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Wash. state outlines director emeritus rules
OLYMPIA, Wash. (2/1/11)--Individuals with director emeritus status are not eligible for expense reimbursement from state-chartered credit unions for travel, training, or insurance benefits, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) ruled. The Washington Credit Union Act did not provide for director emeritus status. The ruling, outlined in a letter from Linda K. Jekel, director of credit unions for the State of Washington, approved the director emeritus title as an honorary, nonvoting position with limited attendance requirements. Jekel explained that a director emeritus is typically an honorary title and may provide experience-based advice to elected officials. Training should be limited to elected officials and regular committee members who have clear responsibilities and standards of care for their duties, Jekel said. Jekel cited an October 2003 opinion letter published by the National Credit Union Association in guiding her ruling. Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) CEO John Annaloro issued the following statement regarding the ruling. “NWCUA appreciates the DFI’s recognition about the importance of keeping open credit unions’ options for recognition of distinguished board members, via the director emeritus title,” Annaloro said. “Additionally, the DFI ruling suggests that such positions should have defined expectations, and once established can sit and serve without the fiduciary liabilities and education expectations for regular members of the board of directors. “That clarification is very beneficial,” he continued. “DFI appears correct that merely bestowing a title on someone, however impressive that title may be, is not in itself sufficient reason to pay compensation or future expenses for the individual. It should also be noted that credit unions still have the option of retaining and compensating advisers and consultants for specific and business purposes, as well as to reimburse for legitimate expenses. In some manner, everyone potentially benefits by this clarification by the Washington State DFI.”


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