The employees learned Jan. 18 that their jobs had been eliminated. After the layoffs, the credit union employs 73 people.
In an emailed statement sent by a credit union spokesperson, interim CEO Kelly Smith said the organization began planning changes in late 2018 to “realign with core credit union activities and to reach staffing levels in line with peer credit unions — both regionally and nationally.”
“We appreciate the talent and hard work of the entire ACFCU team, including those who have left us,” Smith said in the statement. “These decisions are never easy. We owe it to our membership to operate as efficiently as possible, however, and this is one of several steps we will take in 2019 to improve in this area.”
Director of Communications and Community Relations Jeff Keeling would not discuss the nature of the structural changes or the core credit union activities the layoffs were designed to enable. He said information related to the business’ organizational strategy was not appropriate to disclose publicly.
Appalachian Community’s previous CEO, Ron Scott, announced his resignation on Jan. 4 after more than 8 years with the credit union. Publicly, Scott said he was leaving to move west and be with his family. On Jan. 11, he was found dead.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jeff Miller said his death is under investigation, and more information should be released to the public after an autopsy is completed.
On Jan. 10, an open letter to credit union members from board chairman Royden Russell posted on the institution’s website announced Scott’s resignation and the departure of two other leadership team members.
“I can reassure you that ours is a stable and strong financial institution,” the letter said. “I simply wanted to make you aware of these changes and emphasize that your level of service will not change.”