WASHINGTON – In a reorganization apparently in the works for some time, CUNA said 62-year-old Pete Crear, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will give up the COO job next January as part of a "transition" toward his eventual retirement. In a memo sent to staff announcing the change, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica lauded Crear, a highly regarded industry veteran who joined CUNA in 1990 after top state League jobs, as an individual who has "done a superb job for CUNA and credit unions throughout his extensive career." However, Mica stated, Crear is now "starting to think seriously about retirement" and as part of a succession plan "and with Pete's concurrence," CUNA has begun scouting for a new COO to oversee day-to-day operations of the Madison office. Crear, wrote Mica, will continue as executive vice president of external relations assisting the CUNA president as "my chief envoy to broaden support within the CU system" as well as the primary contact for allied organizations including the National Cooperative Business Association and the Consumer Federation of America. "I also want you to know that not only will Pete be involved in the selection process" of the new COO, continued Mica, but he also "will help oversee the transition." CUNA said it has hired the CU-based Middleton, Wis. executive search firm, HR Value Group LLC, to look both in and outside of the trade group for a new COO. HR Value handles searches for both CUNA Mutual and state leagues. Crear, who has long been an articulate `voice' of the movement delivering its `helping people' message to groups both in and outside the industry, joined the trade group as senior vice president-association services in 1990. He was later made executive vice president and in October 1999 promoted to COO. Before that, he was president and CEO of the Indiana Credit Union League. Active in the industry since 1965, he has served as president of the Connecticut Credit Union Association, vice president of information and technical services for the Michigan Credit Union League, and executive director of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues. As CUNA COO, he oversees the daily operations of CUNA & Affiliates' offices in Madison, which provide education and training, publications and Web services, research, new product development, and other services for state leagues and CUs. In 1995-96 Crear served as CUNA's interim president while a search was underway to pick Mica as the new CEO. Crear's list of CU-based accomplishments is long and varied including serving as chairman of CUNA Mortgage Corp. and as director of the National Coop Bank. He is an administrative board council member of Filene Research Institute and spearheaded organizing the Credit Union Executive Society Minority Executive Intern Program. Crear has organized 23 credit unions since he began his career as a management trainee at the Michigan League while attending Wayne State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in accounting. He is also a certified financial planner. He is also a director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service and a director of Overseers CARE USA. Mica, in his memo which was sent to the CUNA staff in July but disclosed last week, noted also that Crear "was recently named to receive the African American Credit Union Council's first Lifetime Achievement Award, one of many such accolades that will continue to come Pete's way." The AACU also created a "Pete Crear Scholarship" at its August meeting. Crear is a director of U.S. Central Credit Union; the Consumer Federation of America, and is immediate past chairman and director of the National Cooperative Business Association. He is CUNA's liaison to the World Council of Credit Unions, and serves on the advisory board of Nationwide Insurance Company. For WOCCU he led a U.S. CU delegation on a month-long fact finding mission to Africa. In the 1990′s, Crear was instrumental in coming up with solutions to the Rhode Island share insurance solvency crisis. He helped revive the National CU Foundation by moving it from CUNA's Governmental Affairs office in Washington to Madison and subsequently setting up the prestigious Wegner Awards honoring outstanding CU leaders. Crear is also credited with helping the National Urban League summer intern program at CUNA in Madison and is a director of Centro Hispano in Madison, a community support group. In an interview, Crear acknowledged a desire for retirement and said it might be satisfying to spend time with his family instead of spending so much time on the road. "I travel 155 days a year," he laughed. Regarding the succession plan, he said it is "on track" noting HR Value began its work in mid-June. Mica said he was making his announcement about the Crear "transition" to staff "to bring you up to date on conversations Pete Crear and I have been having about Pete's future role with CUNA." The memo noted that Crear has "not set a specific date yet" for his retirement but that the succession plans would be going forward. -

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