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Arizona Colorado and Wyoming CU leagues explore merger
DENVER and PHOENIX (11/9/10)--The Arizona Credit Union League, Credit Union Association of Colorado and Credit Union Association of Wyoming have signed a letter-of-intent to merge. No timeline for the merger has been set. Each of the boards of directors agreed to pursue a three-state merger with a focus on how to best provide ongoing benefits and service to their member credit unions. The three organizations will work together and take the next few months to determine a final business plan, develop an organizational structure, and then seek approval of the three states’ memberships. “This is an exciting development that feels right for all credit unions involved,” said Mike Williams, chairman of the Credit Union Association of Colorado and president/CEO of Colorado CU in Littleton. “We believe that the strength that comes from this merger will create an organization that will be a lasting benefit to our credit unions. As we began our new CEO search, our board decided to explore all possible solutions that could be in the best interest of our credit unions. The prospects of this option are compelling.” “The need for a league is as important as ever,” said Bob Ramirez, Arizona Credit Union League chairman and president/CEO of Vantage West CU in Tucson. “The challenge is how best to achieve efficiencies and still provide what credit unions expect from their league. This merger will allow us to meet the needs of all sizes of credit unions.” Marsha Tynsky, Chairwoman of the Credit Union Association of Wyoming and President/CEO of Trona Valley Community FCU in Green River, agree. “Our members expect us to pursue ways to continue to provide them with high quality association services while looking for new ways to operate more efficiently and effectively,” she said. “The proposed merger will provide credit unions across the three states a chance to collaborate and share opportunities that ultimately help our members.” The Credit Union National Asscoation(CUNA) said it supports the intended merger. "CUNA is solidly in support of the path that the leaders of these state leagues have taken to explore this merger which will enhance efficiencies and services to member credit unions in all three states," said Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO. "Of course, this action is the first step and the final decision rests with the credit unions. CUNA strongly supports all initiatives which foster and strengthen our 3-tiered system--credit unions, leagues and CUNA." While no official timeline has been developed, a membership vote is required and could be scheduled for first quarter next year. If the merger is approved, Scott Earl, president/CEO of the Arizona league will become the CEO of the new entity. The Colorado Association has ownership of their building, therefore Denver has been selected as the location for the newly formed organization’s headquarters. Offices will continue to be staffed and maintained in Phoenix and Casper. “The work is just starting,” Earl said. “We will be forming committees to review funding and governance, and staff will be looking at how efficiencies can be achieved. However, ultimately the approval of the merger is in the hands of our member credit unions.”


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