HIGHSTOWN, N.J. -- The New Jersey Credit Union League said last week it has named Cindy Rein-Zima, president/CEO of Hamilton Horizons Federal Credit Union, as head of a five-member search committee to find a replacement for its former president/CEO Robert S. Walls who was dismissed April 23.
In a brief statement, NJCUL Chairman Rina Pantano said the committee "represents credit unions of varying sizes and types from across the state" and is dedicated "to finding the right person" to lead the trade group in the future.
Walls' firing has stirred sharp dissent among a group of smaller CU and chapter leaders who complained about lack of communication from the league board on the reasons for Walls' dismissal arguing the trade group head had performed admirably since taking over two years ago.
Some CU executives noted that league's tenure mark for the top job has been poor with the termination of Walls' predecessor, Thomas Shaughnessy, convicted of embezzling $300,000 from the league. Shaughnessy had replaced Russell Clark, who had been summarily fired earlier.
Regarding Walls, the president of the league's Shore Chapter, Virginia Williams, told Credit Union Times, "I can't imagine what happened and I've received no responses after writing and making several calls to members of the board," said Williams, who is president/CEO of Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union of Northfield. She said her views are shared by others she has talked with.
Letters, phone calls and e-mails announcing Walls was "no longer in the employ" of the league were distributed under the signature of Rina Pantano, league chairman who also is president/CEO of NJ Gateway Federal Credit Union of Monmouth Junction.
Beside Rein-Zima, other members of the search committee include vice chairman Issa Stephens, president/CEO of First Financial FCU, Tom's River; Eddie Daniels, Tri-Linc FCU, Bound Brook; Steven Schlundt of Atlantic City Fireman's FCU and Robert Steeves, Essex County Teachers FCU, Bloomfield.
League officials were not saying whether an outside firm, often the case among state leagues, would assist the board in conducting the search. --email@example.com