TRACY MYERS LEARNED POWERFUL LESSONS about community partnerships while growing up in the small, cotton-mill town of Eden, N.C., where her father worked in the mills and her mother owned a beauty salon.
“The concept of people helping people really touched me,” says Myers, member development manager at Allegacy Federal Credit Union in Winston-Salem, N.C. “The success of my mother’s business was in reaching into the community. If she cut the hair of someone who ran the local tire shop, that’s where she’d buy tires.”
Myers, who began her credit union career as a 19-year-old teller at Advantage Credit Union in her hometown, has tapped that community partnership ethic to help Allegacy Federal enhance its select employee group (SEG) program. Since Myers’ arrival at Allegacy in 2012, SEG participation has grown 20% among more than 650 sponsor groups.
“We spent a lot of time evaluating our SEG program, and determining who we wanted to be and how we wanted to help provide financial services,” she says. “Instead of concentrating on the numbers of SEGs, we wanted to make sure members had the same experience as when they came into one of our financial centers.”
Allegacy also aims to provide a more integrated SEG experience. For example, if an employer expresses an interest in business lending, one of the credit union’s commercial services representatives joins the member development staff in making visits to the company.
Member development staffers extend help and advice to human resources representatives, and the credit union and SEG member CEOs maintain an open line of communication.
Allegacy Federal has focused on expanding services to its SEGs, offering assistance on wellness programs, benefits, insurance, real-estate services, and payroll. “It’s a multilevel approach that involves the entire organization,” Myers says.
She places high importance on Allegacy Federal’s financial literacy efforts. Its Student Run Credit Union program has grown to eight high schools since her arrival. Students run the credit unions three days a week during lunch periods.
“Financial literacy is a deep need in North Carolina and across America,” she says. “This is our opportunity to give students real-life experience in the financial industry and in managing their own finances.”
Myers also helps lead The Center for Smart Financial Choices, created by Allegacy, providing financial education in the community and to its SEG members.
“It’s people helping people,” she says. “That speaks to the credit union and it speaks to my upbringing.”