ARLINGTON, Va. – Almost two months after it posted a recruitment notice on the NASCUS Web site for a president/CEO and began running help wanted ads in various trade and national newspapers, a seven-member search committee is hopeful its assignment will be completed by the target date of the end of January. That assignment is to find qualified candidates to recommend to the NASCUS Board to fill the position of president/CEO which has been vacant since July when Doug Duerr, president/CEO of the association for the past 10 years, was dismissed from the position by the five members of the NASCUS regulator executive committee (CU Times, Aug. 13). In the interim, Mary Martha Fortney, vice president, state regulatory affairs, has been serving as acting president/CEO of the association, She has also thrown her hat into the ring for the permanent position. This marks only the second time NASCUS has gone through the exercise of looking for a president/CEO. Jim Forney, superintendent of Credit Unions, Iowa Department of Commerce, Credit Union Division and chairman of the search committee was in his regulator position before Duerr began working at NASCUS. Commenting on any differences between the criteria NASCUS looked for in 1993 compared to its priorities now, Forney said, “There may be some new ones, but that’s no reflection on Doug. It’s because NASCUS has become a higher profile organization, and that may be reflected in the qualifications of the candidates who’ve applied for the position.” Forney could not disclose exactly how many responses the search committee received to its ad which ran on the NASCUS Web site, in credit union publications such as Credit Union Times, as well as with CUNA, the American Society of Association Executives, and with the Washington Post. But he did say the search committee “received a number of applications from good candidates for follow-up interviews” and that “some of them” were from people outside the credit union industry. Forney added that he was “surprised at the high level of qualifications of some of the candidates who responded to the ad. In my prior life I’ve advertised for positions, and you always get some people who throw their name in the hat just to see what happens. But out of the group of applications we received for the position at NASCUS, there are a lot who are qualified for the position.” The principal responsibilities of the position that were included in the ad were: * Provide vision and leadership * Understand, communicate, and implement the NASCUS mission * Support, defend and promote the dual chartering system for credit unions; establish positive press relations and manage effective communication levels, both internally and externally. * Represent NASCUS positions and policy; advocate a safe and sound credit union system to federal, state, and local officials, heads of industry and business, and develop strategic alliances as appropriate * Develop and oversee annual budget and ensure proper fiscal management and efficient use of NASCUS resources * Maintain NASCUS’ leadership role in state credit union policy development by ensuring that Board Members and management staff reflect a shared vision * Pursue strategic partnerships and facilitate positive working relationships with citizens, communities, and businesses, elected officials, credit union leaders, and other financial service providers. The final determination on who will be hired as the new president/CEO of NASCUS will be made by the NASCUS Board. Before that can happen though, it will be up to the seven search committee members to review all of the applications that were turned in – the deadline was Dec. 8 – and assign them a score using a pre-determined matrix system. That will give the group the names of applicants to invite in for a pre-screening interview. Then based on those results, the search committee will make its recommendations to the NASCUS Board. At that point, said Forney, the board can either accept the committee’s recommendation, re-open and extend the application deadline, or decide to work with an outside search firm. Forney admitted that Mary Martha Fortney’s 10 years of experience working with NASCUS “gives her some advantage” over other candidates for the president/CEO slot. “She knows the ins and outs of the association and the nuances of the relationships between NASCUS and other organizations, as well as the NASCUS regulators and credit unions,” he said. Prior to being named vice president, state regulatory affairs, Fortney was director of accreditation and then vice president of government relations and accreditation. She has also represented NASCUS positions and policy at various credit union legislative and regulatory events, as well as industry conferences. For example, in July, she provided testimony before the National Conference of State Legislators. She also debated Alan Theriault of CU Financial Services on the topic of credit union-to-bank conversions at the CUES Networking Conference and in August joined CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica and NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker at the Defense Credit Union Council’s annual conference to discuss the future of the state credit union system. Forney said the search process has been “very time consuming,” but the committee is still hopeful it will reach its original target date of the end of January for a new NASCUS president/CEO to be selected. There have been a lot of discussions and teleconference calls between the search committee members, but Forney is optimistic their job will be completed soon. -

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