New Chief CU Regulators in Iowa, Alabama
The former chair of the NCUA, JoAnn Johnson, is going back to supervising credit unions. Johnson was named last week by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as the state's new superintendent in the Iowa Division of Credit Unions.
Johnson, a former state legislator, served as the NCUA head from 2004-2008 and a member of the board starting in 2002. Johnson, who replaces the retiring James Forney, was named by the governor to fill a four-year term.
"I never thought I'd get back into this field, but I was honored when asked about a month ago to submit my resume," said Johnson, who since leaving the NCUA helm has assisted her husband, Brian, with his Des Moines lobbying firm.
In a separate development on the state regulatory front, Larry Morgan, the retired president/CEO of the $1.9 billion APCO Employees Credit Union of Birmingham, Ala., is slated to become that state's top CU regulator.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, nominated the former APCO head, who retired in December, to become administrator for the Alabama Credit Union Administration.
Morgan is a former member of the ACUA Advisory Board, serving from 2005 until this appointment. Morgan's appointment is subject to state senate confirmation. In the regulatory job, Morgan succeeds Glenn Latham, who chose not to be reappointed.
In Iowa, the industry cheered Johnson's appointment, citing her service as a state senator and on the NCUA board.
"JoAnn served Iowa well as a state senator from 1994 to 2001, and chaired the Senate Ways and Means Committee and Senate Commerce Committee," said Pat Jury, president/CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League.
Johnson, said Jury, "worked in a bipartisan effort to pass meaningful legislation in the areas of taxation, financial services and insurance," noting also that "she did an exemplary job as an NCUA board member."
Johnson told Credit Union Times she recognizes the heavy compliance burden Iowa CUs face these days, and "I expect to get an earful on that."
Overall, she comes into the superintendent's job knowing there are new challenges "that were not there when I was at NCUA," but Iowa CUs have fared very well during the economic crisis, she added.
"Iowa credit unions are well-capitalized, have seen membership gains and hold 9% of the market share, which is higher than nationally," said Johnson.
Johnson said that since leaving NCUA that apart from aiding her husband on lobbying chores by commuting the 100 miles from her home in Panora to the state capital, she also has been occupied "with being a grandmother to three-year-old twins."
In Alabama, APCO in replacing its CEO, Morgan, said it has promoted Merrill Mann, APCO vice president, as president/CEO. APCO is Alabama's largest state-chartered CU.
Regarding Morgan, the new Alabama administrator, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions in Tallahassee said the governor's appointment "gives great confidence to Alabama credit unions."
"Larry understands credit unions in Alabama and the regulatory issues facing them, which means that he will provide a steady and fair hand with the ACUA," said Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the league. LSCU "looks forward to working with Larry to improve the operating environment for credit unions," he added.
Regarding Johnson's appointment in Iowa, the National Association of Credit Union Supervisors also congratulated Johnson on her job, adding that it looks forward "to continuing our working relationship with her as she joins the state regulatory community. Her knowledge as NCUA chairman combined with her years as a state legislator gives her a unique perspective as she begins her new role."