The lead lobbyist for the Virginia Credit Union League, Whitt Clement, is the new chairman of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and said he hopes his election might spur greater industry visibility within the influential business group.
"Let me say I've been a contract lobbyist for the league for many years, really enjoy working with credit unions and I can say that one of my goals will be to get more recognition for them and perhaps get a CEO on the board," said Clement, a partner in Hunton & Williams of Richmond.
There currently are no CU leaders on the 50-member Virginia Chamber board, said Clement, a former legislator and Secretary of Transportation under former governor, Mark Warner. A news release of Clement's Jan. 26 election noted the chamber's priority this year will be dealing with traffic congestion in D.C. corridors, citing the need for "continued improvements to Virginia's transportation infrastructure."
Despite the attention on transportation, Clement said he will keep an eye out for improving "the recognition factor" for CUs.
He said also Virginia CUs have over the last year fared well on the consumer front in litigation compared to banks caught up in mortgage foreclosure suits. He praised his employer, the league, for "preserving and promoting the credit union charter as safe and sound."
Credit unions, he added, "have come off the good guys. Let the bankers take the heat."