Now that it has confirmed that merger talks are under way with its Maryland/DC counterpart, the New Jersey Credit Union League said Friday more regional compacts in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic can represent a future trend for industry trade groups.
"Right now we have our hands full but given business conditions that kind of strategy is something to be looked at," said Shawn Gilfedder, chairman of the New Jersey group and president/CEO of the $250 million McGraw Hill FCU of E. Windsor.
In an announcement made yesterday, the New Jersey League and the Maryland & DC Credit Union Association said the two groups are exploring a "potential merger" subject to member approval.
A timetable for consolidation was not mentioned, but Gilfedder said the due diligence process "could take several months."
The McGraw Hill CEO emphasized that staffs and offices in Columbia, Md. And Hightstown, N.J. would remain intact.
Under the proposed restructuring and consolidation, Paul Gentile, president/CEO of NJCUL would become head of the combined organization. Gentile is a former editor and publisher of Credit Union Times.
Serving as interim CEO of the Maryland group has been Jennifer Simmons, head of membership services. Simmons has been filling in as the top trade group manager while a national search was under way for a permanent CEO to replace Michael Beall, who resigned in November to become head of the Missouri Credit Union Association.
Gilfedder said merger talks with the Maryland group began several months ago and just whether the regionalization concept might expand to neighboring Pennsylvania and Delaware leagues remained an issue down on the priority list.
In an e-mail bulletin to New Jersey members today, Gilfedder said, "A strong association will be vital as we work to improve the operating environment for future credit union growth."
Both associations, he said, "have made tremendous strides in advocacy in recent years. Combining resources provides opportunities to leverage the strengths of each association and deliver even more value to the combined membership."