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St. Helens hires new CEO terminates merger plan
ST. HELENS, Ore. (7/1712)--With the hiring of a new CEO, St. Helens (Ore.) Community CU has called off plans to merge with Wauna FCU.

St. Helens Community CU, with $166 million assets, Friday announced the hiring of Brooke Van Vleet, a 20-year veteran of the credit union movement. Van Vleet most recently served as chief administrative officer at First Tech FCU, Palo Alto, Calif.

In her first official action, Van Vleet recommended, and the St. Helen's board agreed, that the credit union terminate plans to explore a merger with $143 million Wauna FCU, Clatskanie, Ore.  

The two credit unions signed a nonbinding letter of intent "to explore the benefits associated with merging," according to a statement released July 9 by the credit unions (News Now July 10).

"My focus needs to be on the day-to-day operations and getting up to speed quickly on current initiatives," said Van Vleet.  

"While the board still believes we should always explore strategic options that may benefit our members, we concur with Van Vleet's assessment that the credit union's energy currently needs to be focused on maximizing value to the membership through our current initiatives," said Lea Chitwood, chairman of the St. Helen's CU board.


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