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Shaffer taking reins at West Virginia Credit Union League

PARKERSBURG — A change in command is underway at the West Virginia Credit Union League.

Ken Watts is retiring as president and CEO and will be succeeded by Rich Shaffer. The retirement, capping a service span of 46 years, was effective at the end of April.

The announcements were made by league Chairman Joetta Heck.

“I am truly humbled and honored by the board’s decision. I have been very fortunate to have Ken has a friend and mentor over the past 33 years, and also work in a cooperative movement that puts people ahead of profit,” Schaffer said. “While I will deeply miss working with Ken, I look forward to continuing to build upon the strong foundation he has established over many years.”

Headquartered in Parkersburg, the league is the trade association for the 85 credit unions in West Virginia that have combined assets in excess of $4 billion.

“It is bittersweet for the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Credit Union League to announce the retirement of our president and leader, Mr. Ken Watts,” Heck said. “Ken has been leading our league for 32 years, but began his service long before that.”

Watts came to the league in 1975 as a field representative and moved up through the organization, becoming president in 1989.

“Ken has worked tirelessly to make sure that the Credit Unions in West Virginia not only survived, but thrived amid a mass of changes during his tenure,” Heck said.

Watt’s career includes testifying before Congress on behalf of the Credit Union National Association in support of the Financial Institution Examination Fairness and Reform Act and other association initiatives.

Watts was honored as with Credit Union House Hall of Leaders award in 2020 and the Eugene H. Farley League Leadership Award in 2021. He also was recognized by CUNA as a Credit Union Founders Club member for organizing several credit unions in West Virginia.

Schaffer has been with the league for the past 33 years and has served as senior vice president since 2004. He has been involved in all phases of the League’s operation and has directed the League Services Corporation during his tenure, Heck said.

“The league board feels Rich is very well suited to assume the duties as league president/CEO and to lead the League into the future,” she said.

The West Virginia Credit Union League was founded in 1936.

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