WALLINGFORD, Conn.- On March 4, Arthur T. Corey was named president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Credit Union Association to replace Kevin Stewart, who left at the end of January to join Texans Credit Union in Richardson, Texas. Credit Union Times’ northeast correspondent had the opportunity to talk with Corey and conduct the following Q&A session with him prior to the CCUA Annual Meeting, which will be held April 16 and 17 in Mystic, Conn. CU Times: How do you feel about your appointment to the position of president and CEO? I’m very excited about it. This is an exciting time for credit unions nationally and here in Connecticut, and there are a number of significant challenges that are interesting. CU Times: Did you ever see yourself serving in this position? I’ve been with CCUA for seven years, and certainly in the early years I did not see myself in this role. But over the last several years, I’ve become more involved in the business of running a credit union league, and from that time on I saw it as a possibility. CU Times: How did you end up involved with the Connecticut league? It’s kind of funny-I got out of law school in 1995 and worked for some judges on the trial court level. It was a bad time for finding a job in the legal arena, and after a few years of clerking, I saw an ad in the paper for a position with the league and answered it. I was a member of a credit union, but I didn’t know anything about how they were run. My father worked for Pratt & Whitney for 40 years and was a member of American Eagle FCU since he started at Pratt & Whitney; he opened credit union accounts for me and all my sisters. CU Times: What plans do you have for the future of the league? Is there a new direction in which you would like to take things? I wouldn’t say I’d take things in a new direction. Our former CEO, Kevin Stewart, left CCUA in as good a shape as an incoming CEO would want. But, there are challenges we need to respond to. We need to raise the visibility of CCUA, not just with government officials but with the business community in Connecticut. I want people to know what credit unions are and the value they provide. I’m not sure that here in Connecticut there is a great awareness of what credit unions are. We’re at a turning point to ratchet up out efforts in doing that. We also need to become prepared to respond to any threat in the taxation area. There isn’t any pending legislation to tax credit unions in Connecticut, nor do we hear of any in the near future, but we want to hit the ground running if a tax bill were to be raised. We also will be looking very hard at we need in Connecticut to improve financial literacy. CU Times: Do you have interests outside the league that serve you well in your position? Once you have kids, you have no outside interests. I work here long hours and then go home to help raise my kids with my wife. But, raising kids is a great incentive to do well in my work. CU Times: How would you describe your leadership style? There are a lot of competing organizations out there, and our role in a leadership sense is to provide all the services our credit unions need to operate their businesses-not telling them what to do. On a management level, I try to be more inclusive. There always will be those decisions that will have to be made by one person or a few people. However, we’re a cooperative association, and to me that means getting as much input from people as possible and getting to the core of what credit unions are. CU Times: You’re coming up to your first convention in your new position, what message do you hope to convey to your members? There has not been a time when the need for unity has been greater. We had HR 1151, and other challenges have come up in the past where unity was needed. But, it seems to me that the credit union movement is changing on many fronts: tax efforts by bankers in many states, CU-to-Bank charter conversions, field of membership challenges in many states. Look at all of these together-it’s a time when unity and a true understanding of the credit union philosophy are needed. CU Times: What do you see as the most important issue facing credit unions today and the next few years? Taxation-I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon. What I worry most about is how credit unions are going to deal with attacks by bankers. Their approach has been to divide credit unions, make a separation between small and large credit unions. If we let it, it can cause friction within the movement. I hope we can resolve any issues that come up between us internally. -

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