At Hawaii State Federal Credit Union in Honolulu, three letters represent staff’s commitment to fostering service excellence: RBY.
That acronym reflects the key words in a motto introduced recently by the credit union’s president, Andrew Rosen: “Always right by you.”
“He has made everybody in the organization believe that everything we do always has to be ‘right by you,’ ” says James Haid, Hawaii State Federal’s director of corporate development.
“We go through the workday keeping that in mind with every situation that comes up.”
Credit unions across the country adhere to that philosophy by putting their members first in every decision they make, and every action they take.
Here, six credit union leaders share perspectives on how their organizations fulfill the three Unite for Good principles of removing barriers, creating awareness, and fostering service excellence.
Paula Nihoff, president/CEO, HealthCare First FCU, Johnstown, Pa.
“We teach blind and visually impaired students financial literacy. These college-bound kids are with us for three weeks and they learn how to maneuver, how to negotiate, how to handle their own banking, how to clean, how to cook—everything. And they do all of this in partnership with the credit union.”
John King, president/CEO, Eagle One FCU, Claymont, Del.
“We have lending products that are geared toward everyone. We try not to shut out those who have had issues, and we try to work with them. Managing our lending portfolio is a challenge; however, we’re helping people build credit, and our 70% loan-to-share ratio is pretty healthy.”
Patty Sarne, senior vice president and chief operating officer, San Antonio (Fla.) Citizens FCU
“Our employees tell each other when they help a member—for example, by refinancing a loan and saving them a lot of money. A transaction like that might be commonplace for us, but it’s a big deal for our member, and our goal is to make sure none of us forget that.”
Barbara Martin VanDuser, vice president of branch operations, GeoVista CU, Hinesville, Ga.
“Our mission is to help the underserved. And of course we do a lot of community service to spread the word.”
Michael Stremme, president/CEO, Kaiperm Diablo FCU, Walnut Creek, Calif.
“We’ve joined shared branching. Instead of having to drive 30 miles to a branch, our members can visit virtually any branch in their communities. We’ve increased expectations.”
Sheila Jones, board member, Tinker FCU, Oklahoma City
“More than 12,000 people attend our financial literacy courses. We also make serving the underserved community a priority. We serve a lot of people and we’re proud of that.”