LANSING, Mich. — Martin Carter is set to take on the role of president and CEO at Astera CU here, taking over for interim CEO Steve Winninger.
Carter has more than 30 years of experience with CUs, having most recently served as CEO of Livonia, Mich.-based Parkside CU, a position he took up in August 2012. He also has experience in branch operations, marketing and business development, human resources and training, compliance and risk management, and more.
Daniel J. Smith, chairman of Astera's board, credited the energy, expertise and creative thought process" Carter brings to the CU, and the new CEO can lead the CU to "next level" while bringing a new level of enthusiasm to the institution.
Carter joins a credit union that faces plenty of challenges. Along with positioning itself in a crowded CU marketplace — the greater Lansing region is home to mammoth Michigan State University FCU, as well as LAFCU, CASE CU, and, for the time being, Lake Trust CU — Astera's fortunes have been up and down in recent years. Last year the $148 million-asset credit union posted a net income of $159,000, but it lost more than $1.6 million in 2013. It earned $107,000 in 2012, but finished 2011 more than $1.9 million in the red. According to its latest Call Report, the credit union posted a loss of more than $320,000 in Q1 alone, and currently has $108 million in loans on the books, approximately half of which is concentrated in auto lending (primarily used cars). Another $30 million is tied to real estate loans.
Winninger, who had been serving as interim CEO while the Astera board sought a permanent replacement, is the former CEO of Lake Trust CU and heads up his own consulting firm.