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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Senator Tom Daschle’s (D-S.D.) office recommended Deborah Matz, former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) deputy assistant secretary, to replace current NCUA Board Member Geoff Bacino. Bacino has been serving as a recess appointee since December 29, which was scheduled to end when Congress adjourns for the year, replacing former NCUA Chairman Norman D’Amours. “It was a surprise [to hear of Daschle's recommendation], but it has been an honor to serve,” Bacino commented. He had his sights set on extending his term over the next four years. The former president of Bacino and Associates, a consulting and lobbying firm in Alexandria, Va., has spent much of his career in service to credit unions. He was also a former CUNA employee. “I’m pleased with my time here,” Bacino said. He said that the current board has “restored dignity to the agency and the movement.” The agency had been plagued for several years by political in-fighting.” Though disappointed, Bacino is taking the news in stride. “Sometimes you’re lucky enough to be chosen; other times you’re unlucky enough not to be chosen,” he said. He also pointed out that he is in an elite league, as there have only been 14 NCUA Board members to date. Bacino also offered his assistance to Daschle’s office with the transition. He added that he has no plans for when he departs NCUA, but plans to stay in the credit union community. He also said that, if approached, he would not reject serving again on the NCUA Board. NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar was traveling and unavailable for comment. However, Special Assistant to the Chairman for Public Affairs Nick Owens said, “It is inappropriate to speculate or comment on any recommended candidate for the NCUA Board or potential nomination prior to the president announcing his intent to nominate. Chairman Dollar looks forward and welcomes the president’s nominee to the NCUA Board.” Matz agreed, wishing not to comment on the recommendation until a confirmation hearing, saying it was “premature.” However, NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said, “I talked to Geoff and I’m really sorry that he’s not going to be able to move forward.” He noted all the efforts Bacino has made, along with Dollar, to bring regulatory relief to credit unions. Additionally, CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica wrote in a letter to CUNA member credit union CEOs, “From CUNA’s point of view, Geoff Bacino has done an excellent job serving on the NCUA Board and was quick to leave his mark. We’ve been encouraged by the recent policy decisions of the current NCUA Board and we hope and expect any future nominee would continue in the same direction.” Both groups noted Matz’s strong credentials. While serving as the deputy assistant secretary for the USDA, Matz also chaired the Loan Resolution Task Force, resolving delinquent accounts on farm loans within time limits. She also served as the chief of staff to the Farm Services Agency administrator, the executive assistant to the Farmers Home Administration, and executive assistant to the deputy undersecretary for Rural Economic and Community Development. From 1977 to 1984, she served as senior staff for the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, where she handled a variety of subjects pertaining to issues affecting state and local governments with an emphasis on economic development. On the Hill, Matz also served as a legislative assistant for a congressman. She also became a community development representative for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Matz holds an M.S. from George Washington University and a B.S. from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. If nominated and confirmed, she would hold the sole Democratic seat on the three-member NCUA Board following the recent announcement of the nomination of Iowa State Senator JoAnn Johnson to replace Board Member Yolanda Wheat, whose term has expired. However, the Senate still has not officially received Johnson’s nomination because the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been too tied up with national security issues to perform background checks. If President George W. Bush names Matz as the nominee, she will be in the same boat. [email protected]

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