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YOU’LL OFTEN FIND sports enthusiast Bud Heifort at a ball field. But even then, he’s available to the members of $36 million asset North Memorial Federal Credit Union in Robbinsdale, Minn., where he serves as vice president of lending.
“He is a cornerstone of our institution. He makes himself available to members via cellphone for their weekend purchases and even takes calls on vacation,” says Dana Garrett, North Memorial Federal’s president/CEO.
Heifort makes each and every member his top priority, no matter what. He understands that the members are the heart of the credit union.
“When I work with a member, first, I try to listen to what he or she needs and then provide options. I know that each member may be coming from a different situation. All members have a different story to share with us and their credit report supports their story in almost every case. It’s my job to listen to their story and figure out a way for the credit union to help them,” says Heifort.
Even if a member has a less-than-favorable credit history, Heifort works with that person to improve his or her finances. He recently worked with a member for 17 months to repair his credit and turn a “no” into a “yes.”
“He understands the ebb and flow of the credit cycle and works with members of all credit scores to find the best product, pricing, and payment arrangements for all of life’s situations,” Garrett says. “He works tirelessly to make the lending process seamless and convenient for members. This is an excellent example of his commitment to our members and our members respect of his expertise and delivery.”
The credit union’s membership includes health-care professionals such as nurses and doctors, but also maintenance employees. Heifort believes all members deserve respect and that “even though members might not leave with a loan, they leave with their dignity.”
Heifort maintains that the service he provides to members wouldn’t be possible without the help of his co-workers.
“I’ve played baseball all my life and, like the credit union, it’s a team effort,” he says. “No individual player will cause you to win or lose a baseball game. You’re only as successful as the people you’re surrounded by.”