How does a Credit Union truly “live”? We live through growth, growth inspired by change and change aligned with our Missions and Visions. Successfully completing a field of membership expansion, helping with the creation of a new logo, redoing our membership application and associated forms or my role in the execution of our remodeling plans all supports the growth of Martinsville DuPont Credit Union. As we grow, our membership and community grows. This brings value to my Credit Union and the Credit Union industry as a whole. My previous personal and business successes made the pairing of myself with MDCU a great fit. I was able to come in and understand the need for an organization to change. Along with the rest of the management team, I was able to find unrealized potential and bring that potential out. We all asked many questions… the questions of why things are done and if these same things can be done in a more efficient manner. Personally, I began to build positive employee relationships, which allowed me to connect with everyone on a level that inspired and welcomed change. As much as this organization needed to see change, I too needed an organization that I could give back too. My passion centers on helping people and that’s exactly what Credit Unions do – “Help People”. Everything the MDCU team and I have accomplished thus far in relation to this project along with items not yet seen or talked about helps my Credit Union truly live. With so much negativity in the world, Credit Unions need to be a positive ray of light in our communities. My project, “Change to Grow, Grow to Live” embodies MDCU’s mission to improve the quality of life and the financial well-being of our members and our employees.
How does this project bring value to the Credit Union industry? Well, opposite my project title, if you are not changing you are not growing; if you are not growing you are dying. Over 35 Credit Unions have failed or been placed into conservatorship in the last two years. No, my Credit Union is not on the verge of dying and yours may not be either. However, part of remaining relevant in our community and in the industry is completing projects in a strategic manner that will help us thrive individually and thus as an industry. And that is exactly what I am doing and taking part in at MDCU. While the Credit Union can simply maintain business practices that got them to this point in time, I am evaluating and implementing systems that will help us grow and thrive in a competitive market. Here are several examples…
- creation of an electronic safe deposit box form – cutting down member wait times and streamlining the process;
- the implementation of a gift card program offered to our membership at a rate lower than the competition;
- department reviews and training – seeking to improve processes or products;
- proposal and implementation of thermal receipt printers – driving down member wait time while increasing productivity;
- overhauling our vendor management program – increasing due diligence while operating within good business practices;
- rebranding, including a name and logo change – which I plan to reveal as part of my project;
- lastly, a culture change – one of a positive and energetic nature, geared towards building relationships, which is what I am all about!
The changes I am describing are taking place currently, while many of the aforementioned projects have already been accomplished. This culture eventually trickles out to other areas, regions, communities and our membership. We can choose to “Change to Grow, Grow to Live” within our own Credit Unions which will pump life-blood into the industry or we can stay the same, retract and possibly see our industry as a whole cease to exist.
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” – Gail Sheehy