Recruiting executives from the board

Don’t overlook your own credit union’s directors when searching for the right senior leadership candidate.

Credit unions searching for candidates to fill C-suite positions typically think in terms of two possibilities: internal candidates and external candidates. But there is a third possibility for finding qualified candidates: members of their own boards of directors.

Two credit unions had similar experiences in tapping the talent of board members to fill the role of chief information officer. CUES member Rob Theriot joined the board at $470 million OnPath Federal Credit Union, Harahan, Louisiana, in July 2019 and then moved into the CIO position in October 2020. Cheri Spence served for 20 years on the board of a credit union in Richmond, Virginia, including 15 years as chair, until its 2019 merger with $600 ValleyStar Credit Union in Martinsville, Virginia. She served on the ValleyStar CU board for about a year and a half before being hired as CIO in February 2021.

These two board members were well-qualified to become CIOs. Spence has amassed more than 25 years of CIO experience, most recently as a global CIO for an international company, before taking early retirement in 2020. When the position of CIO became available at ValleyStar CU, she came out of retirement to take the job.


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