owens, who is currently Vice President for Programs at the Federation, has worked for the Federation since 1998, developing and managing the CDCU Institute, an intensive training program for officials of CDCUs and the foremost training resource for small credit unions. She manages some of the Federation’s most innovative initiatives, including our major program to enhance the financial stability of older adults, our nationally recognized programs to provide access to financial services and employment for people with disabilities, and much more. We are delighted that she has agreed to assume the position of interim CEO, and she does so with the full support and respect of the Federation’s Board of Directors.
On April 1, the Federation will formally open a national search for a permanent President and CEO. We have engaged the assistance of TransitionGuides, a nationally respected firm specializing in non-profit executive transitions and sustainability planning. TransitionGuides has worked with the Federation previously, both for the Federation’s own succession planning, as well as providing succession planning training to CDCUs.
We anticipate the search process will be conducted throughout the spring and early summer. Our target for bringing on a successor is, tentatively, October 1, 2012.
Managing the Federation requires a broad set of skills and experience, ranging from credit union regulatory advocacy, to financial management, to foundation and corporate fundraising, to overseeing one of the nation’s foremost community development financial institutions (CDFIs), managing more than $50 million, invested in CDCUs nationwide as secondary capital, deposits, and to purchase mortgages through our CDCU Mortgage Center, LLC.
Succeeding a long-term leader like Cliff Rosenthal is never easy. But the Federation is a highly visible, respected organization that has made its mark in serving the underserved. With consumers by the millions moving their money to credit unions, this is a time of unprecedented opportunity for the Federation and the CDCU movement. We believe that our search will attract a wide and varied range of highly talented, committed professionals, excited about the opportunity to build on the foundation we have built together at the Federation.
Thank you. We will now take questions.
© 2012 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.