Kampen Returns, Forms New Firm

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Former U.S. Central Corporate CEO Dan Kampen has reemerged in the credit union movement with the creation of The Rochdale Group and its purchase of consulting firm Counterintelligence Associates.

Kampen has teamed up with consultant George Towle, formerly of the ProCon Group, Madison, Wis., and Michael Hales of CIA, all of whom have an ownership interest in the new group.

"The Rochdale Group is all about collaboration and working in cooperation," Kampen told The Credit Union Journal. "The name is taken for the suburb of Manchester, England, where the first cooperative grocery store was formed. That, in turn inspired the German credit union movement, so this really gets back to the roots of the credit union movement."

Rochdale will have three primary activities: facilitating collaborative ventures throughout the credit union movement, product and vendor management and consulting services.

The depth of those consulting services will come in large part from Towle, who is bringing his own practice to bear for Rochdale, and CIA. When asked what precipitated the creation of Rochdale, Kampen said he had been approached by numerous people within credit unions who said, 'We want you to stay in the movement,' and they steered me toward these activities. Then the opportunity to acquire CIA came up, and it just seemed like a perfect fit."

The purchase of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based CIA, which had been acquired by CommunityAmerica CU's CUSO One about five years ago, was effective Jan. 1, but the sale will be finalized Jan. 31. The well-known consultancy founded by Diane Johnson some 30 years ago will be a division of Rochdale, but will continue operating under the CIA name.

"Counterintelligence is one of the hidden treasures of the credit union movement," Kampen offered. "The depth of the staff is first class." He cited expertise ranging from member business lending to compliance to CUSO development, training and more.

So, while the Rochdale Group is but a fledgling organization, it brings a long history of credit union experience to the table.

"For me, this is an opportunity to expand into some other areas that the ProCon Group just didn't have the resources to get into," noted Towle, who had been partners in ProCon Group with John Gregoire, who, along with Towle, had both been executives with CUNA. ProCon Group will continue with Gregoire as principal. "I've been on the road with my practice talking with a lot of credit unions about what we can do for them. I'm excited about the opportunity to work with credit unions on a number of different levels."

Kampen agreed, adding, "right now we're doing a lot of listening, asking credit unions what are the needs they have that we can fulfill."

NOT UP TO PAR

KANSAS CITY-What has Dan Kampen been doing since leaving U.S. Central?

"I played a lot of golf, and I wanted to get really good at it, and I didn't. And I spent a great deal of time with my wife," Kampen related. "My wife and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary, and the secret to a healthy marriage is not being on top of one another. My wife is very appreciative of George [Towle] for taking me off her hands. I love credit unions, and I wanted to find the best way I could serve the credit union movement."

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