LANSING, Mich. -- Kenneth Ross, a former vice president of regulatory and legal affairs for the Michigan Credit Union League, has became the state's top CU regulator after holding down the job on an interim basis for the last six months.
The league hailed the appointment as a milestone in recent state history since "this is the first time that an individual with a credit union background has ever served as the state's chief regulator of financial institutions."
Ross, 40, joined the Office of Financial and Insurance Services in 2003 as chief of staff to former Commissioner Linda Watters and was later promoted to deputy commissioner for policy, serving as acting head last October following Watters' resignation.
"Ken's tremendous knowledge of complex financial and insurance issues and his tireless work as a public servant will ensure that OFIS continues to serve Michigan's citizens," Governor Jennifer Granholm said.
Ross, who joined the Michigan League staff in 2000 as regulatory affairs director and later promoted to vice president, helped write a CU reform bill later helping to implement the measure when he joined the commissioner's office.
Prior to taking the league job, he had been an assistant to former Michigan Attorney Generals Frank Kelly and Granholm. He also had served as chief of staff for former State Representative Agnes Dobronski (D-Dearborn).
"Michigan credit unions and the MCUL are looking forward to what I'm sure will be a continuation of the positive, constructive relationship we have had with Ken throughout his service at OFIS," said David Adams, president/CEO of the league.
A resident of Dewitt, Ross holds a Juris Doctor cum laude degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Ross told Credit Union Times the state "probably has the most progressive credit union law in the nation, built with a great deal of flexibility and lots of opportunities for credit unions of all sizes."
Such a climate has fostered "a dynamic atmosphere" for state-chartered CUs in field of membership growth.
Ross said the agency tries "to be out in front of the curve on new developments providing opportunities for interaction between our customers and senior staff "
"This proactive outreach identifies emerging issues for agency consideration. An example: identifying in the credit union advisory council the VISA stock issue early on, which resulted in an agency bulletin or letter."
More recently the agency has been working on foreclosure avoidance initiatives. And on that "we're working with all our depository institutions to identify ways that they can--within the boundaries of safe and sound operations--amplify their efforts to positively impact the Michigan economy and assist consumers by providing access to capital at reasonably competitive rates."