Hession Abruptly Departs Illinois League
After taking over as president/CEO of the Illinois Credit Union League a little more than one year ago, Sean Hession abruptly left his position effective immediately, according to a prepared statement released after business hours Tuesday.
The release did not provide a reason for Hession’s departure.
Tom Kane, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the League Service Corp., was named interim president/CEO by the board. LSC is the league’s $60 million business subsidiary that provides financial products and services for more than 2,300 credit unions across the country.
“Hession had served in this capacity for just over a year and the boards of the ICUL and LSC wish him well,” the prepared statement read.
Hession is the second league president/CEO in the last year and a half to suddenly leave his post.
Five months after being named the new president/CEO of the Idaho Credit Union League, Chris Johnson left the job on Nov. 22, 2013. The Idaho league board, however, did not even make a public announcement about his departure.
Hession, pictured at left, became the league’s president/CEO on May 1, 2014, after leaving Callahan & Associates in Wash., D.C. where he served as its president/CEO for two years.
He succeeded Dan Plauda, who retired on June 30 after 37 years of service to the Naperville, Ill.-based league. Prior to Callahan, Hession had served 10 years in operational roles at First National Bank of Omaha and co-founded a healthcare transaction-processing firm that grew from a startup to a $40 million corporation in five years.
In a December 2014 interview with CU Times, the Illinois league underwent what Hession called an operational merger of its staff at the league and LSC, which came with the departure of three executives, including longtime LSC executive vice president and chief operating officer George Fiegle.
Hession said the operational merger would enable the organization to respond more quickly to marketplace changes and introduce new products and services that are in demand by league members and LSC customers.
Hession also said the league was planning to offer a new compliance service that would allow credit unions, particularly small cooperatives, to streamline their regulatory and accounting filings and activities. He also noted he was negotiating with five other leagues to develop a big data project that would likely focus on membership growth and lead generation.
In its prepared statement, the league board said Kane holds 30 years of leadership experience with Aon Corporation, Quaker Oats and the Central Intelligence Agency. For the past 12 years, he has overseen operations, finance and information technology for LSC.
“Our boards of directors will be meeting to discuss our plan to search for a permanent successor,” Peter Paulson, ICUL’s board chair, said in a prepared statement. “We have every confidence in Tom’s abilities.”
Paulson, president/CEO of the $593 million Corporate America Family Credit Union in Elgin, Ill., did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday evening seeking additional comments about Hession’s departure.