NAFCU Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs Dan Berger said when he takes over for retiring President/CEO Fred Becker this summer, it will be “business as usual”, and he has no plans to make any major changes to the trade association.
Berger said NAFCU’s current strengths in advocacy, education and compliance will continue to be top priorities after he takes over on Aug. 1.
Two equally weighted issues to challenge credit unions in 2013, Berger said: regulatory burden and protecting the credit union tax exemption.
Credit unions can expect more regulations from the NCUA and CFPB, and in anticipation, NAFCU beefed up its compliance division, hiring new attorneys to provide assistance to members.
He also said NAFCU will continue to be vigilant cementing support for the credit union tax exemption as Congress considers tax reform and ways to increase revenue. The tax study NAFCU commissioned last fall has been well received among lawmakers, the veteran lobbyist said.
“When we’ve visited Capitol Hill, members of Congress said we love our credit unions, but you have to prove the value of your tax status to the American taxpayer,” Berger said. “So, that’s why we did a qualitative and quantitative analysis, to protect the exemption.”
Berger has big shoes to fill replacing Becker, said Independent Community Bankers of America President/CEO Camden Fine. However, Fine said Berger has a terrific personality and is well liked on Capitol Hill.
“They won’t miss a step,” Fine said of Berger taking over for Becker. “They couldn’t have picked a better person.”
The leaders of two of the largest NAFCU member credit unions, the $51.5 billion Navy FCU and the $15 billion Pentagon FCU, both praised Berger as their trade’s new chief.
Navy FCU’s President/CEO Cutler Dawson said he knows Berger well and he has every expectation he will be “excellent” in the top position.
Frank Pollack, PenFed president, echoed that sentiment and added that his team was “particularly pleased that they were able to draw from within the NAFCU family for the job.”
Becker called Berger the right choice at the right time.
“He is a creative, strong leader respected for his integrity and can-do attitude. I’m confident he will lead NAFCU to further success and I know I am leaving the association in good hands,” Becker said.