ONTARIO, Calif.-The California Credit Union League has restructured its board.

Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the CCUL and the Nevada League, told Credit Union Journal the full board previously had 17 members, made up of four asset groups, nine geographic groups, plus four at-large spots. The 17 then elected a five-person executive committee.

"The board undertook to make changes, and formed a committee," Dykstra explained. "The committee felt there were not geographic differences between how a credit union operates in different parts of the state, so the geographic groups were cut out."

A new bylaw limits the board to seven to 13 members, with the intention to seat nine for the 2012-13 board. Dykstra said the nine seats are comprised of four asset size group representatives and five at-large directors.

The recommendation was passed, with only 30% of eligible credit unions voting.

Although some have alleged the changes weaken representation of small CUs in California, Dykstra said the opposite is true.

"There still are four asset size groups, and half of the asset size board members are Shapiro Group credit unions [with assets of $50 million or less]," she said. "One of the at-large directors is from a small credit union, so of the nine board members, three are from small credit unions."

The bylaw changes received 90% approval, and Dykstra noted the small credit unions did not vote in as big a numbers as did the mid-sized CUs. Dystra added that most of the board seat elections were uncontested.

"If they feel disadvantaged they did not exercise their vote," she said. "It is perception but it is not a reality. Governance is important, and my job is balancing what we deliver to credit unions of all sizes. People complain both ways and the grass is always greener on the other side-the small ones say the big ones run everything and the big ones say we spend too much on the small ones. But the reality is I am judged by how well we serve all credit unions, and if the board ever asked me to serve only the 100 largest credit unions I would leave my job before that happened."


Board Chairman May Run Again

One other minor change was to an unwritten rule that limited the board chairman to a single, one-year term. Beginning this year, should the board chairman wish to run for a second term he/she may run again, but election is not automatic.

"This is not a bylaw change," Dykstra said, "there just was not a rule previously. It was a standing assumption the chairman would only serve one year. The chairman still must have board support."

The Nevada league has its own board and is also mulling a board reduction to five members from seven. There are just 20 CUs in Nevada.

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