LAS VEGAS - Robert Kravetz, chairman of the $56 million Dept. ofLabor Federal Credit Union and a retired Washington, D.C.bureaucrat, knows all about "dysfunctional" CUs since he livedthrough the rescue of his own six years ago and earned top honorsfor it from the 2004 National Directors Convention. This weekduring the NDC annual meeting here Kravetz got another chance torecall the details of what he said was "my horror story" of being aneophyte director plunged into the travails of CU stewardship."This was what you might call a completely dysfunctional creditunion that was doing just everything wrong and with no idea how tofix its problems," explained Kravetz, who was slated to lead a"Best Practices" workshop during the NCCS gathering. Kravetz gave ahint of his planned panel talk in brief remarks before afirst-timers session on the first day of the conference telling aCredit Union Times reporter his experience six years ago ofsuddenly being named chairman and within days facing NCUA examinerswarning of an imminent shutdown were character building. The Dept.of Labor chairman said he originally signed on as a director ofDept. of Labor FCU at the urging of a co-worker, but "I knewnothing about credit unions only there were banks and there werecredit unions." Once the troubles become evident six months laterand he was asked to become chairman succeeding a departingexecutive, Kravetz said he found himself "on a very fast learningcurve." Kravetz, who before his retirement had been executivedirector of appellate board adjudication in the Labor Department,said he also became embroiled in numerous law suits from variousparties involved in CU management with all of the litigation nowsettled. "I can't tell you how many depositions and interrogatoriesI went through," said Kravetz who today offers this bit of adviceto fellow directors: to avoid pitfalls his CU endured: "don'tmicromanage" the institution-leave that to the CEO, but be fullyaware of changes in CU fortunes. He said Dept. of Labor FCU was a$25 million institution when he started but "it had no leadership"and there was widespread evidence of mismanagement with "no fileskept" and serious misjudgments. Kravetz said he is particularlypleased this year that while he got the Best Practices prize fromNDC in 2004, his CEO, Joan Moran, won the Best Professional of YearHonor at this year's NAFCU conference here last month. Despite thelawsuits and the "trial by fire" experience, he said he has neverregretted "staying on the job with the credit union." Leaving thetask unfinished "would not be in my nature," he [email protected]

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