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ARLINGTON, Va.-NAFCU has lost three of its top legal associates, including Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bill Donovan, in about a month’s span. Twenty-six year veteran Donovan and NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Gwen Baker announced their resignations last week. Both are joining Washington, D.C. law firm Venable LLP, Donovan as a partner in the financial services and government affairs arenas and Baker as counsel in the financial services field. “We have been involved with Venable for many years in a number of different ways,” Donovan explained. “The attorneys at Venable in the financial services practice are people we’ve dealt with on many different issues for over a decade.” He and Baker were familiar with the firm and Venable was familiar with their work. Baker said the opportunity will allow her to take the legal advice she has provided to credit unions through NAFCU “to the next level.” She noted that trade associations are barred from practicing law, so they could advise credit unions on what has been done in the past, but not address their specific needs. Donovan echoed that right now they look at issues in the macro context, but at a law firm will also be able to venture into individual institution’s issues. Donovan and Baker’s last day at NAFCU will be Oct. 21 and they will begin their new career paths with Venable Nov. 1. Venable covers a wide range of legal issues, including financial services and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. It was named one of the 10 largest law firms in the Washington, D.C. metro area by Washington Business Journal and is the largest law firm in the Baltimore region, according to Baltimore Business Journal. Venable is also ranked among the top 15 legislative and government affairs law firm in D.C. in influence, “The Influence Revenue Report 2004″ said. Donovan says it is the new challenge that he looks forward to. “It shouldn’t be surprising that a person, as they go through life, welcomes additional challenges,” he said. Donovan said he spent 27 years in school and 26 years at NAFCU and these have been the only two major things, outside of his personal life, that have guided him thus far. “What I see happening is a natural progression over time” as far as his ability to assist credit unions and other financial services providers. Baker said she feels the opportunity to work with a firm like Venable and remain in the financial services arena is “pretty extraordinary.” She said her service at NAFCU since 1998 has been a good experience but she is really interested in practicing law now. Baker called the firm “impressive” and said she hopes to “make a good contribution to the industry.” “Gwen and I have worked very effectively together as a team here at NAFCU.” Donovan said. “The partners at Venable recognize Gwen’s strengths and mine compliment each other. Working together, we bring very strong capability in terms of analytical skills” and strategize approaches in the legislative and regulatory arenas, he said. Though other offers have been made through the years, Baker said, “The relationships we have with the people over there and the reputation of the firm stood out for us.” Additionally, former NAFCU Director of Compliance Linda Dent served her last day at the organization during Congressional Caucus. She has gone to work at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and was unavailable for comment as of press time. Anthony Demangone, NAFCU’s regulatory compliance counsel, has been elevated to her position, according to NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker. Becker wished his outgoing attorneys well and emphasized that NAFCU’s legal staff has great depth. “I think NAFCU will not miss a heartbeat,” he said. Donovan agreed. He said he has worked hard to get an “extremely talented and smart” legal staff at NAFCU. “That’s one of the things I’m most proud of leaving behind,” Donovan stated. He pointed out that when he came to NAFCU in 1979, he was the only attorney on a staff of 14. Now, Donovan has six attorneys reporting to him and the overall staff numbers about 65. In a statement, Becker called Donovan “a significant force in the credit union community. Over the years, Bill has shaped such vital legislation as the Credit Union Membership Access Act and the more recent Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act. He built a team of outstanding lobbyists and attorneys that have represented our members well; we wish him all the best at Venable.” Becker added that NAFCU would be selecting a headhunter shortly to help fill Donovan’s shoes. He also commended Baker for her “hard work and diligence in the regulatory arena. Gwen has done an outstanding job of representing NAFCU before NCUA and other federal agencies. We also wish her continued success in her new position.” Becker said he hopes to announce a replacement for Baker, possibly early this week. [email protected]

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