Interra major leadership shake-up

Interra Credit Union is looking for a new CEO after the departure of Jack Sheets and the financial institution also has a new board chairman.

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May 2, 2013 at 12:17 p.m.

GOSHEN — Weeks after a major management shake-up, Interra Credit Union leadership released a little information about the changes Thursday, May 2.

Jack Sheets no longer works at the credit union after a 26-year stint as president of the non-profit financial institution.

The board didn’t release any information about the reasons or timing of the departure of Sheets. Karen Steffensen, marketing director for the credit union, said in an email, “It is Interra’s policy not to discuss information about previous employees.”

The board is searching for a new president and named Andy Gangwer, executive vice president, as the interim president. According to a statement from the credit union, “With more than 30 years of experience at Interra, Gangwer is working with the entire senior management team which includes Senior Vice President of Operations Sanford Miller, Vice President of Member Services David Birky and Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer Rex Hochstedler. Gangwer will lead the credit union and the senior management team until the new president is named.”

The board also saw a leadership change at its annual meeting in March, with Steve Warner, chairman since 1998, replaced by David Myers. That change was not communicated in the credit union’s official announcement about its annual meeting, posted on its website and sent to area media outlets.

“The board and staff are extremely grateful to Steve for his dedication, commitment and many years of volunteer service to the credit union,” Myers said in the statement.

Steffensen said in a written message to The Elkhart Truth, “As a financial cooperative, credit union members elect fellow members to represent them on the board of directors.  Of the four candidates — Kathy Brewton, Linda Garber, Carl Stoltzfus and Steve Warner – Kathy, Linda and Carl were elected this year.”

The board’s statement didn’t explain why it took so long to notify its 50,000-plus members, who own the credit union, about the departure of its CEO.

The board also didn’t address whether the loss of its chairman and president and the secrecy about the changes are reasons for concern about the financial stability of the credit union. Steffensen, though, said, “Interra’s financial stability remains very strong, as evidenced by the year end capital ratio of 12.14%, exceeding peer ratios. The positive trends reflected in the 2012 financials are continuing year-to-date 2013.”

Interra has more than $665 million in assets, the board reported Thursday. That’s up from the $644 million at the end of 2012, as Sheets told the credit union members at Interra’s annual meeting in March.

The credit union did announce that it plans to construct a new office in Shipshewana along S.R. 5 near E&S Sales. “We anticipate a ground-breaking this month,” Miller said in Thursday’s statement.

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