Skillful, Strategic Transitions


2 minutes

The surge of CEO retirements that credit unions have been experiencing are clearly worth talking about. We asked veteran credit union writer Karen Bankston for 3,400 words about CEO transitions for this issue and got 7,414, plus a file of “leads to follow up on in the future.”

Now Karen’s pretty prolific, but the ease with which she was able to write a great deal about executive transitions underscores both that a lot of transitions are taking place and that these transitions are very important to credit unions.

Research done a few years ago by CUES Supplier member D. Hilton Associates Inc. The Woodlands, Texas, showed that in the five years following 2012, 6,100 C-suite jobs would turn over at credit unions with more than $100 million in assets. In 2014, CUES was doing interviews with industry leaders and finding that CUs weren’t fully ready for this monumental change—especially at the CEO level.

Fortunately—as you’ll read in “Passing the Baton” and in “Gaining Traction in Transition”—the current situation is better than projected. While the transitions keep coming, incoming and exiting executives are skillfully handling the handoffs, and boards are taking such big change as opportunities to really dig deep into their organizations’ strategies and visions.

Of course, one change typically begets another, especially when it comes to staffing. So it seems only fitting that in this issue we also take a look at career pathing. As “Helping them Soar” details, formal employee development programs can be designed to give those interested in advancing their careers the skills and support to do so should the opportunity arise.

We’re experiencing our own transition here at Credit Union Management following Mary Arnold’s final column last month. While we miss her, we’re also excited to stretch new muscles. And of course, we’ll continue to bring you the most useful and in-depth coverage in the CU industry. Send us your topic ideas and feedback anytime at and!

Lisa Hochgraf & Theresa Witham

CUES Learning Portal