COLUMBIA, Md. and HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (2/25/11)--The Maryland & District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA) and the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) have agreed to explore a potential merger. The boards of MDDCCUA and NJCUL have signed a letter of intent to begin researching a merger of the two associations. "The missions of the two associations are aligned," said Miguel Boluda, chairman of MDDCCUA and CEO of PAHO/WHO FCU. Both associations "are focused on advocacy as their core purpose. Both are committed to increasing consumer awareness of credit unions and to ensuring future credit union growth." The ability of the merged organization to add value for the affiliates in the core areas of advocacy, education and compliance was the primary reason for moving forward, Boluda said. MDDCCUA and NJCUL identified potential areas of added value to the membership:
* Enhanced consumer awareness; * Stronger political and regulatory advocacy committed to a solid local presence in New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia; * Powerful regional events; * Additional compliance services; * Improved communications and marketing; * Savings and innovation in education content and delivery; * Additional products and services from the service corp.; * Organizational depth; and * Operational efficiencies.
NJCUL Chairman and McGraw-Hill FCU CEO Shawn Gilfedder said the merger will create a more effective association at a time when powerful advocacy is most needed. "A strong association will be vital as we work to improve the operating environment for future credit union growth," he said. "Both associations have made tremendous strides in advocacy in recent years. Combining resources provides opportunities to leverage the strengths of each association and deliver even more value to the combined membership." Boluda and Gilfedder emphasized that state-level advocacy in Maryland and New Jersey, and local advocacy in the District of Columbia, will be in full force during the merger. Also, the staff and leadership teams of MDDCCUA and NJCUL will continue to operate normally. Jennifer Simmons, interim CEO, will continue to lead day-to-day activities at MDDCCUA. Should a merger be approved, NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile will lead the merged association. "There is rapid change happening in the credit union space," said Gentile, who has led NJCUL since late 2007. "It is vital that credit unions are being effectively positioned with lawmakers, regulators and consumers. Our goal is to unite these two associations in a way that enhances the products and services to the membership, with an intense focus on advocacy." The associations are targeting year-end to complete the merger, pending due diligence and member approval, said Boluda and Gilfedder.