DC, Md. Leagues Take Case For Merger On The Road

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The Maryland and Washington credit union leagues will be hosting a number of town hall meetings starting this Wednesday to make the case to their respective members for a merger that would create a brand new regional association.

"This is a very exciting opportunity to create a whole organization from the ground up," said Theresa Mann, chairman of the D.C. league and CEO of FDIC CU.

Previously, the D.C. league had worked with the Virginia CU League under a management contract, but when that contract came up for its annual review, Mann said the D.C. credit unions determined it was time for a change.

"A management agreement is great in theory, but in reality, it was not meant to be a long-term solution," she told The Credit Union Journal. "Each year as that agreement came due, we would look at it again, and this time we felt the timing was right to pursue discussions for a more permanent opportunity. The opportunity to build an entirely new organization from the bottom up."

Every member of the boards of both leagues was assigned to one of three committees to help craft the governance structure for the new entity, to be called the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association.

'A No-Brainer'

Although the first town hall meeting hasn't happened, yet, Maryland CU League Chairman and Anne Arundel Employees FCU CEO Rick Stoll said feedback from other credit unions has been positive.

"What we're hearing from a lot of people is that this is a no-brainer, and why didn't we do this before," he said. "They are looking forward to a new, regional approach."

Although the two leagues have looked at the way other multi-state leagues have been organized, both groups believe this will be a truly unique structure. "If you look at North and South Dakota, for example, you are talking about hundreds of square miles of territory," said Maryland CUL CEO Mike Beall. "That's not the case, here. In many ways, this really is one community. If you draw an oval around the league's Columbia headquarters, the vast majority of both Maryland and D.C. credit unions are within 100 miles."

Five town hall meetings are scheduled throughout the month of June, with the official merger vote slated for July.

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