2016 Applicant: Jill Gerschutz

Jill Gerschutz is a 34-year-old VP of Marketing & Strategic Planning of Credit Union of Ohio ($138M) in Hilliard, Ohio, United States.

Project Title
Building Financial Strength one member at a time

Short Pitch
This project will improve financial strength in our community through educational outreach and personalized financial counseling, one member at a time.

Late in 2015, I sat down with the Credit Union of Ohio business development team to revamp our business development efforts. We have been serving State of Ohio employees since 1967 and wanted to develop a plan to enhance our site visits and strengthen our relationships with the state agencies.

Our strategic plan included having two business development officers earn their Financial Counseling Certification (FiCEP) through CUNA. From there, we began offering “financial well checks” to the state agencies by sitting down for one-on-one appointments with our members and potential members to review their credit reports. This evaluation enables us to provide valuable tips and guidance on improving their score. It also provides an opportunity to see where they have loans and if we can help them save money by refinancing through Credit Union of Ohio. 

Through the first six months of the project, we have done nearly 250 checkups and have saved members significant money by lowering their interest rates. In addition, we are able to see where consumers are having the most challenges so we can continue to build programming and education workshops to address those common challenges. 

We will spend 2016 tracking our efforts through financial well check completion surveys. This will allow us to use information we gather as a benchmark to improve our goals in 2017 to impact more members, expand our current member relationships and save our members more money, overall. 

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