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CEO Gone, But Fla. CU Still Plans To Convert

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Sunshine State CU said it will continue to move forward with its plans to convert to a bank without CEO Mark LeCain, who left the credit union after meeting with the board last week.

"With the upcoming conversion and our plans to become a bank, the board decided we needed a shift in leadership," said Michelle Clarke, VP of the $170-million credit union. "This was a board decision. It was not a part of the plan when we began [the conversion] process."

LeCain was reported to have been a driving force behind the conversion, which was approved by the CU's membership with 62% of those members who voted favoring the conversion. Fewer than 20% of the SSCU's total membership voted.

Clarke told The Credit Union Journal that conversion plans continue to progress, adding "we're just waiting for final regulatory approval, and we've been working very closely with OTS and FDIC. In fact, the OTS is coming for another check over very soon." Brian Baggett, Sunshine's EVP has stepped in as acting CEO. At press time, the board was still considering whether it would hire someone from within permanently or go outside for new leadership.

Ex-CEO of S.C. Federal Dies

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.-Robert Dargan, CEO of South Carolina FCU from 1992 until 2004, has died. Mr. Dargan, 64, had spent the past two years fighting cancer. "Bob will be greatly missed by the S.C. Federal Board, employees, and membership, as well as numerous groups and individuals around the state, for the significant impact he had on the financial industry in South Carolina," said the credit union.

Bill Would Lift Deposit Coverage

WASHINGTON-House members introduced a bill last week that would again try to raise the limit on federal deposit insurance coverage to $130,000 per account, from the current $100,000, and index future increases to inflation. The bill, which failed in the last Congress, would also double the coverage, to $260,000 per account for certain types of retirement accounts, like IRAs and 401(k)s. The bill would also try again, for at least the fifth time, to merge the deposit insurance funds for the banks and thrifts.

NCUA Has Funds Available

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA said it has $800,000 available to provide technical assistance and other financial aid to qualified low-income credit unions. The funds will be provided through five different grant programs through NCUA's Community Development Revolving Loan Fund. Funds may be used for emergency needs; building infrastructure; the volunteer tax assistance (VITA) program; enhancing and expanding member services; and student internships. Eligible credit unions, those designated as low-income, can apply for the grants through NCUA' Office of Small CU Initiatives.

Corrections & Clarifications

CORRECTION-A photo identified as Jeffrey Hendrickson, president of Dow Louisiana FCU, in the Feb. 28 issue was incorrect. The photo was of Rich Helber, EVP at GTE FCU, Tampa. Mr. Hendrickson and Mr. Helber both spoke at the PALS Conference in Orlando. In the same issue Bruce Brumfield, CEO of Founders FCU, Lancaster, S.C., also appeared incorrectly.

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