Denise Sweet-McGregor, the former interim CEO of NCUA-conserved AEA Federal Credit Union of Arizona, is leaving the CU Feb. 18, it was disclosed Monday.
Officials at the failed $309 million CU in Yuma confirmed a weekend public statement by Sweet-McGregor that she would be resigning, "leaving the credit union in capable hands."
She had been serving as executive vice president during a tenure which saw the southern Arizona CU encounter large real estate loan losses and endure a scandal involving a kickback scheme involving a now indicted group of local business leaders.
NCUA placed AEA into conservatorshp in December naming Thomas Martin, a former CEO of now merged Continental FCU of Tempe, Ariz. as interim CEO.
In her statement, Sweet-McGregor, an AEA employee for 35 years starting as a teller, said her management of the CU and being "a contributor to its growth from a small teachers' credit union" to one with assets topping $400 million had been "a true labor of love."
Sweet-McGregor had long maintained AEA's problems stemmed from a deeply depressed economy. Many had contended AEA's problems were a result of liberal lending policies taken by former long-time CEO, Ken Bredemeyer, who retired in 2009, a year in which the CU lost $25 million. Bredemeyer had been a leading civic figure in Yuma and was a former chairman of the Arizona Credit Union League.
In her statement, Sweet-McGregor said over the years she had spearheaded strategic planning initiatives for AEA including branch expansions and championing of AEA's support for the educational community and its large immigrant population.
During her tenure, she served as chairman of the Yuma Chamber of Commerce, president of the Yuma Rotary Club and is currently president-elect of the Arizona Western College Foundation Board.