PHOENIX -- Scott Earl, the former president/CEO of the Utah League of Credit Unions and a CUNA vice president since 2005, is joining the Arizona Credit Union League as its new president/CEO effective Aug. 1.
Earl succeeds veteran league manager Gary Plank, 65, who has served the industry 42 years and steps down July 30 as chairman of the World Council of Credit Unions, after completing his term.
"Scott is an experienced lobbyist and brings with him a wealth of knowledge in league operations," said Linda Dhaemers, Arizona League chairman "I know he will be well received in Arizona and has set building relationships with our credit unions and legislators as a top priority."
Since the fall of 2005, Earl has been CUNA's vice president of league relations and head of disaster preparedness filling a key role in directing CUNA's national Gulf Coast efforts to aid CU victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Just prior to joining CUNA, Earl headed up the Credit Unions for Kids program for Children's Miracle Network, based in Salt Lake City.
He previously had been president/CEO of the Utah League from 1991 to 2003 serving during a particularly tumultuous time amidst fierce banker attacks in the Utah legislature and the courts over Utah field of membership expansion.
Earl told Credit Union Times that while his CUNA tenure was satisfying "working with really wonderful people", he missed the dynamics and networking involved in league management praising the Arizona organization as one which is well run, with "high affiliation and probably at the top of the states in membership growth."
He acknowledged the trend toward management agreements and mergers among state leagues as one that may continue, but it does not necessarily involve Arizona.
"These are very individual situations and conditions particular to each state league," said Earl noting however, that a CUNA Task Force joined by the American Association of Credit Union Leagues has for the last year been looking at overall league structure.
Earl said he will want to study the nearly two-year-old education/convention servicing pact with the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues which puts together programs and speakers for compliance seminars and for the Arizona League's annual convention.
Plank and the Arizona League board made that deal with California and "they obviously saw value in the agreement and we have to trust their insight."
Earl declined comment on the internal league feuding surrounding the April firing of Robert S. Walls, the CEO of the New Jersey League, except that states suffering low membership statistics "need a strong organization and cooperative spirit which requires a working together of the board and president."
That was something that apparently did not happen in New Jersey, he said.
Earl began his CU career in 1982 as marketing director for the Utah League and while president/CEO also headed up its subsidiary, the Credit Union Service Corporation. He has been on a number of several national CU committees and was chairman of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues. He chaired the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, was a director of U.S. Central Credit Union, a trustee for Western CUNA Management School and on the Filene Research Institute's Board.
A CU development educator, Earl is a Utah native and a graduate from the University of Utah.
Last week Earl was slated to take part in festivities in Phoenix honoring his predecessor, Gary Plank at a retirement dinner during the annual convention of the Arizona League.
The search for Plank's successor started last fall by Dhaemers, the league chairman and president/CEO of Desert Energy Credit Union of Tucson, following Plank's announcement to retire in 2007.
Last February during the GAC, Plank was given the Eugene Foley, one of CUNA's highest honors for industry service. Following his retirement, Plank said last year he might still stay active in the CU field though his plans remained uncertain.