St. Helens Community Announces Result of Special Member Vote

After a 492-signature petition, a special membership meeting and more than 1,400 votes, the St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union board of directors will remain intact.

More than 175 St. Helens members attended Tuesday’s meeting, which was scheduled by the credit union’s board after it received a petition to recall five of the credit union’s seven volunteer board members: Board Chair Lea Chitwood, Treasurer Mike Hafeman, Secretary Marty Borrevik, and board members Richard Louie and David Graham. Michael Ismert and Vice Chairman Tom Tussing were left unchallenged.

The petition outlined specific board actions, including having voted to part ways with former CEO Jeff Schwarz on May 16, 2012, and signing a letter of intent in June to explore a merger with Wauna Federal Credit Union (WFCU), as the basis for the recall effort.

“The membership showed strong support of the board and voted against the recall initiative.  In accordance with our bylaws, we gave a fair hearing to a small group of members who launched this petition,” said St. Helens President and CEO Brooke Van Vleet. “We are thankful that the majority chose to show appreciation for this dedicated group of volunteer board members who were elected to serve the membership. The board and senior management team are looking forward to advancing the strategic priorities of the credit union and developing a clear roadmap for 2013 and beyond.”

Three members had registered to speak at the meeting, and all three spoke on behalf of keeping the current board intact. The board then opened the floor to questions, having allotted 30 minutes to hearing from membership, and each of the five board members in question made a brief statement about their reasons for serving on the board and their intentions moving forward.

Ballots were then cast and added to the absentee ballots, which were collected either by mail or at a St. Helens branch in the days leading up to the meeting. All told, 1,431 ballots were received and counted by independent Moss Adams LLP, an independent auditing firm.


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Posted in CUNA, Federal, NCUA, NWCUA.