Oregon, Washington Leagues Plan Merger

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BEAVERTON, Ore.-After 20 years of discussing the idea, the Credit Union Association of Oregon and the Washington CU League are hammering out details of a merger.

"We are working through the process," said Troy Stang, CEO of the CUAO. "(Washington CU League CEO) John (Annaloro) and I and both senior teams will be laying out the details of the plan over the coming months as we prepare for town hall meetings with our member credit unions. We will present that plan to our two boards in August. The boards will have input, then the revised plan will be presented to both memberships."

Both leagues have their annual meetings this fall, and Stang said the meetings will be used for "one more round of communication" with members to make sure all issues are addressed.

The final merger vote will be held simultaneously in the two states in November. If approved, a new unified Oregon/Washington trade association is scheduled to begin operations on Jan. 1, 2011.

Annaloro noted he is in his 60s and has a set retirement date coming up in a few years.

"So this allows us to have a timed succession plan," he told Credit Union Journal. "Troy eventually will be CEO when I retire, but the name of the entity-association or league-and the exact titles of management are still being determined," adding that both leagues have strong senior management teams in place.

Stang noted board governance and other operational issues must still be settled, too.

"At this time, while there are numerical challenges, the marketplace opportunities have never been greater and helping our credit unions take advantage is our top priority," Annaloro said.

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