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PIERRE, S.D. – The newly-formed Mid-America Credit Union League, the fledgling trade group combining the North and South Dakota Leagues, has elected its first set of officers and has scheduled May 11-14 for its debut annual meeting at a Bismarck hotel. Floyd Rummel III, named as chairman of Mid-America and also the outgoing chairman of the South Dakota League, said the organization of Mid-America is being put together smoothly and that he has already witnessed “good energy and a positive spirit” among the leadership which includes many former officers of the two Leagues. Mid-America, to be based in Bismarck, held its first organizational board meeting here March 26-27 when the slate of officers was picked as well as directors of Regional Services Corp., of Bismarck, the surviving service corporation. The South Dakota League is closing down its Sioux Falls service firm and has its headquarters building up for sale, but a decision on whether Mid-America would open storefront offices for South Dakota lobbyists to serve in that state may be made later in 2004 prior to the formal Jan. 1 startup of Mid-America. In the meantime, Rummel, who also is president of Dakota Territory FCU, Deadwood, S. D. said the timetable for the consolidation of the two Leagues is on schedule with some 40 applications submitted for a new president/CEO to be selected by July 1. Retiring from the South Dakota League is Donald Couch, its president/CEO, while Kermit Hansen, Couch’s North Dakota counterpart earlier this year said he was interested in Mid-America’s top staff job. In addition to Rummel, elected First Vice Chairman of Mid-America is George Economon, a volunteer director of N.D. Air National Guard CU in Fargo and also the chairman of the North Dakota League. Second Vice Chairman of Mid-America is Roger Heacock, president of Black Hills FCU, Rapid City, and Stephanie Schulte, manager of Heartland Community CU, New England, N.D., was elected secretary. Mechelle Nordberg, manager of East River FCU in Madison, S. D., was named treasurer. Other new Mid-America directors are Tim Brown, president/CEO of Dakota Plains CU, Edgeley, N.D.; Paul Canton, manager/CEO of Burlington Northern Grand Forks FCU in N.D.; Stuart Higginbotham, president/CEO of First Community CU, Jamestown, N.D.; Roger Peters, president, Service First FCU, Sioux Falls and Jerry Peterson, a volunteer director of Consumer’s FCU, Gregory, S.D. Terms of the new board range from one to three years with a decision on length of service made in a “random draw by pulling names out of a bucket,” said Rummel. It was explained that from the start of negotiations for creation of Mid-America, CU leaders in both states have been sensitive about letting either state League dominate control of the organizations. League officials maintained the random draw was seen as the fairest way of handling that problem. Rummel also said he has been in touch with CU executives from Oregon and Washington concerning a similar consolidation plan being discussed by Leagues in those states, “but I really can’t say if they are adopting any of our format or not.” Those two Leagues “may have a completely different situation out there,” said Rummel. Under the Mid-America structure as approved at the March 26-27 meeting, board members will represent five CU divisions broken down along asset size with Division A, the five largest CUs; Division B, the next 10 larsgest, Division C, next 15; Division D, the remaining CUs plus a director-at-large. Elected as chairman of Regional Services Corp. is Paul Canton of Burlington Northern FCU in North Dakota with Peters of Service First as vice chairman. Brown of Dakota Plains is secretary and Nordberg of East River is treasurer. Higginbotham of First Community and Rummel are directors. In a concluding statement announcing the Mid-America Board, Rommel said CUs in both states should “feel free to contact any of its members with questions, concerns or comments” regarding the new organization. -

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