Podcast: Howard Details Plans to Merge Merrimack Valley and RTN Credit Unions; March 29 Vote

Merrimack Valley Credit Union President and CEO John J. Howard. (WHAV News photograph.)

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Merrimack Valley Credit Union members are being asked to vote in about two weeks to approve a merger with RTN Federal Credit Union.

Members will cast votes at a special meeting to approve the merger and update the bylaws to reflect RTN’s field of membership, which covers those who “reside, work or attend school in Worcester County…and immediate family members.” Merrimack Valley Credit Union President and CEO John J. Howard, appearing last week on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program, said there have been many credit union mergers over the years within the industry and involving Merrimack Valley Credit Union.

“What happens is we become part of our family tree. Unified is a part of our family tree. Ocean Spray Credit Union is a part of our family tree. Merrimack College Credit Union is a part of our tree. Lawrence Postal Employees Credit Union is a part of our tree. So, there are multiple credit unions that make up the family tree of what our credit union is today,” he explained.

Howard formerly led Bridgewater Credit Union and became president and CEO of both institutions following a 2019 merger.

The current merger plan is recommended by Merrimack Valley’s board of directors. Following member and regulatory approval, RTN Treasurer and CEO Richard E. Wright will serve as a special advisor to Howard.

Merrimack Valley Credit Union, founded in 1955 to serve employees of the former Merrimack Valley Works of Western Electric, has more than $1.2 billion in assets. There are 10 branches located in Bridgewater, Fairhaven, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, Plymouth and Quincy in Massachusetts and Plaistow and Seabrook in New Hampshire. Following the merger, there will be 19 branches.

Howard said credit unions are owned by its members and membership qualifications vary based on a credit unions’ charter.

“Different types of charters that different credit unions have: There’s a geographic charter which is what Merrimack Valley’s charter is. There is a SEG which is a specific employer group. For example RTN, started out with Raytheon and that’s how they began their process,” he said.

The merger vote takes place Wednesday, March 29, between noon and 6 p.m., at Merrimack Valley Credit Union’s main office, 500 Merrimack St., in Lawrence. Only those members appearing person may cast a ballot.

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