John F. Hunter II
John F. Hunter II

Leading a transformation

CEO John F. Hunter II guided Mountain States CU from unknown to flourishing.

December 25, 2016

It’s been a year of transformation at Mountain States Credit Union in Johnson City, Tenn.

The $17 million asset institution is the smallest of 12 credit unions in its market, and until a little more than a year ago it had little name recognition.

But under the leadership of John F. Hunter II, the credit union has flourished.

“We had to get out and meet our potential members where they are,” says Hunter, who took over as CEO in June 2015. “We were proactive in letting them know who we are and what we have to offer.

“We brought a small credit union that was floundering to one that is now capable of providing what a large bank or credit union can offer,” he continues.

That means work had to be done. The list of accomplishments for the past year seems as though it should cover a time period at least twice as long.

The credit union, which serves 9,000 employees at 14 hospitals in the region, has revised more than 90 policies, updated its bylaws, created a new website, launched a mobile app with remote deposit, developed innovative loan programs with streamlined processes, updated its core processing system, and more.

“It might look like we took a shotgun approach, but there was a method to our madness,” Hunter says.

The innovations have paid off. In the past year, interest income increased 56%, investment income grew 102%, and net income climbed 159%.

Hunter says his proudest achievement in his first year leading the credit union was maintaining zero staff turnover.

People are happier, he says, now that their jobs are better aligned with their skill sets.

“Everyone is behind the vision,” Hunter says. “Our team now believes our credit union is significant and offers meaningful benefits to those in our field of membership. We work diligently to make members aware of how we can help them.”