The ailing $317 million Chetco FCU located at the very tip of Oregon’s southwest coast has hired Tom Glatt Sr's wife to take the helm.
“We’re glad to have Diane Johnson as our CEO and we see a positive future,” declared James Nelson, the chairman of Chetco based in Brookings Harbor.
The CU did lose $16.9 million last year and has been operating at just above 5% net worth “as a result of delinquencies which is what many other credit unions have also experienced,” said Nelson in discussing the board’s formal hiring of Johnson in May.
Glatt is the former CEO of REALTORS FCU in Washington and who previously guided the airline-based Continental FCU of Tempe, Ariz. formally merged last January into Alliant CU of Chicago.
In a formal statement, Chetco said Johnson who along with her husband have been serving as consultants for the Harbor CU for years, took over Chetco June 1.
In succeeding the retiring Stanley Baron, a Chetco veteran who has returned to the East Coast, Chetco noted that “Diane has more than 30 years of financial and entrepreneurial experience and having someone with Diane’s background, contacts and skill set will be just what Chetco needs”
Johnson, who with her husband operated a northern California CU consulting firm until it was sold in 2001, “has been in the financial services industry since she was hired as a teller in 1965. “In 1977 she was founding partner of her own consulting firm which served hundreds of clients throughout the financial community,” said the statement. Johnson has long “been a resource to her credit union clients, including CFCU, since that time,” the release added noting also that “most recently she was CEO of CUMAnet, LLC. providing mortgage services to more than 50 financial institutions nationwide.”
Nelson, the Chetco chairman and a retired Brookings dentist, said his CU had been asked by examiners to adjust its loan loss allowances for last year which figured in the $16 million writedown. However, in the first quarter, Chetco made nearly a $500,000 profit.
The delinquencies last year, said Nelson, relate across the board covering business, real estate and consumer. Its first quarter delinquency ratio stood at 11.77% above the 1.48% peer.
In the Chetco statement, Johnson noted “the current economic environment is unlike anything economists have ever seen and coupled with increased regulatory scrutiny and market uncertainty, credit union leadership faces challenges at every turn.”
Nelson the chairman noted also that “for most of that time we maintained an ROA far in excess of our peers” but the challenges beset Chetco.