Just like every rock star needs a band, Blake Graham knows that behind every successful credit union there’s a hard-working team.
During his two-year tenure as vice president of lending at Atlanta Postal Credit Union, Graham helped select and implement a new lending platform to modernize and automate processes.
A centralized lending center now includes mortgages, consumer loans, and business lending to serve the 111,648 members at Georgia’s oldest credit union.
Graham knows he couldn’t have done it alone, and credits answered prayers and the strong support of the entire team at the $2 billion asset credit union—all the way from the board of directors to the front-line staff—for his success.
“We’re a big credit union, but we’re small at heart. We need the entire team engaged in meeting member expectations and providing exceptional products and service,” Graham says. “We wanted to make the loan process more efficient and improve cross-selling, which meant engagement from everyone, including the senior management team to the tellers.”
The work is starting to pay off. “Migrating to centralized lending is starting to bear fruit. We’re seeing great loan growth,” he says.
Graham, whose career began with a part-time job at a credit union, enjoys the variety of work his position brings.
“I never know what the day will bring,” he says. “It’s never boring; there’s always something new.”
But his favorite part of his job is seeing the credit union’s staff grow, develop, and meet their goals. With a more efficient loan process, the team can now focus on the member experience, he says. “Our goal is to answer every phone call.”
“Blake is great at his job and he values the importance of staff buy-in to achieve results for the credit union membership,” says Brandee Bickle, senior advocacy officer with Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.
“Put simply, he realizes the importance of fostering a team environment, and that no one person does it by themselves.”