RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – The search is on. The California Credit Union League CEO Search Committee has begun the tremendous task of replacing long-term CEO David L. Chatfield, who will retire April 1, 2006. It would seem the League is standing at the edge of a crucial precipice in its selection of Chatfield’s replacement. After all, he is the respected leader of the largest credit union trade organization in the country, and his leadership positions on the NCUA Board, Filene Research Institute and World Council of Credit Unions have brought additional prestige to the League. However, Chatfield modestly played down the necessity of his involvement. “I think we have a very good leadership team, a great board of directors and a terrific management staff – there’s a good time for everything, and this is a good time for me to retire,” Chatfield said. “Every organization can benefit from a fresh approach. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the direction we’ve set; in fact, much of what we’ve done, the League will continue to do after I’m gone. But someone of the stature they have in mind to replace me will have new things in mind, and I think they’ll find somebody well qualified to provide some great new ideas.” Diana Dykstra, League Chair and Head of the Search Committee to replace Chatfield, admits the task is a challenging one. However, she feels the League has the time and resources available to meet that challenge. “The good news is that Dave gave one year’s notice,” Dykstra said. “We have some luxury of time, which allows for more thought to go into the process.” According to the timeline developed by the group, that luxury is a comfortable seven-month window in which to determine a successor by January 1, 2006. First on the agenda is the selection of an executive search firm, which the group hopes to name by June 1. Approximately 10 firms will soon receive requests for proposals. The firms range from local to national in size and recruit from both inside and outside the credit union industry. While the search firm is being selected, the committee will define the most important qualities they are looking for in the new CEO. Chatfield will work with a special subcommittee to identify these attributes, which will receive full committee approval before the group reviews potential candidates. While Chatfield has made a name for himself in the legislative arena, both leaders feel that quality isn’t the most crucial one required of his replacement. “A great leader, and Dave is a great leader, makes sure the team around him is involved in all the critical roles,” Dykstra said, “And there’s three other people at the League who have as many, if not more, legislative contacts than he does.” Chatfield agrees. “Being comfortable in the legislative and regulatory environment is important, but having those contacts is more important for our staff who are directly involved in those issues,” he explained. “Although I have developed relationships with Congressman (Brad) Sherman (D-Calif.), Representative (Ed) Royce (R-Calif.) and many others over the years, frankly we have people on our staff and in our member credit unions that have even closer relationships than I do, which is how it should be.” Chatfield said the League is well staffed with legislative experts. In fact, the League recently hired its first ever Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist – Ryan Donovan – who most recently worked for Congressman Sherman’s office on financial committee issues. He also voiced his confidence in Bob Arnould, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs, who was once Speaker of the House in the state of Iowa. “Bob certainly knows the legislative territory and has been able to develop relationships here in California,” Chatfield said. Chatfield also recognized Matt Davidson, Executive Vice President/COO, who was once the Ohio state regulator of credit unions, Kelly Purcell, Director of Federal Governmental Affairs, and Ron Fong, Director of State Government Affairs, as leaders who can effectively represent the League’s interests. So what qualities are the committee looking for? “It’s really the innovation, the vision, the energy, and the passion of his leadership that we’re looking to replace,” Dykstra said. Dykstra also noted Chatfield’s ability to build teams and develop a sense of cooperation, which Chatfield agrees is important. “Unity. I think that’s always a challenge, because we have a lot of innovative and aggressive credit union people in California and Nevada, and even though there’s a lot of individualism involved, we still need to be unified and do things as a family,” he said. “I think we do that, but it’s always been a challenge to keep people moving in the same direction.” Due to the size of credit unions as compared to banks, collaboration isn’t just helpful, it’s a necessity. “We in the credit union industry feel pretty good about ourselves, but we’re too small to do anything on our own,” the leader explained. “The shared branch system, Wescorp, the Co-op . all these shared systems credit unions use so well and so much . are all the result of successful collaboration.” Communication is another key quality Chatfield named, adding, “obviously, you have to be able to communicate your vision.” Dykstra said the committee isn’t looking to find a clone of Chatfield, but rather someone who can grow with the position and change with the industry. “What we hired Dave to do 15 years ago isn’t what he does today,” Dykstra observed, “so we’re not just looking for another Dave, because he grew into what the job has become.” She recalled that when former CEO Bill Broxterman left the position, League members were wondering how he would ever be replaced. “Then lo and behold, along came Dave, and now everyone is wondering what we’ll do without him,” she said, “and if we’re successful with our recruiting efforts, we’ll find our next leader and ask 15 years from now, `how are we going to replace him?’” Member credit unions have been forthcoming in their opinions regarding the CEO search, Dykstra said. “California has a very active network of credit unions, and since Dave’s announcement, many have voiced their support, as well as their opinions, on where we need to go,” she said, adding, “but nobody has come up with anything the committee hasn’t already discussed.” Dykstra said the committee hopes to select a candidate by January 1, 2006, allowing plenty of time for the new CEO to be in place by March 1, 2006. “We want the new CEO to have plenty of time to relocate, if necessary, and spend one month with Dave before his retirement – especially if the person is from outside the industry,” she said. -

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