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WESTBROOK, Me. – There aren’t many people these days who can say they’ve worked for the same company for 30 years, but count Maine Credit Union League President/CEO John Murphy among those few. What’s more, Murphy has not only worked with the Maine League for three decades, he’s worked there ever since he graduated high school. “Working at one place for 30 years may sound strange to some people, but working at the Maine Credit Union League has provided me with a lot of diversity and opportunity,” says the 48-year old Portland, Me.-native who still lives in the city with his wife Roxanne of 22 years and their two sons ages 21 and 17. “I’ve been involved in many different aspects of the credit union movement such as legislative affairs and building business and member opportunity. It’s never been boring,” Murphy adds. In addition to his responsibilities with the League, Murphy has served on the board of CUNA, and since August 2001 has been chair of the Maine Council on Economic Education. Murphy began his career when he was 18 years old with MECUL Services Corp. – now called Synergent – working in the print shop. At the time, the League had about eight employees, he recalled, and the print shop was responsible for printing and supplying `fill-in-the blank style’ operational forms to credit unions that they needed to provide the services that were available to members then such as share accounts, loans, and “if a credit union was really aggressive,” said Murphy, club accounts. As the list of products and services credit unions were allowed to offer members expanded, that area of MECUL Services grew to the point where it also provided the League-affiliated credit unions with marketing material to help them get the word out to members about the array of services credit unions were starting to offer. In the late 1980s, Murphy was named vice president of corporate services and became a member of the League’s management team. In 1992, he was chosen to succeed the League’s then-retiring president/CEO Ted Desveaux. One hundred-twenty people are now employed at the Maine League, including those who work with Synergent. The League’s offices are housed in a 30,000-square foot building which the League shares with Synergent and two League affiliates – TRICORP FCU and Maine Credit Union League Insurance Trust through a condo arrangement – they share in the expenses for the common areas shared with the League, but no money is paid to the League for the space they occupy. There are 78 credit unions in Maine that serve more than 600,000 members, and all but one of the CUs are affiliated with the League. When most people think of Portland, Me. they visualize a picturesque city on the eastern shore that was once voted one of the 10 best places to live in the U.S. While that’s true, says Murphy, he reminded Credit Union Times that the state was also the site of one of the early battlegrounds between credit unions and banks in the latter’s attempt led by the Maine Bankers Association’s Joe Petrowski to restrict credit unions’ field-of-membership and to void their tax exemption. The bankers’ legislation was “soundly” defeated in the early 1990s, says Murphy, but the situation left the League more acutely aware of the importance of political involvement. The League now has two lobbyists – Quincy Hentzel, who works in-house as director of government affairs; and Pineau Policy Associates, an outside lobbying firm the League contracts with. In addition, Michael Michaud, the former president of the state Senate and a member of the board of East Mills FCU, was elected to Congress in 2002. For the time being things are quiet in Maine, says Murphy, “but we’re not letting down our guard. Credit unions have always done well defensively, now we have to do as well offensively.” -

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