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MADISON, Wis. – John Franklin is counting on his more than 30 years of hands-on experience with state leagues to guide the transition to his new role as CUNA & Affiliates executive vice president/COO. Franklin, former president/CEO of the South Carolina Credit Union League from 1995 to 2003, was named to replace Pete Crear at CUNA on Dec. 10. Crear will serve as vice president of external relations and CUNA’s primary contact on the national level for consumer and cooperative groups. Wisconsin’s cold weather withstanding, Franklin said he’s excited about his new role, which will involve him overseeing the daily operations of CUNA’s Madison office, the hub for education and training, publications and Web services, research, new product development, and other services for state leagues and credit unions. “Everyone I’ve run into talks about how cold it is,” Franklin said. “You can buy big coats, Madison is a beautiful place.” Franklin and his family had just completed the five-state trek from South Carolina to Wisconsin. At press time, he was on his way to an American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) meeting in Naples, Fla. Franklin has a strong connection to AACUL having served as its secretary, treasurer and now, first vice-chairman. He is also a past chair of AACUL’s Legislative and Regulatory Task Force and currently serves as its liaison. The week prior to his Florida visit, Franklin met with CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica in Washington and talked with many of the trade group’s department heads there. “This was an opportunity to open up the lines of communication and get feedback on ways to improve communication lines between Madison and Washington,” Franklin said. “I’ll be traveling to Washington fairly often.” Franklin said he will also have a large part in holding down the fort in Madison since Crear will return to his previous role as CUNA’s point person outside of credit union land. That balance allows Franklin to forge the relationships he’s developed over the decades with state leagues and build even newer ones. For now, he’s getting up to speed on the plethora of products and services CUNA offers and mentally filing away ways to make them better, Franklin said. “CUNA’s acceptance in the marketplace allows for a lot of cross-pollination between (it) and credit union CEOs and managers,” Franklin said. “I have a good understanding of what their (lives) are like and I’ll draw on this knowledge as we work with credit unions.” Franklin’s affiliation with the South Carolina Credit Union League goes back to 1974, becoming its COO and the same role for the League Service Corp. During his tenure as SCCUL president/CEO, key business and service alliances were formed with the North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky Credit Union Leagues and CSI, the Georgia Credit Union & Affiliates-owned CUSO. Franklin said in 2003 SCCUL achieved 100% CUNA affiliation for the first time in the league’s history. Prior to his league service, Franklin also served as a manager for CUMS, Inc. From 1968 to 1973, his work as a federal credit union examiner saw the supervision and examination of 50 credit unions. [email protected]

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