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News Now

CU System
CUs in several states announce mergers
MADISON, Wis. (9/17/10)--Credit unions in several states have announced mergers with other credit unions, according to local media reports. SOFCU Community CU, Grants Pass, Ore., and Oregon First Community CU, Coquille, Ore., plan to merge, effective Feb. 28 and pending regulatory approval. Both will operate as affiliates of First Community CU. David Elmer, executive vice president at Oregon First, will be president/CEO. Charla Zeltvay, president/CEO of SOFCU, and Dal King, president/CEO of Oregon First, will continue their leadership positions as presidents of their affiliate credit unions under First Community. Both will remain in their positions until their retirement dates of February 2012. Elmer told News Now that the motivation for the merger is to better serve both credit unions’ members as their individual CEOs retire. “It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “In the end, our goal is to better serve the members.” There will be no layoffs, and the resulting credit union will have about 70,000 members and $700 million in assets, with 34 branches. None of the branches overlap, he added. Partners 1st FCU and Food Marketing FCU, both in Fort Wayne, Ind., also have plans to merge. Partners has about 30,000 members and $238 million in assets. Its five branches will serve Food Marketing members beginning Oct. 1. Partners 1st has 32 branches in 22 states, according to The Journal Gazette (Sept. 15). David Fleming, CEO of Partners 1st, said Partners offers more services than Food Marketing because of its larger size. Prairie Trail CU, Joliet, Ill., merged with Argonne CU, Romeoville, Ill., on Sept. 1. Brian Cedergren, Argonne CEO, will be president/CEO of the combined credit union, and Matt Thraen, Prairie Trail CEO, will be president of the credit union’s Joliet division (Bugle Newspapers Sept. 15). No employee positions were lost in the merger. Argonne had 16,000 members and $200 million in assets before the merger, and Prairie Trail CU served 12,000 members with $73 million in assets. The merger is expected to help the credit unions reduce their fixed costs, the newspaper said.


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