HOUSTON, Tex. (10/29/10)--First Service CU and Right Choice CU are awaiting to hear that a merger application sent to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Texas Credit Union Department (TCUD) has been approved to combine the two institutions, it was announced on Wednesday. Both First Service President/CEO Jerry Shrode and Right Choice President/CEO David Bleazard see the merger as ‘a partnership’ between the two credit unions. “Size matters for community credit unions’ survival long term,” said David Bleazard. “We see this as a partnership of similar cultures, complimentary memberships and services.” Although Right Choice is the acquiring credit union in the transaction, the new, combined credit union will take the name First Service Credit Union to retain the brand identity. First Service is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Bleazard will be president and CEO of the combined credit union, with Shrode alongside focusing on strategic business development. Right Choice CU’s membership voted to convert from a federal to a state charter at a special membership meeting on July 15. Bleazard said the move to a state charter brings flexibility to concentrate on members’ needs within a 10-mile radius and allows Right Choice to focus on the underserved in the community. In addition, First Service, already a state-chartered credit union, is one of a group of credit unions that owns Town North Bank via the holding company CU Bank Shares, Inc. In order to retain First Service CU’s shares with the merger it was necessary to convert to the state charter, said Bleazard. Once First Service gets primary approval for the merger by NCUA, communications will go out to the membership on the Special Membership Meeting that tentatively set for Nov. 29, said Bleazard. First Service and Right Choice both are Houston based full-service credit unions. First Service currently serves over 34,000 members and has over $180 million in assets. Right serves over 17,000 members and has over $120 million in assets.