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DENVER-Ask David Maus to describe his industry legacy as he steps down as CUNA Chairman and he’ll give you two responses: “passion” and “political activism.” To be sure, his associates at CUNA and at credit unions across the country say the contributions of this Denver CU president to the movement -in a period spanning more than 27 years-are far broader than that. “When you think what he’s done as a leader of CUNA, you have to think of his tremendous ability to bring people and issues together and gain consensus in many areas including creation of the Renaissance Commission,” said Dennis Cutter, a director and past chairman of the World Council of Credit Unions. Indeed, pushing ahead with the Renaissance Commission in a difficult political period for CUs following the bruising battle over H.R. 1151 “is an example of Dave’s strong commitment toward hearing from the grassroots credit union people on where to take our movement,” explained Cutter, who for years worked closely with Maus on the CUNA Board and is also president of Numerica Credit Union, Spokane, Wash. “I suppose you could say I am most disappointed that I will be a little more on the sidelines as we fulfill the Renaissance Commission vision,” confesses a wistful Maus who has watched over Commission formation and deliberations since early 2000. The 51-year-old Denver native, who began in credit unions here in 1973 and is currently president/CEO of the $425 million Public Service Employees Credit Union, says relinquishing the CUNA job will hardly remove him from day-to-day activities of his own CU, the Colorado Credit Union League where he served as former chairman, or of CUNA programs. For one thing, he continues as a board member of the Colorado Division of Financial Services. Re-appointed by Republican Gov. Bill Owens a year ago, he has served on the division board since 1993 as a GOP member stepping down in July as chairman. Highly regarded for his “tech” expertise in CUNA and in the Colorado League, Maus is credited with helping put together the nationwide ATM network in 1998 which triggered a coast-to-coast linkup spearheaded by CO-OP Network, the Ontario Calif.-based nationwide ATM network, of which Maus remains a director. That was followed two years later when PSECU was successful in winning a city contract to operate the ATM concession at the Denver airport, replacing large banks which for years held the franchise. Dave begs no apologies about his industry dedication. He subscribes to what he said is “an old adage that `if you want something done, give it to someone who is busy’” adding he is particularly proud that his own CU has prospered during his CUNA tenure. Being a board member began in 1990 and has encompassed a wide variety of CUNA tasks holding jobs on many committees and task forces. That has included the last seven years on the CUNA Executive Committee. He was elected CUNA vice chairman in 1998 and had been past chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee. He previously was CUNA Secretary and CUNA Treasurer. Maus, who could have run again for another two-year term as CUNA Chairman, said he decided “it’s healthy for this organization to have some fresh blood-new people, new ideas and new enthusiasm.” But, he continued, “it is reassuring to know that we have a very capable, strong willed and dedicated staff and Board of Directors to carry out Phase 2 of Renaissance.” Asked about criticism voiced in August on the lobbying approach for Renaissance recommendations as well as on the “vision” proposals themselves on field of membership and NCUA insurance, the Denver CU executive said he found the debate productive since it shows “passion and care” about industry problems. He said CUNA obviously found a middle ground in its lobbying stance since “we first were criticized” by some groups for “moving too slow” and more recently “for moving too quickly.” After passage of H. R. 1151, the industry grew “apathetic” about its future, Maus said. “There was no passion anymore-no grassroots involvement which is why I pushed hard to bring about passion through the Renaissance Commission.” The commission’s work represents “renewal,” he said, since he sensed that members “wanted CUNA to do well,” but there was no roadmap on how to proceed. Discussing other CUNA matters, Maus said he was unconcerned about the formation in July of a “super regional” cooperative League organization set up by four West Coast Leagues to share products and services. Maus said CU Association of the West, as the group is known, is a “healthy phenomenon” since it underscores the need for “economies of scale and cooperation.” Maus said also he is not overly alarmed regarding CU conversions to thrift charters, but “it is a wake up call that there may be a need for change in the regulatory area.” There may be a problem “that needs to be fixed,” he said. Over the years, the PSECU president has long enjoyed support within his own CU for any number of charitable causes-and the Sept. 11 terror disaster proved once again the mettle of the CU’s own employees. “Dave’s an open guy who lets his management run with ideas and makes us feel comfortable when we come up with suggestions like the one recently to use our call center staff to collect contributions,” said Steve Ferrero, vice president of marketing and business development for PSECU. The credit union is looking at a hookup with one of the West’s biggest radio stations, KOA, to allow phone pledges through the call centers for terrorists’ victims. Speaking of honors, Maus has plenty to be proud of-Outstanding Colorado CU Professional of the Year in 1991, Cardwell Group 100 in 1990 as one of the 100 most admired CEOs in the industry and recipient of the James D. Liken Alumni Recognition Award given by the Western CUNA Management School Alumni in 1992. -

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