Cinco de Mayo, the day Mexico's 1862 victory over the French is celebrated, may also mark the day when CUNA names a new leader.
The association's board is scheduled to meet that day and is likely to receive recommendations from the search committee on a successor to CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica, who has said he will step down no later than the end of this year.
"We will be in communication with the board on that day and quite possibly present the results of this very broad-based search," search committee chairman Harriet May said in a telephone interview.
May, who is the vice chairman of CUNA's board and is scheduled to become chairman later this year, declined to say how many finalists have been interviewed but said they included people from inside and outside the credit union movement. She also declined to say how many men and women were among the finalists.
She added that CUNA had received "somewhere less than 100" applicants but wouldn't disclose the number.
May, who is president/CEO of Greater El Paso Credit Union in Texas, said the executive search firm hired by the board-Russell Reynolds Associates-spoke to a range of individuals while coming up with a job description. The result was a "long list of applicants that we looked at in what was a very detailed, structured process."
Among the names that have been mentioned include California-Nevada Credit Union League President Bill Cheney, Massachusetts-New Hampshire Credit Union League President Dan Egan, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) and Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.). None of them returned calls seeking comment.
Cheney has run the league since March 2006 and before that was president/CEO of Xerox Federal Credit Union and executive vice president of Security Service Federal Credit Union. He was on the board of U.S. Central Corporate Federal Credit Union at the time of its conservatorship and was on the board of Western Corporate Federal Credit Union from 1999 to 2005.
Egan has run his league since 1984 and before that was its general counsel for three years. He was an assistant district attorney and a lawyer in private practice before joining the league.
Emerson was elected to the House in 1996, succeeding her late husband Rep. Bill Emerson. She has not been active on financial services issues and although she voted for the most important credit union bill in recent years-H.R. 1151-which passed 411-8, she wasn't a co-sponsor. If she is chosen, she would be the second consecutive CUNA president with ties to the insurance industry. She was senior vice president of American Insurance Association from 1994 to 1996 (and before that a lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association). Mica was executive vice president of the American Council of Life Insurance before joining CUNA.
Gordon, who was elected to the House in 1984 and has announced he won't seek re-election this year, is chairman of the Science Committee and a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. He hasn't been active on financial services issues and though he supported H.R. 1151 he wasn't a co-sponsor. Before he was elected to Congress he was an attorney in private practice and the chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.