WALLINGFORD, Conn. -- Citing family worries, Kevin Chandler, the president/CEO of the Credit Union League of Connecticut for the last year and a half, has resigned to return to his home state of Minnesota.
Chandler, a former Minnesota state senator and also the former head of the Minnesota Credit Union Network before taking the Connecticut job in 2006, said the tug of his home state proved more than he anticipated when he moved to Connecticut, particularly for his young family.
The news was greeted with some surprise among Connecticut CEOs who learned about his planned departure in letters sent late last week by the chair of CULC, Kathy Chartier.
In a formal statement, Chartier said, "we thank Kevin for his contributions to the league and wish him well. That said, he's got to do what he thinks is right for his family and we can certainly understand that."
In the statement, Chandler explained that "sometimes the love of family and friends you grew up with proves to be more valuable than you think and that's what it came down to for me" adding that "while I'll certainly miss the friends I've gained here in Connecticut, for me, the time is right."
Chandler, an attorney, said he likely would be leaving the CU field as he returns to Minnesota to do national and state lobbying for a multi-client Denver firm. He said job arrangements were being worked out, but that his last day with the CCUL was Oct. 12.
"I can't say enough about what a good board the Connecticut League has been and how they have understood my dilemma," said Chandler, noting the board's efforts to help on his housing and travel problems.
"I have enjoyed my time in Connecticut and the league immensely but with a wife and three small children that I have been separated from for over a year, it was time," Chandler said. "We accomplished a lot in a relatively short period of time and the league is safe and sound."
Chartier, who also is president/CEO of Members Credit Union, Stamford, Conn., declined to comment beyond the statement and press release that said she would become interim CEO with support of the board's executive committee.
The board, she said, has formed a committee that will immediately begin a search for a new CEO.
Chandler, who took the Connecticut job in June 2006, had been unable to sell his Minneapolis home during his tenure.
At the league, Chandler is credited with staffing up the lobbying effort in Hartford, pre-launching a TV awareness campaign and seeing through a name change that won favor from the membership to switch from its former moniker as the Connecticut Credit Union Association.
Chandler had succeeded Art Corey, an attorney who had joined a Hartford law firm.
But before taking the Connecticut post, Chandler was out of work for a spell following his departure from Minnesota Credit Union Network as a result of policy differences.
The leadership of that league said Chandler, a Democrat, was leaving "by mutual agreement" following what it said were differing views on league structure and political allegiance.
The Minnesota Network said then, however, Chandler's exit should be viewed positively with CUs indebted to Chandler "for nine years of service" to the industry.