Northwest, Idaho leagues finalize merger

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As expected, member credit unions of the Idaho Credit Union League and the Northwest Credit Union Association have voted to approve the merger of the trade organizations, the NWCUA said Tuesday.

The move formalizes a process that was put in motion last year. Under a “strategic alliance agreement,” the NWCUA has managed the ICUL since Jan. 1, 2017. The boards of directors for the two leagues in December signed a letter of intent to merge the ICUL and its service corporation, League Services, Inc., into the NWCUA and its service corporation, Strategic Link, Inc. At that time, the two boards approved a merger agreement with a “do pass” recommendation to their member credit unions.

The now-approved merger will officially take effect Dec. 31, 2018, creating a trade association representing more than 180 credit unions in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, plus several associate member credit unions in Alaska and Hawaii.

The Northwest Credit Union Association has two headquarters, in SeaTac, Wash., and Tigard, Ore., after the formerly separate leagues in Oregon and Washington merged in 2011. The Idaho Credit Union League is headquartered in Boise.

Troy Stang, currently president and CEO of the NWCUA, will serve as head of the newly expanded organization.

“This collaboration excites a stronger voice regionally and nationally, empowering policy advancement, public awareness, and collective action at the federal level in all three state capitals and on Main Street in every Northwest community,” Stang said in a statement.

Stang noted 6.5 million consumers — more than 50 percent of the population — belongs to a Northwest credit union.

Brooke Van Vleet, president and CEO of $225 million St. Helens Community Credit Union, St. Helens, Ore., and chair of the NWCUA board of directors, said in a statement, “Northwest credit unions, ICUL and NWCUA have demonstrated what is possible in a three-state collaboration. Together, Northwest credit unions successfully advocated for significant updates to their state and federal Credit Union Acts this year. This merger is a positive step forward along the path we began 18 months ago.”

Kent Oram, ICUL board chair and president/CEO of $3.6 billion Idaho Central Credit Union, Chubbuck, Idaho, thanked members for their support and asserted the future is bright for credit unions across the Northwest.

“NWCUA will meet the future needs of Northwest credit unions and their members,” Oram said. “Through this three-state, world-class trade association and collaboration with member credit unions, we will continue to advance the credit union movement.”

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