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Illinois League’s Dan Plauda Dies
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6:35 AM

Dan Plauda

The credit union community is mourning the loss of Dan Plauda, who retired less than two years ago after a long and laudable career with the Illinois Credit Union League. The 69-year-old Plauda, who served as the league's president/CEO for two decades, passed away over the weekend.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan’s family and friends as they deal with this unexpected loss. Dan was a leader for many years in the credit union industry—across the country [and] Illinois—as well as a mentor and friend to many of us,” Illinois Credit Union League President/CEO Tom Kane said. “He hired me nearly 13 years ago and always impressed me as a smart, big-hearted, pragmatic, and decisive leader with a great sense of humor and perspective on the challenges of running a successful league and national service corporation.”

In 1984, Plauda was appointed president/CEO of the league and its for-profit subsidiary LSC, becoming only the fourth person to serve in that position since the league was founded in 1930. 

He launched his league career in 1977 when he was hired as the organization’s first general counsel by then president/CEO Dick Ensweiler, who serves as president/CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League.

According to the league, one of Plauda’s first and most important accomplishments was drafting and passing the recodification of the Illinois Credit Union Act in 1979, which ushered in a new era of services the credit union movement could provide to its members.

Plauda also formed the Illinois Credit Union Foundation to benefit the needs of small credit unions throughout the state. For 37 years, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships, community service grants, peer assistance, and emergency and natural disaster aid.

To better communicate the needs of credit unions to state lawmakers, Plauda expanded and restructured the league’s governmental affairs department and opened a branch office in Springfield, Ill. He also grew the league’s Credit Union Political Action Council, which raised more than $368,000 in 2015.