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COLUMBIA, Md. – Robert Steil has worked with the Maryland Credit Union League for 25 years, the last six as its president/CEO. But now the League Board has decided it wants the organization to go in a “new and different direction,” so Steil’s contract will not be renewed when it expires on April 11. Michael Marschall, executive vice president and director of government affairs has been chosen by the board as the acting president of the League until a new president is appointed. Although he said he was “somewhat surprised” at the board’s decision not to renew his contract and unclear on what the new direction is the board wants the League to go, Steil emphasized that his relationship with the League Board up until his leaving “was not adversarial, there was no finger pointing. I don’t have any dark clouds or hidden agenda. “We had common agreement on some issues and disagreed on others,” he added. “Maybe they just wanted someone with a fresh look.” Steil said his emphasis has been on the legislative and education sides. He’s proud of the fact that during credit unions’ fight for passage of H.R. 1151, all of Maryland’s congressional and Senate representatives supported the measure. At the state level, Steil witnessed the passage in 2001 of the Credit Union Modernization Act that among its provisions, gave state-chartered credit unions field-of-membership parity with federal credit unions. “Field-of-membership parity was our main issue. Since the bankers didn’t voice any objections, it essentially closed the door on them coming back later and asking the credit unions be taxed. It was like, `you had your chance.’,” he said. Steil has also given a lot of focus to assisting the state’s small credit unions with less than $20 million in assets. Out of 120 total CUs in the state, there are 65 credit unions in this asset category. The League has been instrumental in working with small CUs in various ways such as installing data processing systems, Web site development and organizing and holding planning sessions. Looking back on his six years at the helm of the League, Steil is also proud of the fact that during that time the League relocated its offices from Baltimore to Columbia. In its prior location, the offices were inaccessible to most credit unions in the state, but now 76% of the credit unions are within a 40 miles radius of the League’s offices. In addition, under his leadership the Maryland League started a Credit Unions for Kids program and launched a statewide credit union public awareness program using radio, TV and even movie theaters to get the credit union message out. “The bottom line is, I can leave the League saying we made some major contributions to the credit union industry and to credit unions in Maryland,” Steil said. Steil, a native of Baltimore and a graduate of John Hopkins University with as B.A. in Economics, joined the Maryland Credit Union League in Oct. 1977, hired by then-President S.J. Domenick as manager of printing and mailing operations of the League’s service corporation. Prior to coming to MCUL, the Vietnam veteran and former police officer for the Baltimore City police force worked at a printing firm. But he joined Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore when he was on the police force – “it was one of the perks of being on the police force since we weren’t paid very much,” he said – so he was familiar with credit unions before he came to the league. Since then, Steil has worked in various positions at the league – field consultant for the League’s Education Division; vp of member services; senior vice president; and since 1996, president/CEO. In fact, it was while he was SVP and was giving a planning session at SSA FCU that he met his wife Pat. “To this day the credit union jokes that they didn’t get anything out of the planning session, but I got a wife,” he quipped. After 28 years, Pat is still employed with SSA FCU as a trainer in charge of training and providing education to the CU’s employees. Steil and his wife have two children. Their married son lives in Maryland, and their married daughter is in the Navy and is a Patriot missile targeter. “She could be in Iraq,” he said. His 25-year career at MCUL has given Steil the opportunity to work under the direction of several League presidents. Besides Dominick, he’s also seen Richard Collins (1983-1984), Donald Azze (1984-1996), and Charles Sullivan (1996-1997) sit in the president’s seat before he was named to the position. “I take a lot of personal pride in what I’ve been able to accomplish for Maryland’s credit unions working with the League and the board,” he said. Steil said he’s made a lot of friends in the credit union industry over the years and would like to remain involved in the movement. He said he hopes the board “strongly considers Mike for the president’s spot. He’s a known entity, very sharp and is well liked. I hope he has a good shot at the spot.” -

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