CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said he plans to fill the vacancy left by Paul Gentile’s departure as executive vice president of communications, but Gentile's replacement might not fill the same exact position. Cheney also discussed the developments at the NCUA’s November board meeting.
“We are going to move forward to look for someone to bring in at an executive level to continue the great work that Paul has done,” Cheney told Credit Union Times on Friday.
“I don’t know if it will be exactly same thing, that remains to be seen, but we are going to replace that role within our management structure at some level, definitely,” he added.
Gentile’s role at CUNA was a “new position within our organization to manage our strategic communications but also our publications and marketing,” Cheney said
“He’s done a great job in the year he will have been here and made some important changes and upgraded our communications. We certainly wish him well in his new role,” he added.
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Coming out of the NCUA November board meeting, Cheney said credit unions should feel good about the future of corporate assessments.
“Now for the first time, they’ve acknowledged that there might be refunds to credit unions when this is all over,” Cheney said.
The NCUA announced that there would be no corporate assessment for 2014.
Cheney said he still has concerns about the final CUSO rule and CUNA’s attorneys are in the process of reviewing the details.
“The devil’s always in details. I have some concern about the costs but I don’t have the details yet,” he said.
“This could put CUSOs at a disadvantage against their non-system competitors and I’m not sure I understand how we benefit from that.”
The NCUA also announced a 6.7% increase in the operating budget from 2013, bringing the new budget for 2014 to $268 million.
“I was disappointed,” Cheney said about the final budget, adding that he understands why the NCUA would want to give salary increases to its staff after a two-year federal pay freeze.
“The real issue is not the increase for staff, it is staffing levels,” he said.
Cheney would like the NCUA to look at better ways to allocate resources going forward.
“This money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s coming from credit unions and credit union members,” he said.
It was also mentioned at the board meeting that the NCUA has to create a secure top-secret room under a presidential executive order at the cost of $1.6 million.
In the near future, Cheney said CUNA is going to ask the White House why the NCUA should have to comply.
“I understand why they have one at the White House. I understand why they have one at the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. I’m not sure it makes sense at the NCUA. I’m sorry, no disrespect to the NCUA at all,” he said.