CUNA President/CEO Cheney Resigning to Lead SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union in California

CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney announced Wednesday that he will leave the association in mid-June to become president and CEO of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union in Santa Ana, Calif.

Cheney, who has been the association’s president and CEO since 2010, said the move “is born out of my own desire to serve the credit union movement by taking a hands-on role, and to work with the impressive team and to build on the outstanding success of SchoolsFirst FCU.”

He will succeed current SchoolsFirst CEO Rudy Henley, who is retiring from the credit union after 31 years. Although he was originally scheduled to retire in March, Hanley said he will stay on at the $9.7 billion credit union until Cheney arrives this summer.

CUNA Chairman Dennis Pierce said the association will launch a nationwide search for Cheney’s replacement immediately. Pierce said the search would consider candidates from both inside and outside of the credit union movement.

“We will be looking for leadership that can bring to bear the talents of the exceptional team that we have on board at CUNA now, and leverage the strengths of the three-tiered system of CUNA, Leagues and credit unions to achieve our goals and strengthen the movement,” Pierce said.

In a letter to league presidents and communicators Wednesday, Cheney wrote:

“I undertake this new role with the satisfaction that, with the support and assistance of the leagues, much has been accomplished over the nearly four years of my tenure as president and CEO of CUNA. That includes: the preservation of the tax-exempt status of credit unions in the first tax-reform proposal unveiled just weeks ago; the most successful GAC ever last month; the 1.3 million contacts with lawmakers generated by our award-winning “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” campaign; our “Unite for Good” initiative, which has captured the imagination of the credit union movement; our expanded communications efforts; our strong education and training program; our unsurpassed compliance resources; and our financial strength.

“None of this could have been accomplished without the state leagues and associations. Through your unceasing efforts, wise counsel, and dedication, we have together given credit unions much value of membership — and I know you will continue to do so, in partnership with CUNA, in the years to come.

“Clearly, your work and that of your colleagues on behalf of credit unions will and must go on during and following the transition between CUNA CEOs. Continued protection of the tax exemption, pursuit of regulatory relief, enhancement of the charter and work toward achievement of a shared strategic vision — among other key issues — will proceed, with guidance from the CUNA board, the efforts of you and your colleagues, and supported by CUNA’s talented and professional staff.”

“My thanks again to all of you; I look forward to working with you for the remainder of my tenure and in my new role beginning in mid-June at SchoolsFirst FCU.”

Questions? Contact Gary M. Stein: 503.350.2216,

Posted in CUNA, Federal.