SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – With its ill-fated “marriage” to the North Dakota Credit Union League one for the history books, the South Dakota Credit Union League is back to going it alone and is conducting a search for a new president/CEO. “We’ve started placing newspaper ads and hope to have a new CEO in four to six months,” said Roger Heacock, head of the search committee and president of Black Hills FCU in Rapid City. Meanwhile, directors of the trade group meeting in November have for the time being turned aside entering any kind of management agreement with another state league, an idea which had been floated before the collapse of talks in September with the North Dakota CU League. That consolidation, once seen as a cost-saving model for small state leagues, was rejected in last minute talks with the South Dakota CU League complaining that most of the operations, staff and “member representation” would be headquartered in Bismarck, N.D. As for a management agreement with perhaps Colorado, which manages Wyoming, or a tie-up with neighboring Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska or Montana, South Dakota CU League Chairman Floyd Rummel III, said “there was a sense of uncertainty from our members, they did not want to lose control” through such an agreement. “The attitude was simply, `let’s find a good CEO and continue as we have been,’ ” explained Rummel, who also is president/CEO of Dakota Territory FCU, Deadwood. But the headquarters building in Sioux Falls, to be sold as part of the consolidation deal with North Dakota, remains on the auction block and that “ is no problem” since it had been previously decided smaller office space would be ample. In the meantime, directors named Leon Swenson, a veteran league staffer as acting CEO replacing 64-year-old Donald Couch who formally retired. Swenson has been a consultant with the league for 20 years handling member contacts as well as compliance and service chores. Despite the cancelled relocation plans, staffing at both the North Dakota and South Dakota leagues has remained constant with South Dakota retaining five employees. Swenson said there may be changes down the road but for the time being the two leagues expect to continue conducting joint meetings and conferences. -

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