WASHINGTON (5/7/14 UPDATED 2:15 ET)--Current Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel will be interim president/CEO of CUNA, effective June 11, the same day that Bill Cheney, the current president/CEO, returns to California to become president/CEO of Santa Ana-based SchoolsFirst FCU, the largest credit union in that state.
Hampel, a senior member of CUNA's credit union advocacy team in Washington, is one of the longest-tenured executives of CUNA, having joined the association as an economist in 1978, promoted to vice president in 1985 and to senior vice president and chief economist in 1992.
An expert on the economy and credit union issues, he is regularly interviewed by major national television, radio and print media. He has also testified numerous times before Congress and is a registered lobbyist, advocating on behalf of credit unions on a wide variety of issues.
"Bill has deep and broad knowledge and understanding of CUNA's top advocacy issues and operations of the organization. He has demonstrated an ability to bring that background to bear in making decisions in the best interests of our members," said CUNA Chairman Dennis Pierce, president/CEO of CommunityAmerica CU, Lenexa, Kan. "During this interim period between CEOs, I expect CUNA and its members will have a steady hand at the helm."
Cheney noted Hampel's nearly four decades of experience in credit union policy issues and with Congress, regulators, state associations, credit unions and the press. "I've worked with Bill on a host of issues affecting the credit union system at large and policy issues specifically," Cheney said, adding, "Bill understands intuitively what credit unions need and want; I fully endorse his selection to oversee CUNA's efforts during the interim period."
Prior to joining CUNA, Hampel was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Montana-Missoula. Before that he was an instructor of economics at Iowa State University at Ames.
Hampel served as a staff member at Navy FCU, Vienna, Va., during a one-year sabbatical in 1989, where he studied credit union operations and carried out a variety of consulting projects.
He was on the board of directors for Madison, Wis.-based Great Wisconsin CU (formerly CUNA CU) from 1991 to 2003, serving as board chair from 1999 to 2001. He served on the board of the National Cooperative Bank, which supports America's cooperatives and their members, especially in low-income communities, by providing innovative financial and related services.
Hampel is a member of the American Economic Association and the National Association for Business Economists. He holds a doctorate in economics from Iowa State University.
CUNA's search for a permanent CEO will continue throughout the summer; the CUNA Board hopes to make a hire by this fall.
Meanwhile, CUNA Vice President of Economics and Statistics Mike Schenk has been named acting chief economist for the association.