Editor's note: Due to a piece of CUES communication that had the wrong deadline date, we have decided to allow Alexia's late application. Since the Northeast now has two applicants, the finalist in that region will be determined by the public vote starting Friday, June 10.
Alexia Mavrakes is a 29-year-old Marketing Manager with Aspire Federal Credit Union ($180M) in Clark, New Jersey.
Synopsis: In today's economic climate, it will be increasingly difficult for credit unions to grow and prosper if we continue as simply "order takers" rather than actively seeking sales opportunities. If we do not ask for our members' business, we will not get it! That is why I am going to implement a sales environment in a culture of service at Aspire Federal Credit Union.
Credit unions have always been known for our personalized service and it's important to maintain that reputation in order to compete with banks. But given our current economy, is that enough to keep our members loyal to us? NO! We need to do all we can to help our members save money while making our credit unions profitable, going back to our roots as true financial cooperatives.
My plan is to divide our organization into three main functions: sales, service and support. There will be a new sense of interdependency amongst departments as each department will have experts in specific products and services. However, every department will be focused on sales so that we can recommend the right products to our members to help them realize their financial aspirations. And that goes right back to providing excellent member service! By helping our members in this way, we stand to create more loyal members who will give us more of their business, while contributing to the success of our credit union by increasing share of wallet.
This project will be an evolutionary process involving the restructuring of all of our departments, revising job descriptions and positions to reflect expertise in each area, and changing the way some of our employees are compensated, as our front line sales staff will be incented to ask for our members' business. In some ways, this evolution has already begun to take shape at Aspire and I look forward to helping build the momentum to ensure our lasting success and many years of member service ahead of us!