VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (1/19/10)--In the aftermath of Chartway FCU’s decision to purchase and assume the $311 million asset Tooele, Utah-based HeritageWest FCU--announced Jan. 1--Chartway has been fielding questions from other credit unions with similar issues. Ron Burniske, president /CEO of the $1.22 billion asset, Virginia Beach, Va.-based Chartway, sees the merger of HeritageWest as more than an example of a failed financial institution. “We didn’t see a troubled credit union,” he said. “We saw a credit union reaching out for help. We saw an opportunity to save the culture, heritage and traditions of a great institution, made even greater through a strong partnership with Chartway. The decision to retain the HeritageWest name is a testament to our desire to maintain the legacy of the credit union.” Other credit unions are contacting Chartway because they see the benefits that partnering with a strong, well-capitalized organization such as Chartway can bring, Burniske added. “In most cases, when an organization is liquidated, everything changes,” Burniske said. “That’s not our philosophy. When we talk to credit unions that are looking for solutions, they know they’re dealing with an organization that will support them--not tear everything down they have worked so hard to build. We just want to help them continue serving their members through greater strength and opportunities.” Bruce Bryan, HeritageWest CEO, will continue as regional president of Heritage West. “Through Chartway’s help, we’ll be able to do more of what we do best: meet the financial service needs of our combined members,” he said. “Ultimately, the opportunity to integrate both credit unions will provide the financial strength that we need to offer stronger pricing and service advantages.” In the future, Burniske said he believes Chartway may be able to assist more credit unions looking for creative ways to continue serving their members.