“After an exhaustive search, in which nearly 100 highly qualified candidates were considered, the CUNA Board has unanimously accepted and certified the executive search committee’s recommendation of Bill as the next chief executive of our association,” said Kris Mecham, chairman of the CUNA Board. “Bill’s long service to credit unions, as both a financial institution executive and association leader, ensure our association will not miss a beat in advocating for credit unions.”
Mecham said Cheney, who has been the California/Nevada Leagues president since 2006, will take the reins of CUNA July 5.
“I am honored that the CUNA Board has the confidence in me as their selection for this position, given the very extensive search that was conducted by the committee,” Cheney said. “I am ready for the challenge and excited about the opportunity. Dan Mica has built a great team and I look forward to leading it in continued pursuit of critical credit union goals.”
Current CUNA CEO Dan Mica said he fully concurred with and applauded the board’s selection of Cheney as CUNA’s next leader. “He has the resume and the real experience to do the job brilliantly,” Mica said. “His many visits to Capitol Hill and the relationships he has built, his tireless work with the regulator, his bonds with his California and Nevada members, his knowledge of credit unions and of business in general makes him the ideal candidate. I anticipate an absolutely seamless transition from my tenure to that of the new leader of the credit union movement.”
STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH CONGRESS
As CEO of both a state trade association and of a large credit union, Cheney has developed a number of relationships with current and past members of Congress, particularly with delegations from California and Nevada. Collectively, those states hold 56 House seats and four Senate seats, and count among their memberships the Speaker of the House (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.) and the Senate majority leader (Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada). He has also built relationships with lawmakers in states in which his credit unions have had operations (including New York, Illinois and Texas). He has testified on behalf of credit unions before Congress numerous times on a variety of financial subjects.
BROAD EXPERIENCE WITHIN THE CREDIT UNION MOVEMENT
As CUNA Chairman Mecham indicated, Cheney has broad experience within the credit union movement, having begun his career during 1987 in Texas (his home state) with Security Service FCU in San Antonio (today holding more than $5 billion in assets and 600,000 members).
Ten years later (in 1997), after achieving the position of executive vice president, Cheney was named president and CEO of Xerox FCU (today known as Xceed FCU) in El Segundo, Calif. During nine years at the helm of the credit union, Cheney guided the credit union’s growth to more than $800 million in assets (from $350 million), growing the credit union’s membership to include operations in nine states, including California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois.
Also while at XFCU, Cheney was elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), a national trade group representing the interests of only federally chartered credit unions.
In 2006, the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues tapped Cheney as their president and CEO. While overseeing the combined organizations’ operations, Cheney is credited with building the Leagues’ affiliation while improving their operational efficiencies.
Additionally, he has served as Treasurer of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), Chairman of the CUNA World Leadership Development Committee, member of the board of trustees of the Western CUNA Management School, member of the board of directors of the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation, and joined World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) delegations to Mexico, Poland, China, and Haiti.
Mica added that the transition is already underway, and that he will be working with Cheney until the new CEO’s official start date in early July. Mica said he will remain available to Cheney for counsel through the remainder of the year.