NAFCU Hires Banking Lobbyist To SucceedDonovan

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ARLINGTON, Va. - (01/12/06) – NAFCU announced Wednesday ithired Dan Berger, a lobbyist for the thrift industry’s tradeassociation, America’s Community Bankers, as its new chieflobbyist. As head of NAFCU’s regulatory affairs department,Berger will head a staff of 20 legislative and regulatory lobbyistsand succeed Bill Donovan, who left the credit union tradeassociation after 26 years last month to join the Washington lawfirm of Venable LLP. Berger earned a reputation as an influentiallobbyist on Capitol Hill and was widely credited with bringing thecredit union tax exemption to the attention of the tax-writingHouse Ways and Means Committee, prompting hearings on the exemptionlast November. He also worked with lawmakers on efforts to ease theway for credit unions to convert to mutual savings banks, orthrifts. One source said Berger was especially influential inhelping to draft Rep. Patrick McHenry’s bill to limitNCUA’s powers over conversions. “He’s pretty wellrespected in Republican circles,” said one credit unionlobbyist, of Berger, who served as chief of staff to RepublicanRep. Katherine Harris, of Florida, before working for the ACB.NAFCU President Fred Becker acknowledged Berger’s role in thecredit union-banks conflicts and said he believes it indicatesBerger’s abilities as a lobbyist. “He was theirlobbyist,” Becker told The Credit Union Journal, of theBerger’s former job. But the NAFCU Chief Executive insistedBerger’s former activities should not have any negativeimpact on his new job as credit union advocate or his potentialrelationship with credit union executives. “I don’tperceive that as being any bit of a problem. In fact, I expect itto be a big help,” he said.

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