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OREGON CITY, Ore. – Paul Williams, president/CEO of Clackamas Community FCU for the 18 years and immediate past chairman of the Credit Union Association of Oregon has announced his plans to retire June 30. The 58-year old Williams, a native of western Massachusetts, started at CCFCU in 1979 as assistant manager. When manager Will Parson left the credit union in 1988, Williams succeeded him into what became the president/CEO spot. At the time, CCFCU had $24 million in assets and about 6,000 members. It primarily served public service employees in Clackamas County, then expanded its field of membership to include SEGs – it had 400 at one time. The credit union got its community charter in December 2003 – it still only serves Clackamas County – and currently has $170 million in assets and 23,000 members. Williams finished his two-year term as CUAO chairman in November. During his time in that board seat – he served on the CUAO Board for 10 years – he was involved in the talks of a possible merger between CUAO and the Washington Credit Union League in 2004 that ended with the CUAO Board turning down the consolidation proposal. Williams said, “It was a good process we went through and showed us the strengths and weaknesses of maintaining our own state credit union association. There was too much benefit to having our own identity. From a political standpoint, that made better sense than just being financially strong. When it came down to making a final decision with the association’s board, we realized we needed a strong presence in the state capital and would continue to be our own state association as long as we could afford to do it.” Williams said when CUAO first began talking with the Washington League about a possible consolidation, he was “cautiously supportive.” But, he added, “as we got deeper into it, I realized it made good financial sense but also realized that when you give up your own identity, you’re giving up a lot. The effectiveness of a local state trade association made the association’s decision to stay independent the right one.” The soon-to-be-retired Williams said a merger between CUAO and the Washington League is “still a possibility down the road. Three or five years from now I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.” He explained that there are currently only about 90 credit unions left in Oregon – when he began working at CCFCU there were about 200 – so economies of scale might be the catalyst behind a consolidation move. He noted that CUAO already works closely with the California Credit Union League for education, and it also works with the Washington League on training and compliance issues. “So it’s a natural process,” said Williams. During his 27 years working on the Oregon credit union scene, Williams in addition to his position at CCFCU and serving on the CUAO Board, also was the first chairman of the Oregon Credit Union Foundation and the chairman of Credit Union Insurance Services, a league service’s corporation. He’s also been involved in his community – he was chairman of the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce and also served on the school board. For now, Williams said he’s leaving his post-retirement options open. His wife is also planning to retire in June, and the couple is expecting their second grandchild the same month. So June is going to be a very busy month for Williams. As for the legacy he hopes to leave with CCFCU, Williams said, “We’ve been very financially successful at the credit union. The secret to our success has been to surround ourselves with really good staff. We put a lot of emphasis on education and training including providing tuition reimbursement. I always thought that was important.” Williams said CCFCU is using O’Rourke Career Connection to find his successor. Referring to OnPoint’s selection of a Bank of America executive as the credit union’s new president/CEO, Williams said he was sure CCFCU “will go with someone with a credit union background.” -

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