HR Answers: Mission critical succession planning

Does your credit union have backups for the most important job roles?

Now in its 82nd year, Dane County Credit Union originally served only employees of Dane County (such as sheriff’s office, maintenance workers, road workers and so on), but expanded in 1983 to include anyone living or working in Dane County and then again in 2012 to those living in seven contiguous counties to Dane. The credit union has three public and three “plant” branches (primarily used by select employee groups) and assets of $166.1 million. Its 17,830 members are served by 67 employees.

“Our current formal board-level succession plan, like most credit unions of our size, addresses an emergency or planned succession of the president/CEO,” says CUES member Jon Lowrey, president/CEO of Dane County CU. “At this point it only covers that position.”

The plan specifies that in the absence of the president/CEO, the executive vice president will act as interim CEO. If this person is unable to perform in that capacity, then three current staff members have been designated (in specified order) to step into that position.

“On a non-board level, our credit union has been developing plans for succession for other management-level positions,” he continues. “Each of our key managers has a sense of the need for their replacement.”


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