The winner of CUNA's four-way race for a seat on the 2011 Board of Directors, Pat Wesenberg of Wisconsin, thanked her backers Wednesday and lauded her opponents for "their passion and devotion to the cause."
Wesenberg, president/CEO of the $166 million Central City CU of Marshfield, said she was surprised by the attention devoted to the race marked by weeks of online campaigning and debate including some on the CUES in-serve network.
As the incumbent, the Wisconsin CEO was elected to her third term as a CUNA director representing more than 1,200 small CUs in six Midwest states. She has been serving as CUNA secretary and is up for re-election to that job at CUNA Board meetings in February during the Governmental Affairs Conference.
In the voting which ended last Friday, Wesenberg defeated Pat Drennen, president/CEO of 1st Security CU of Comanche, Iowa; Brian Smith-Vandergriff, director of Catholic Family CU of Kansas City and Dennis Fisher, president/CEO of First Security CU of Lincolnwood, Ill.
During the campaign her opponents questioned her decision to piggyback her candidacy on a competitor, the $49 million Marshfield Medical Center CU, to meet election rules. In the CUNA race, she represented the Med Center CU where she had been hired as legislative liaison over the summer and which allowed her to comply with District 4 Class A requirements on maximum members in the CU. As a result of an unexpected conversion switch, her own CU had barely exceeded limits.
Wesenberg insisted she was strictly following CUNA election guidelines but would withdraw if there was something amiss.
She said she understood the challenge by her competitors and it demonstrated "the interest we all have in serving our industry."
"This was an open and competitive race and that was good," she concluded.