The Credit Union Association of Oklahoma has a new CEO: Gary Jones, former head of a Tulsa CU who has been serving as interim CEO of the trade group since July.
Jones, who joined the league in 2007 as a field rep and consultant, said he looks to enhance association services in such areas as compliance and advocacy during "what remains a challenging time for this industry."
Jones succeeds Debra J. Ingram, its top manager since 2008 who left abruptly in a management shakeup. Ingram, an attorney, had been with the 74-member CUAO since 2006 and helped guide a headquarters relocation from Tulsa to Oklahoma City last year and the opening of a Credit Union House near the capitol building.
Jones, former president of the now-merged WilServ CU in Tulsa, said CUAO will continue to look for economies of scale as it outsources both products and services with neighboring leagues. It maintains a management contract on back office services with the Texas Credit Union League and currently has another with the Missouri Credit Union Association. Since last year ,the Oklahoma and Missouri leagues conduct joint annual meetings with the 2010 event slated to open Tuesday in Branson, Mo.
Jones, in making his debut appearance as CEO next week at the Branson gathering, will be joining another newly appointed CEO, Michael Beall formerly head of the Maryland/DC Credit Union Association. Beall is slated to start work in Missouri Nov. 1.
In managing the Oklahoma group, Jones said he is cognizant of the merger trend among state leagues and OCUA leadership will continue to study current business models like Florida/Alabama which formed the League of Southeastern Credit Unions or Washington/Oregon planning on a consolidation next year.
"Collaboration remains a key word for us so that is something we always have to look it," stressed Jones quipping "regional is not a dirty word."