DURING THE THREE YEARS he’s been in the credit union movement, Dillon Tardif has already advanced to marketing manager at Seasons Federal Credit Union in Middletown, Conn.
That’s pretty good for someone who arrived knowing next to nothing about credit unions. “This industry is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. It’s become my mission to share that secret with the world.”
Seasons Federal likes the insights the 25-year-old brings to Generation Y. “My generation still wants branches because we like the one-on-one experience. Granted, we like the quickness and convenience of mobile services, but we also want information and resources we can access face-to-face.”
Tardif says Seasons Federal is creating “Kiosk,” a Gen Y-oriented outreach program. Its theme is “The Moments of Your Life” (i.e., first car, first house, first child), and will emphasize saving to achieve these important life goals and events.
“We’re thinking of setting aside a space in our branches for Kiosk, and introducing loans for weddings, engagement rings, etc.,” he says.
For three years, Tardif has designed Seasons Federal’s booth at the Meriden (Conn.) Daffodil Festival.
“I didn’t want a typical booth where we just stood around handing out literature. I wanted something that would appeal to families,” he says. “So, the first year we introduced a Plinko game. In year two, we had a slingshot set up where you’d get a prize if you could shoot something through a hole.”
This year, the credit union held a frog catapult, where people launched frogs onto lily pads of various sizes and heights. “Winners received small prizes, and everybody walked away with Seasons Federal information,” he says.
Tardif is a member of The Cooperative Trust, the Filene Research Institute’s young professionals initiative of which CUNA is a primary benefactor. Each year, some of its members crash a major industry event, such as CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference and the America’s Credit Union Conference.
Tardif created “Seasons’ Young Professionals,” which aims to “reinvent the credit union for the next generation.” He helped create, and now chairs, the Credit Union League of Connecticut’s Young Professionals Network.
For creative inspiration, Tardif plays Coldplay via Pandora, and “I have tchotchkes everywhere in my office and creative posters on the walls. I research ads from other industries, other credit unions, and banks.”