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2003 The Year Of League President Turnover

WALLINGFORD, Conn.- Kevin Stewart has become the third league president in a month to announce he is leaving the job. Stewart has resigned as CEO of the Connecticut Credit Union Association effective Jan. 23, 2004, after which he will join Texans Credit Union in Richardson, Texas, as executive VP-strategic services. Stewart, who spent eight years with the CCUA, has family in Texas. General Counsel Art Corey will be interim CEO beginning Jan. 26.

The departures by Stewart and South Carolina's John Franklin (see below) come at the same time Scott Earl has stepped down as president of the Utah league. Earlier this year, Larry Johnson left the North Carolina league, and was replaced by New Mexico's John Radebaugh; Russell Clark was let go by the New Jersey league and replaced by Thomas Shaughnessy; Mike Marshall was named interim president of the Maryland league in place of Bob Steil, and Oklahoma's Bob Bianchini also announced plans to retire.

CUNA Names Franklin To Head Up Madison

MADISON, Wis.-CUNA has hired John Franklin, who resigned in November as president of the South Carolina league, as its new chief operating officer/executive VP over its Madison, Wis. Operations. Franklin had spent nearly 30 years with the league, the last nine as CEO. Franklin will join CUNA on Jan. 5 and will succeed Pete Crear, who is moving to a new position as executive vice president of external relations. As COO/EVP-Madison, Franklin will be responsible for the overall day-to-day strategic, tactical and administrative operations of CUNA's Madison-based operations, which focus on professional development and information resources for credit unions, as well as administration for CUNA.

DFCU Plans Branch Expansion

DEARBORN, Mich.-DFCU Financial, the state's largest credit union, said it plans to invest up to $8 million to open three new branches over the next 15 months. The $1.6-billion credit union, formerly known as Dearborn FCU, plans to open new branches in Canton Township, Van Buren Township and Southgate. The credit union giant expects to add 50 new employees with the new branches.

FCU May Participate In Loan

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-A federal credit union is permitted to participate in a loan that has been fully guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to NCUA.

In a new legal opinion issued to Atascadero FCU, Atascadero, Calif., NCUA noted that the Federal CU Act authorizes an FCU to invest in "obligations, participations, securities, or other instruments, or issued by, or fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by any...agency of the United States." Although such an investment could be characterized as a loan participation, NCUA said it would not come under the agency's participation rules because of the government guarantee.

Aimbridge Expands Into Michigan

DENVER-The Aimbridge Group said its Aimbridge Indirect Lending unit has introduced an indirect auto loan program for Michigan credit unions. The company, which recently unveiled an indirect program in Ohio, said it has signed five Michigan credit unions, including DFCU Financial, Credit Union One, Michigan First CU, Royal Oakland Community CU and SOC CU, as well as 100 auto dealerships to the program.

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