Retiring CEO's Son Among Final Candidates at Whatcom
Wayne Langei’s son, Robert, is among three final candidates to replace the retiring CEO at the $962 million Whatcom Educational Credit Union in Bellingham, Wash. The credit union will announce its selection in August, it told Credit Union Times.
All three candidates are internal and include Executive Vice President Langei, as well as Chief Lending Officer Jennifer Kutcher and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Dykstra.
Kessa Volland, marketing manager at Whatcom, said Thursday that Wayne Langei, who has served as CEO for 41 years, will not participate in the selection process.
“Our Board of Directors formed a CEO Succession Planning Committee to handle the training and final selection,” she said.
Langei, who was hired as CEO in 1973, plans to continue working with Whatcom as a consultant to the new CEO through January 2015.
Whatcom hired Gene O’Rourke, managing director and founder of O’Rourke and Associates, to design a “rigorous training process” for the three internal CEO candidates.
The training process included an assessment of each candidate’s performance during two-year rotations as chief lending officer, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer.
Volland also told Credit Union Times that all three candidates also had to take part in additional outside training, including requiring the designation of certified chief executive from CUES and other industry educational opportunities.
Another of Langei's sons, Jim, also worked at Whatcom as a business loan officer. He and his wife were killed in a fire in March 2012.
In the 41 years Wayne Langei has served as Whatcom CEO, the cooperative has grown from three employees and $1 million in assets to almost $1 billion in assets and more than 300 employees.