Lacamas, iQ credit union consolidation is official July 1

Lacamas President/CEO Kathleen Romane to retire

Members of Lacamas Community Credit Union recently received letters in the mail, welcoming them to the iQ Credit Union ‘family.’

During a special meeting of the LCCU membership on June 12, members voted 79 percent in favor of approving consolidation plans between Lacamas and iQ.

The vote puts the merger of the two organizations on track to be effective July 1.

The combined new institution will have 15 branch locations, 240 employees and nearly 70,000 members.

A system conversion is expected to take place over the next eight months.

In January, Lacamas Community Credit Union and iQ Credit Union announced their intentions to consolidate their individual financial institutions into a single, larger credit union.

A team of employees from both credit unions has been overseeing the transition process. The merged organization will be known as iQ Credit Union.

No employee jobs are expected to be lost as a result of the consolidation.

The timing of the announcement was linked to the pending retirements of Lacamas President and Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Romane and iQ President and CEO Roger Michaelis. Romane plans to retire in July, and Michaelis is set to retire at the end of this year. Romane was named the president and CEO of Lacamas in 2003, after serving as the vice-president and chief operations officer for five years. Michaelis has led iQ since 1984.

A combined new board will conduct a search for a CEO to lead the larger institution.

Local Lacamas branches are located at 19200 S.E. 31st St., Camas; and 640 “E” St., Washougal.

Through its Campus Branch Program, iQ has student-run sites at Camas High School, 26900 S.E. 15th St., and Union High School, 6201 N.W. Friberg Strunk St., Camas. Additionally, iQ has a local branch at 1615 N.W. Sixth Ave., Camas.

Questions can be directed to the iQ member services center at 695-3441.

Lacamas CEO looks to the future

Romane plans to spend more time with her family and write a book, after enjoying “a fulfilling career in the credit union industry.”

The book will include her personal testimony.

“My life’s journey includes growing up very poor with both parents disabled when I was only 6 or 7,” Romane said. “My relationship with my father was strained and framed some early adulthood issues for me.

“I became a Christian in 1993 and began a journey of healing and forgiveness,” she added. “This will be the primary focus of my book.”

Romane’s career will be a secondary focus.

“I didn’t have the option of attending college, as I began working part-time at the age of 11 and full-time as soon as I graduated high school,” she said. “In spite of the lack of education, early in my career I knew I would be a CEO someday. Mission accomplished.

“There are many other trials along my journey that I believe will serve as an inspiration for women,” Romane added.

She has taken numerous courses in accounting, business and computer science.

Romane has also completed numerous industry-specific schools in financial management, lending and human resources.

“The most challenging was Advanced Leadership at Harvard School of Business,” she said. “For that school, I spent well over 40 hours on required advance case studies for numerous companies to formulate recommendations on strategic initiatives.”

“I do not have a formal degree,” Romane added.

She served as president of the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce from September 2006 through June 2011. Romane is also a former director of the Washington Credit Union League.