Today marks the last day that Bill Cheney will walk through the doors of 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW as CUNA president/CEO.
Cheney is returning to California, where he served as president of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, and was president of $851 million asset Xceed Financial Credit Union in El Segundo. He now takes the helm of $10 billion asset SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, following the retirement of long-time CEO Rudy Hanley.
Cheney joined CUNA in July 2010, succeeding former U.S. Representative Dan Mica who headed the trade association for 14 years.
CUNA's News Now posed a few questions to Cheney about his time at CUNA and the credit union movement.Q Why is the position at SchoolsFirst Federal a "dream job?"
A It is a credit union that has done a great job of identifying the needs of its members and creatively meeting them. This only happens with a strong team and visionary leadership and SchoolsFirst has all of the above.
For almost 80 years, SchoolsFirst Federal has worked for the educational community in Southern California, first in Orange County and now throughout the region. Its products and services are uniquely designed to address school employees' pay schedules. Members can turn to SchoolsFirst Federal for loans for classroom supplies or furthering their education, in addition to more traditional uses.
It has long been known for having an active voice in the political arena. I know it takes commitment, knowledge, perseverance, action and time to influence political leaders, and SchoolsFirst is committed to that ideal.
It is a profound honor to follow Rudy Hanley as SchoolsFirst Federal's CEO after his 31 years of unsurpassed leadership and success. I look forward to working with the amazing team of more than 1,300 professionals and volunteers to build on that success.Q What words of wisdom do you have for your successor?
A Be tenacious. It is difficult to win grand successes with a Congress that is gridlocked and regulators that are under ever increasing pressure to prevent the last crisis, but CUNA, leagues, credit unions, and members should make sure their voices are always being heard.
And while Washington and Madison are both key to the success of the credit union movement, make sure you take the time to visit with credit union professionals and volunteers from throughout the country. We have an amazing group of passionate leaders from all walks of life.
On top of that: I know CUNA is in good hands with Bill Hampel guiding the organization in this interim between permanent CEOs, ably assisted by the tremendously talented senior management team and the entire staff at our national trade association.
Together, they won't miss a beat in advocacy, representation, and service for credit unions.
For more insights from Cheney, including his thoughts on NCUA's risk-based capital proposal and CUNA's legislative successes under his leadership, read the full News Now interview.