SAFE Credit Union in Folsom, Calif., is full of professionals and created a speakers bureau in 2021 to promote internal experts on topics such as leadership, personal finance, communication, and professional growth.
“We looked at the diverse talent across our organization and said, ‘Hey, we have something to offer. We have a lot of experts in different fields,’” says Micah Grant, assistant vice president of communications and public relations at the $4.1 billion credit union. “It’s a way to provide exceptional solutions and services to our members and in the community.
“There's some broad diversity in our company,” he adds, “and I think it's a great way to showcase it.”
The SAFE Credit Union Speakers Bureau includes everyone from the board chair to President and CEO Dave Roughton to the lending department, marketing, communications, community relations, and education departments.
Presenters are featured on the credit union’s website to make it easier for interested audiences, including employer groups, educational institutions, nonprofits, conferences, community groups, and media to reach them. “This isn't something that's mandatory, it's an opt-in process,” Grant says. “We try to leave it broad and diverse for people be able to share their expertise. We send it out to local media, colleges, and universities. We say, ‘Hey, if you need someone to guest lecture, if you just need some advice on a certain topic, we're happy to do that.’”
Local institutions have taken SAFE Credit Union up on the program. Financial wellness, career advice, executive leadership, and management are popular topic requests. Grant says that they’ll also get requests that don’t traditionally come to mind when thinking about a credit union.
“Not everyone in the financial services' industry has an accounting degree,” Grant says. “I have a communications degree. We have people with an American studies degree, sociology degrees. We even have people with law degrees, and they come and they work in a credit union and they say, ‘Well, I love where I work, but I want to do a little bit more.’”
The SAFE Credit Union Speakers Bureau has been successful since launching last summer. The program’s success is determined by the benefit it provides to the community.
“We just want to be resourceful,” Grant says. “We have a really holistic approach to community service. We feel that if you really operate and embed yourself in the communities where you operate, that's really the biggest gift and the biggest return and on investment from a humanistic and holistic standpoint.
“Not only is it beneficial for the community, it's also beneficial for our employees because they're also connected to other professional opportunities,” he continues. “And as our employees grow in influence, so does the influence of the credit union.”