ST. HELENS, Ore. – A campaign to recall five of the seven St. Helens Community FCU directors fell short with none of the five targeted board members recalled.

The rare recall bid was prompted by the failed merger of the $166-million credit union with Wauna FCU, a $145-million credit union in nearby Clatskanie, Ore. Some St. Helens members had objected to the dismissal of CEO Jeff Schwarz last May.

The recall was initiated by a petition drive of 492 of the credit union’s 15,000 members. St. Helen’s officials said 1,431 ballots were cast and 175 members attended a special meeting Tuesday to debate the recall.

“The membership showed strong support of the board and voted against the recall initiative,” said Brooke Van Vleet, St. Helens CEO, whose July hiring from First Tech CU helped kill the ill-fated merger proposal. “In accordance with our bylaws, we gave a fair hearing to a small group of members who launched this petition. We are thankful that the majority chose to show appreciation for this dedicated group of volunteer board members who were elected to serve the membership.”

“The Board and senior management team are looking forward to advancing the strategic priorities of the credit union and developing a clear roadmap for 2013 and beyond,” said Van Vleet.

St. Helens was chartered to serve employees of St. Helens Pulp and Paper Company. It now serves Columbia County and Sauvie Island, Ore.


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