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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Wayne Benson, a former executive with CUNA Mutual Group, has joined credit union data processor EPL as chief marketing officer/executive vice president. Benson, 45, has over 25 years experience in the financial services industry, including 23 years with CUNA Mutual. He departed CUNA Mutual a few years ago, with his last position being Chief Officer of Marketing & Strategy. After leaving CUNA Mutual, Benson formed his own consulting group, The Benson Group, Inc., a firm specializing in helping credit unions improve member relations. Benson won’t have to relocate from Madison, Wisconsin for this job even though EPL is based in Alabama. He will also continue to run The Benson Group while working for EPL. EPL is owned by eight user credit unions and the Alabama CU League. “I’m staying in Wisconsin, EPL has been very supportive of my personal goals. I’m opening an office in Madison. Obviously we have clients all over the country so I’ll do a little bit of traveling,” said Benson. “It’s a company that will allow me to live the life that I want to live and at the same time make a difference in a market I care about,” said Benson. While there was a lot of speculation swirling around Benson’s sudden departure from CUNA Mutual in 2002, Benson maintains the primary reason behind the resignation was to spend more time with his family. “I’ve had a lot of fun over the last couple of years getting more involved with my son and daughter. Family has been one of my personal goals,” he said. Now with a daughter in college and a son moving into high school, Benson is looking at his career again. This job offer came out of the blue. “I was surprised when Gary and Greg called. But when I looked into the changes they made, I really got excited,” he said. The Gary and Greg he refers to are Alabama League president Gary Wolter and EPL CEO Greg Hipp. Benson’s background and strength is sales. He says he has a passion for helping companies become more customer centric. “You’ve heard me talk about the people process before. In order for credit unions to have a member centric experience, the data processing components are a key support of that. I’ve worked a lot on the people stuff and the process, and to now work from a technology standpoint will be fun,” said Benson. He pointed out that though CUNA Mutual wasn’t a pure tech company per se, he did lead a number of initiatives that revolved around new technology. “I did lead the eBusineess strategy for CUNA Mutual, which was about technology, and I was very involved with the automated lending product,” said Benson. Benson said he likes the direction EPL is going. “They’ve developed a platform which is going to be truly open architecture. We want to make sure people know EPL has reinvented itself. It’s a solution they should be looking at. One of my responsibilities is going to help them grow the company,” said Benson. EPL’s new image starts with its Web-based i-POWER core system. The company’s revamped solution is built around Oracle and Sun and Benson said the openness of it can help CUs cut costs and speed up employee training. In a recent presentation to clients EPL mocked the old way of CUs relying on UNISYS, IBM, HP and Microsoft as inherently expensive. Under the current in-house model, EPL figures that credit unions spend about 29% of their processing costs on hardware and another 14% on software. It believes i-POWER driven by Sun and Oracle cuts that to 15% and 11% respectively. EPL seems to be getting more aggressive in the marketplace. A recent press release touts how Family Security CU is converting from Symitar, a very popular DP vendor in credit union land, to move to i-POWER. And Benson said he will focus on letting the very largest of CUs know they can reduce costs and get a more flexible system with EPL. Of EPL’s approximate 150 clients, only three are over a billion in assets. EPL offers both an online and in-house solution. [email protected]

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