One of the largest credit unions in Texas will have new leadership in March, going with an executive who has been with the institution for almost 25 years.

The board of directors at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU) recently chose Mark Sekula to be its next president and CEO. Sekula will officially begin this position in mid-March and will replace Christopher O’Connor upon his retirement.

O’Connor started at RBFCU in 1989 as director for the internal audit department. He became president in 2011 and president/CEO in January 2013.

According to a news release, the RBFCU board conducted an internal search to fill the president/CEO position. This was the case when RBFCU promoted O’Connor to president/CEO from his role as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Sekula has served as EVP and COO since January 2019 and has worked at RBFCU for 23 years.

“We are very pleased with the development of our executive group at RBFCU, and we see the respect they have from our employees,” RBFCU board chair Edward Polansky said in the news release. “We did not want to disturb the culture of how employees here truly care for other employees and how they care for our members.

“We are focused on continuing the momentum that Chris generated with his leadership, and we know that Mark will continue to lead RBFCU to even greater heights in the future,” Polansky continued.

Sekula was elevated to an EVP position at RBFCU in 2011 and also has served in roles as chief lending officer and COO.

In his current role as EVP/CFO, Sekula has overseen RBFCU’s growth past $10 billion in assets, making RBFCU one of the largest credit unions in Texas with more than $17.8 billion in assets and more than 1 million members.

First Heritage Federal Credit Union partners with CULA

Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) recently announced that it has been selected by New York-based First Heritage Federal Credit Union to bring vehicle leasing options to its more than 45,000 members.

The partnership further extends CULA’s footprint in the northeastern United States.

First Heritage Federal Credit Union has served members in communities throughout New York and Pennsylvania for nearly 70 years, has more than $700 million in assets, and was recently voted the Best Credit Union in the Twin Tiers for the third straight year.

CULA, which enables credit unions to add vehicle leasing to their portfolios, and dealers to offer their customers more finance options, has been involved in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions for more than 30 years.

“We are pleased to partner with CULA to offer vehicle leasing as an effective and affordable vehicle financing option to our members,” First Heritage Federal Credit Union president and CEO Tom Pisano said in a news release.

“This aligns with our commitment to help our members achieve a better life for themselves and their communities: a ‘people helping people’ mindset that instills in our operations a higher level of service and value, and one of the reasons we selected CULA’s program,” Pisano continued.

A recent survey of credit unions conducted by CULA revealed that over-extension on used-vehicle financing is the No. 1 concern for credit unions.

The survey also found that most credit union respondents (92%) agree that they would like a better alternative, such as short-term financing with affordable payments and higher yield.

CULA vice president of business development Mark Chandler explained indirect vehicle leasing can offer a low-risk, good-yield, short-term finance option for both providers and consumers.

“First Heritage Federal Credit Union has been meeting the financial needs of their community members for several decades. We’re pleased to further help them help their members, especially in providing a solution to persistent vehicle affordability issues, while also helping improve yield,” Chandler said.

Credit Union 1 now using Jack Henry technology

Jack Henry recently announced that Credit Union 1 (CU1) now leverages its Symitar platform to improve its disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

With nearly $1.5 billion in assets, CU1 is the second-largest credit union in Alaska, according to a news release.

“We admire the amount of research and development Jack Henry invests in their technology and how they keep a pulse on the latest industry trends,” CU1 president and CEO Mark Burgess said in the news release. “Their investment aligns with and supports our long-term growth and scalability goals while giving us the stability we need from a trusted financial technology company.”

With Jack Henry hosting its core following a smooth conversion, CU1 said it is able efficiency gains enable it to reallocate internal resources to better support member needs.

“We were impressed with the conversion team at Jack Henry and grateful for all their hard work during the yearlong process,” Burgess said. “Their expertise coupled with our employees’ hard work reduced the impact on members during the final cutover.”

Shanon McLachlan is president of credit union solutions Jack Henry, which claims a 50% market share of credit unions now using its technology.

“Credit unions that make the decision to move to Jack Henry are not only investing in technology but planning for the future of their institution in the years to come,” McLachlan said.

“We don’t always know what course the changing needs of membership will take, but we can be open to embracing the changes that will inevitably come. We’re proud to help CU1 strengthen their service and differentiators while they invest in their future,” McLachlan went on to say.