Crear To Retire From World Council of CUs in July

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MADISON, Wis.-Pete Crear, the well-known president and CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions, announced last week that he plans to retire in July.

Crear, who took over World Council in 2005, will step down immediately after WOCCU hosts its World Credit Union Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The executive committee of WOCCU's board is currently acting as the search committee, although it may consider working with a search firm.

"This is a good time from my vantage point and that of World Council to make the transition," Crear told Credit Union Journal, noting WOCCU will also be getting a new chairman at the July meeting when current chairman Barry Jolette, CEO of San Mateo Credit Union, concludes his term. Crear's contract with WOCCU technically expires on June 20, but Jolette has asked him to remain on board through the Scotland meeting.

During the six years Crear has been at the helm of World Council the organization has seen significant growth, and is now made up of some 44 CU associations from around the world. "They have seen the value of the organization and most of them have come to us," said Crear.

Under Crear, WOCCU has:

• Launched development programs in Ethiopia, Haiti, Peru and other countries, and continues to see growth in its Afghanistan project.

• Convened its first technical congresses to train credit union managers in Africa, Latin America and the South Pacific.

• Launched the European Network of Credit Unions, the International Credit Union Regulators' Network and the Global Women's Leadership Network.

• Lobbied on behalf of member organizations and fostered CU legislation in numerous countries.

For Crear, the retirement brings to an end a long and varied career in credit union associations, beginning in 1965 when he was hired as an auditor by the Michigan league. He would go on to hold leadership positions with the Indiana, Connecticut and Michigan leagues, before joining CUNA and and serving as EVP/COO with responsibility for the Madison, Wis. Operations (during which he was also CUNA's liaison to World Council).

Crear served as interim CEO of CUNA prior to the hiring former CEO Dan Mica. Crear has retired once before, as CUNA's EVP-external relations, before coming out of retirement to take over as World Council's CEO, succeeding Arthur Arnold.

Crear, who has been recognized by numerous organizations for his accomplishments during his career, noted he really first learned of the international CU movement during a WOCCU meeting in Madison, Wis. In 1991. "The light went on then and it has never gone off," he said.

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