LORI PERKINS IS ALWAYS “ON” when it comes to promoting the Rock Valley Credit Union (RVCU) in Loves Park, Ill.
At the gas station, waiting in line for a movie, or standing in the grocery store checkout line, Perkins spreads the word about RVCU.
And her 30-second elevator pitch is powerful and persuasive.
“You can’t say no to this lady,” says Mike Rosek, RVCU’s president/CEO. “People want to sign up after hearing her message. Her passion for her job; the credit union’s members, employees, products, and services; and the communities we serve is very real and contagious.”
Perkins says her enthusiasm comes naturally, from working 13 years at the credit union—the last six as director of marketing and business development. “When you feel that deeply, people know you’re sincere,” she says.
During the past five years, Perkins’ passion has translated into a sustained multimedia advertising presence in a highly competitive market, which has fostered growth at the credit union.
After taking the job, Perkins discovered confusion about the credit union in a community where numerous organizations use the Rock Valley name, including Rock Valley College. Perkins changed the credit union’s advertising jingle and enhanced its logo to emphasize the credit union.
Early in her drive to make RVCU’s branding consistent, a radio sales representative convinced Perkins to become the voice of the credit union in its commercials.
“He said, ‘You’re so passionate. People will believe you, because it’s coming from your heart,’” she recalls. “People have identified with it.”
RVCU’s youth accounts skyrocketed after Perkins established the “Wags to Riches Kidz Club,” which draws its name from a canine mascot, Wags. In addition to earning interest on savings deposits, kids earn “Wags Bucks,” which they can use to buy gift cards.
A zeal for networking led Perkins to advocate for greater community involvement, heightening RVCU’s visibility at community, charitable, and local school events.
She energized credit union members and staff in an effort to provide summer camping opportunities for children with disabilities. The fund-raising drive sent 35 kids to camp in the first year, more than double the original goal. In the past three years, the credit union has raised $15,000 for the cause.
The credit union also takes part in “Gifts of Love,” a December drive to provide gifts for children and adults with severe disabilities who live at a nearby facility.
“Lori is an absolute pro at networking, relationship building and creating goodwill about RVCU,” Rosek says.