The National Credit Union Foundation has chosen longtime credit union leader Wendell Sebastian as its next executive director. In some ways this was not a surprise. Sources close to the executive search had named Sebastian as a front-runner for the job in January.
Sebastian is well-known within the credit union community, having spent 20 years as CEO of Tampa, Fla.-based GTE Federal Credit Union. He also was executive director and general counsel at the NCUA from 1981-1985 during Edgar F. Callahan's tenure as chairman.
After his service at the NCUA, Sebastian co-founded Callahan & Associates, a credit union consulting firm. He is also a former general counsel of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions.
The executive director position had been vacant since the departure in December of Steve Delfin, who left to become CEO of America's Charities. The National Credit Union Foundation has been run on an interim basis by Managing Administrative Director Tom Candell while an executive search process was conducted. The search committee was chaired by Gary Oakland, CEO of BECU, Tukwila, Wash.
"The search committee was extremely impressed with the level of knowledge, extensive network of system contacts and tremendous energy and enthusiasm that Bucky will bring to this position," said Oakland.
As executive director, Sebastian will manage the foundation's eight-member staff, cultivate and maintain relationships with the credit union system's donor constituency, seek grants for program priorities and foster initiatives that further the NCUF's development goals.
He will be based in the foundation's Washington, D.C. office.
"I am thrilled to have been selected for this position," said Sebastian. "I believe the foundation is one of the absolute gems in the credit union system, and I welcome this opportunity to polish it even brighter."