Matt McCombs
Matt McCombs

Vibrant lives up to its name

Matt McCombs seeks to create value, align Vibrant CU's culture, and build engagement.

October 6, 2017

Baseball legend Yogi Berra once observed that “the future ain’t what it used to be.” But if anyone in the financial services industry is preparing for what tomorrow brings, it’s Matt McCombs, president/CEO of Vibrant Credit Union.

“The world is shifting speed, and not recognizing that could put credit unions in a vulnerable position,” McCombs says.

Matt McCombs

Click to enlarge. Vibrant CU team members and their families gather for the 4th of July Parade in Bettendorf, Iowa. President/CEO Matt McCombs understands that a happy work environment means success for the CU.

The challenge: The financial services industry is slow-moving and highly regulated. At the same time disruptions are changing technology and people’s lives. That’s why McCombs devotes a high percentage of his time to create value. He works with his team to align Vibrant’s culture and build high levels of engagement. He drives the $598 million asset credit union in Moline, Ill., forward by recruiting talent and securing new business.

“I have the fortunate job of leading a team of 200 employees,” McCombs adds. “You need happy, healthy employees to be able to serve your members. They must be able to pivot quickly if change is needed, and understand—and expect—that the world is changing.”

An internal, anonymous survey at Vibrant delivers evidence of the 35-year-old McCombs’s leadership skills. More than 75% of the credit union’s employees envisioned themselves working there for the rest of the career—not a small statement in an organization where 80% of employees are younger than age 40. Vibrant has been recognized as the Quad Cities Small Business of the Year, and as the Quad City Chamber’s Top Place to Work for Young Professionals.

‘You can put a dent in the universe.’

McCombs takes a personal stake in his employees’ success, meeting annually with each of them to talk about their ambitions and concerns.

“Matt truly believes, and has proven, that creating a happy work environment will translate into better business,” says Danielle Blocker, Vibrant’s marketing coordinator.

McCombs says very few jobs can match credit unions in allowing you to make such a positive impact.

“You can improve financial well-being and truly change the direction of the community,” he says. “What we do can be absolutely life-changing. You can build something that outlives you. It’s bigger than the sum of all the parts. You can put a dent in the universe.”