Take care of people, and the numbers will fend for themselves.
That sums up Bradley Dyer Jr’s approach to business development at $1.4 billion asset Credit Union of America in Wichita, Kan.
While the Jamaican-born senior business development officer doesn’t enjoy the state’s chilly winters, he’s committed to serving the area’s dedicated teachers and health care professionals who make up much of the credit union’s membership.
“The numbers are only one aspect of what we do,” Dyer says. “We’re a business, and financials are important. We take it to the next level by understanding the word ‘member,’ and how the services we offer positively impact their lives. Members must know you want to build a relationship together—they’re not just a person with a savings account.”
Successful business development professionals are adept at forming relationships, he says, believing building relationships requires “being your most authentic self.”
Dyer championed several products and services for educators and health care professionals, including incentives for checking accounts, low-rate auto loans, guaranteed teacher loans at discounted rates, and free home appraisals for teachers with mortgages through the credit union. His efforts resulted in 846 educators and health care professionals receiving more than $1.6 million in low-interest loans.
Credit Union of America also provides 40 TGIF (teach, grow, and inspire the future) grants each semester for $1,000 apiece awarded to educators to aid students and classrooms.
“Teachers regularly take money out of their own pockets to help fund their classrooms for things their students need,” Dyer says. “Earmarking $80,000 in grants makes a strong impact on the areas we serve. While they’re taking care of our kids, we’re taking care of them.”
Passionate about financial literacy, Dyer managed Credit Union of America’s addition of the “It’s a Money Thing” online financial literacy resource that includes free videos and complete lesson plans.
During pandemic lockdowns, the largest school district in Kansas featured this tool on its website. As a result, more than 40,000 elementary and high school students had access to financial education when they previously didn’t.
Dyer is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advocate internally, serving on the credit union’s CU4U team. This group of employees carries out Credit Union of America’s purpose of striving toward equality through honest conversations and actionable commitments to create an inclusive environment where people thrive.
The team includes the CEO, who reports the group’s efforts to the board. “We look at the demographic makeup of the organization to see if it reflects our membership and the community,” Dyer says. “Then we look at our hiring practices to see if they’re where we want them to be.
“DEI can be a sensitive subject,” he continues. “If we approach it in a proper way, we get people to understand it’s OK for everyone to want to be seen and included.”