February 14, 2012
Several months of planning and research were validated yesterday, when the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA’s) proposed redistricting plan was approved by a significant majority.
The final tally saw 98.7 percent of voters in support of the plan, leaving a scant .013 percent opposed.
The new district boundaries are the result of work done by the Redistricting Task Force, which consisted of nine credit union CEOs from Washington and Oregon who were appointed by the NWCUA Board of Directors in early 2011. Diann Owen, President and CEO of Clackamas Federal Credit Union, and Mina Worthington, President and CEO of Solarity Credit Union, co-chaired the task force.
“The most important element was that every credit union, whether small, medium-sized or large, felt like they were supported,” Owen said. “So, even if you’re a small credit union in a remote part of your state, you still have a connection, someone that is responsible to you that you can turn to for support. I think that was the main goal for all of us.”
The proposal was deemed ready for ratification in early January, and voting took place from Feb. 1 until close of business on Friday, Feb. 10. A map reflecting the new redistricting plan is available online, along with maps specific to Washington and Oregon. Tables breaking down credit unions by district, credit unions by asset size and counties by district offer further insight into the different methods used to divide credit unions within the districts.
Owen stressed that nowhere in the process did the task force struggle with a division between state lines in establishing the new district boundaries.
“I believe the process went very well,” Owen said. “The committee was made up of both Oregon and Washington CEOs, and I thought the two groups worked very well together. We were not only merging geographic areas but also merging different cultures, which can be difficult. I was very impressed with the group’s ability to focus on the same collective goal.”
The original charge of the task force was to recommend changes to the Association’s bylaws and/or governance manual that result in:
- Each director representing approximately the same number of credit unions, and
- A ratio of state representation on the board that is proportional to the number of congressional districts in each respective state.
In addition to approving the new map itself, the redistricting vote also focused on structure and the approval of directors representing eight geographic contiguous districts, each containing approximately the same number of credit unions. The task force also established positions for representation of three at-large asset tiers, including:
- Asset Group No. 1: Less than $26 million in assets
- Asset Group No. 2: $26 million to $110 million in assets
- Asset Group No. 3: More than $110 million in assets
To maintain these three at-large asset tiers, each year before the scheduled elections the pool of member credit unions will be equally divided into thirds based on the most recent year-end regulatory reports. Asset division will then be rounded up to the nearest million and reset appropriately for elections.
“The committee felt that this was the best of both worlds. We geographically divided the two states to support each credit union, so that small, medium and large asset groups would be supported.”
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