ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – New Jersey Credit Union League President and CEO Tom Shaughnessy, 41, joined the trade association in January 2002 as chief operating officer for the group’s two for-profit service organizations. In April 2003, he was appointed to his current position. CU Times had the opportunity to sit down recently with Shaughnessy at the League’s 69th Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlantic City, N.J., and to talk about changes over the past year as well as plans for the future. How does it feel to preside over your first convention as president and CEO? I’m really happy to be with the League, and [the convention] is a great deal. I started as president and CEO on April 1, and already we’ve made significant staff changes. I’m more optimistic about where we’re going as an organization. We’re making great strides in education, government affairs and regulatory compliance, and the change has been enormous in terms of what the trade association is doing for its member credit unions. What will be the highlight of the convention for you and why? I’m really looking forward to my speaking to the credit unions as a whole. I’ve hit 200 [out of 258 credit unions] across the state over the last nine months, but it will be good to get them all together in one room. It’s critical to have them push the League where they want it to go.not where I want it to go. You joined the League in 2002 and you were appointed CEO a little more than a year later. What has been the most challenging part of your new job? It’s really been two things – realizing where we were at the time and restructuring the whole staff. For the first time as a trade association, we’ve put together a strategic plan for where we want to go. To be successful, we have to run this nonprofit trade association as a business. We have to change the whole perception of what our trade association is. And, I think we’re doing a good job of this. What do you like most about your new job? I like managing people. It’s important to give your staff a chance to shine, to give them an opportunity to take things where they want them to go. What do you see as the greatest asset you bring to the League in your new position? I have strong communication management abilities. It’s easy for me to talk to people, to learn what they’re all about. I’m also willing to make changes. I’ll give people an opportunity to get the job done, but if they don’t, you have to change the player. You can see that in the staff changes we’ve made, going from 24 people to 10, and now we’re back up to 16. What do you see as some of the most important issues facing credit unions now and in the next few years? Education and training is Number One. A strong education and training department [at the League] will give the credit unions the ability to educate their own staffs. Second is government affairs. With the troubles in Washington, D.C., and the state deficits, I worry about initiatives to tax the credit unions. We have to get our message heard. Regulatory compliance is third. At the League, we’ve made an investment in an Infosight software program that will allow credit unions, through the League’s Web site, to ask any compliance question and get an answer. It’s significant for New Jersey to be doing this because we’re only the sixth League in the nation to be getting involved with this program. We’re in beta testing now, and we hope to be rolling it out in December or early 2004. We also will have a fully certified staff to handle compliance issues by the beginning of the New Year. -

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