BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Minnesota Credit Union Network is proceeding with a full search this month for a new CEO following the departure of Kevin Chandler, its former president and CEO, who landed a like job in June at the Connecticut Credit Union Association.
Circumstances surrounding Chandler's March 31 exit "by mutual agreement" were not made entirely public, but the leadership of both leagues insisted the job switch be viewed in a positive light, reflecting differing league structures and political allegiances.
For his part, the chairman of the Minnesota league, Richard Nesvold, said Minnesota CUs are indebted to Chandler, an attorney and former Democratic state senator, for "nine years of service and important contributions in the growth of the network."
Still, conditions change "and people move on," said Nesvold, who also is president/CEO of Southpoint FCU, Sleepy Eye. Nesvold said Chandler left the trade group "in good financial shape with the network doing very well."
In the meantime, said Nesvold, the network was planning to sign a contract late last week with HRValue Group, the Middleton, Wis. recruiting firm part-owned by CUNA Mutual Group, which does frequent job searches for state leagues.
Though Chandler left March 31, Nesvold said the trade group waited until now to hire HRValue after conducting a series of member focus groups in the spring gauging "what things we are looking for in a new CEO." Head of the search committee is Harry Carter, president/CEO of TopLine FCU.
For his part, the 46-year-old Chandler said he is looking forward to starting work Aug. 1 at the Connecticut association which he contends has a more flexible leadership structure as compared to Minnesota in terms of director tenure and term limits. Comments from the Minnesota group on that contention were not immediately available.
Nesvold said he only learned of Chandler's appointment in Connecticut two weeks ago. The Sleepy Eye CEO said he wishes Chandler "all the best success" adding that the ex-CEO gave the network "nine years of great leadership."
In Connecticut, the chairman of CUCA, Kathy Chartier, who also is president/CEO of Members CU of Stamford, said Chandler was selected because of his "outstanding credentials and positive achievements" at the Minnesota Network. Any disagreements in Minnesota were overlooked "because of the many positive factors," said Chartier. In a formal e-mail sent to Connecticut CUs announcing his appointment, Chartier said Chandler had "ushered in a new era of political activism that resulted in the most sweeping legislative reform in the state in 50 years. That, along with top-notch education, legal compliance, and communication departments, resulted in a 97 percent affiliation rate in the state. "Armed with a profitable services corporation and national leadership roles in both CUNA and AACUL, Kevin has made his mark in the movement-leadership that will serve us well," wrote Chartier.
Nesvold of Minnesota said work on finding a new CEO could have started much earlier in the spring, "but we were well served by an excellent staff." Serving as acting CEO of the network has been the trade group's chief operating officer, Peter Skaalen. -firstname.lastname@example.org