SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – After less than three months on the job, Peter Henthorn, the Colorado consultant who took over as president and CEO of the South Dakota Credit Union League, has been let go following a policy clash with League directors. “It was simply a matter of vision for the organization and something that just did not work out,” declared Floyd Rummel III, chairman of the League and president of Dakota Territory FCU in Deadwood. Henthorn, president of Profit Motivators International, a family-run Boulder, Colo. firm, agreed that his Aug. 17 departure was by “mutual agreement” though he had no regrets about his performance except that he might have pushed extra hard on small CUs to take on new projects to help improve their earnings and operations. “I suppose you can say I was aggressive in using a hard sell approach,” which apparently did not go over well, said Henthorn who has returned to Boulder. Henthorn had been formally hired June 5 and had been introduced to the League membership during its annual meeting May 19 in Aberdeen. Relying on his auditing and consulting background, Henthorn had only last month made plans for a “one-on-one” fee-based service to assist small CUs on pricing and expense reduction. “I was a little surprised to read about that in your paper,” said Rummel, the League chairman referring to an article in Credit Union Times. Rummel declined “for personnel reasons” to detail the policy differences with Henthorn. A search for a new CEO is now under way with CUNA-linked HR Value Group of Middleton, Wis. hired to do the recruiting “which is different from last time when we did the job ourselves,” said Rummel. Until his June hiring, the League had been without a full time CEO since November 2004 following the retirement of 64-year-old Donald Couch, a veteran League staffer. Couch had made his retirement known a year before as a precursor to a planned-but failed-consolidation with the North Dakota League last January. “We’d still like to talk consolidation with North Dakota,” said Rummel but it remained uncertain whether discussions might resume again any time soon since North Dakota CUs rejected the pact based on what South Dakotans said was a devaluation of League assets. The South Dakota League said its headquarters building is still up for sale, which was part of the original deal to move South Dakota operations to Bismarck. Serving as interim CEO again is Leon Swenson, a long-time League staffer and consultant, who held the same job following Couch’s retirement. Regarding his departure, Henthorn agreed that there were differences with board members on exactly how auditing and consulting advice would be managed and that he had proposed a number of different projects relating to cost reduction and member service. Henthorn said he already made some important changes in League operations during his short tenure drawing from “my 25 years of experience consulting for banks and credit unions” on successful pricing and product strategies. [email protected]

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