Sarah Vega

The Cooperative Credit Union Association, which represents credit unions in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Delaware, has found its next leader.

The organization’s board of directors has tapped Sarah Vega as president and CEO to replace Paul Gentile, who is leaving to become CEO of Rahway, New Jersey-based Merck Employees Federal Credit Union.

Vega was formerly chief of staff and senior policy advisor to NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters, a position she has held since 2014. Prior to that, she worked in the same capacity under NCUA Board Member Michael E. Fryzel.

“We are excited to welcome Sarah to the association. We are confident that her talents, experience and passion for credit unions will benefit our members,” Bernie Winne, president and CEO of Boston Firefighters Credit Union and a member of the association’s board and chairman of the Search Committee, said in a statement. “Our association has a proud history of excellence in advocacy on the regulatory, legislative and consumer awareness fronts and that will continue to be our core focus under Sarah’s leadership.”

Before the NCUA, Vega was director of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions and then as administrator of the department’s credit union division. She has served on the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank Chicago and as a member of the board of directors of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors.

Gentile held the top post at the CCUA for five years. His new position at Merck will involve overseeing an institution with more than $1.9 billion in assets, over 25,000 members and five branches.

CCUA Names New CEO and President

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min