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New CEO James Nastars wants to take Meritrust to next level

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at 10:43 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at 9:51 p.m.

James Nastars is still about a month away from taking on the job as the new chief executive of the city’s largest credit union.

But one thing in his mind is certain: Meritrust Credit Union has created an organization that values and cares for its employees. And that’s an environment he will continue to foster when he joins it Feb. 13.

“I come from an organization like that,” Nastars said in an telephone interview with The Eagle. “It’s a tremendous place to be.”

Nastars, 48, is senior vice president of lending for University Federal Credit Union in Austin, Texas.

Nastars’ hiring at Meritrust follows the Sept. 30 departure of Bob Corwin, who joined Advantis Credit Union in his native Portland, Ore., as president and CEO.

Nastars, who was born in Schenectady, N.Y., joined UFCU in 1996 after working nearly eight years as a budget analyst and supervising auditor for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Before that, Nastars was an assistant auditor and officer for Temple, Texas-based Extraco Bank.

He said that after completing a master’s degree in business at the University of Texas in Austin in 1996, he had the desire to return to financial services.

“An opportunity presented itself here at University Federal, the perfect opportunity,” Nastars said. “I love the credit union movement. I love the credit union industry. It’s something I really enjoy being part of and I have no intention of going anywhere else.”

Before interviewing at Meritrust, Nastars knew of Wichita from passing through it, traveling from Austin to Boulder, Colo., to see his son, a student at the University of Colorado, and through his wife, Cynthia. She is the daughter of an airman who was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base when she was born. The Nastarses have four children.

Nastars said he is joining a financially strong credit union that has a deep commitment to community service.

He said his job as president and CEO will be to take the $830 million credit union to the next level.

“Meritrust is a great organization and … quite frankly it’s poised for its next phase of growth.”

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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