Succession Controversy Downplayed InUtah
SALT LAKE CITY - (10/07/04) -- Both the Utah Department ofFinancial Institutions and Newspaper Employees CU downplayed theconcerns raised by several members and/or employees of the$10-million CU over the hiring of a woman with no formal bank orcredit union experience to replace soon-to-retire CEO Pat Marcusen."We believe this was stirred up by a few people who were upset thatthe job didn't go to one of our employees who has been there foreight years," said Board Chairman Arlen Peacock, who noted theprimary reason the hiring of Pam Wagstaff made the news is becausethe credit union serves newspaper employees. In fact, the localreporter who broke the story is a member of the credit unionherself. But Marcusen added she will not leave the credit unionunless she is confident her replacement is up to the task. "PamWagstaff starts on Oct. 18, and I'm here until the middle ofJanuary. I am very comfortable with her, and I will work with herto ensure she has the knowledge of how this credit union worksbefore I leave," Marcusen told The Credit Union Journal. "If I'mnot entirely comfortable with that, I'm not leaving. I've been withthis credit union for 25 years, and I love this credit union, andI'm not leaving if I have any concerns. But I don't have any reasonto believe that she will not be ready to take over come January."Marcusen suggested the flap over the hiring of Wagstaff, whopreviously worked in the credit department of the Newspaper AgencyCorp. (one of NECU's sponsor companies), was nothing more than"sour grapes" among some "misguided people who thought they werehelping someone." Utah Department of Finance Credit UnionSupervisor Orla Beth Peck suggested that the DFI always tries tokeep an eye on a credit union when a new manager takes over andthat the situation at NECU is not much different from countlessother small credit unions when a long-time executive gets ready toretire. "When the manager leaves, particularly at a small creditunion, it's kind of a crisis time for them, especially if theyhaven't really planned in advance," she said.