Jim Morrell
Peninsula Community Federal Credit Union President/CEO Jim Morrell

PODCAST: Serve members with empathy

Discover and address consumers’ unique needs, advises Peninsula CU CEO Jim Morrell.

January 4, 2019

Credit unions can't serve members in a one-size-fits-all fashion.

“We cannot treat every single person we interact with the same way,” Jim Morrell, president/CEO of $183 million asset Peninsula Credit Union in Shelton, Wash., tells the CUNA News Podcast. “Everybody has their own story.”

To determine the stories of people in the area, Morrell says his credit union went through a process called empathy mapping, or understanding what influences a member’s story.

The process involves figuring out what the member is thinking about, seeing, doing, and hearing in their own lives, as well as what pains and opportunities exist, Morrell says. All these factors contribute to how the member feels about their financial well-being.

At Peninsula, that means meeting with members in different locations in the community, such as social service organizations.

Also, inspired by taking part in the National Credit Union Foundation's Credit Union Development Education program, Morrell committed to getting his entire staff certified as community development certified financial counselors.

Understanding your members’ stories and aligning your passion with your mission will benefit your credit union and make a lasting impact on the member.

“Between your personal passion and the mission of your organization, you’ll create ‘wow’ stories that will benefit people—not only for their lifetime, but for the generations that follow and what gets left behind,” Morrell says.

A strong believer in cooperative banking worldwide, Morrell has visited credit unions in Zimbabwe to share and glean knowledge. Credit unions are known locally there as SACCOs—savings and credit cooperative organizations.

Marjory Mhandu, Secretary of the National Association of Savings and Credit Unions of Zimbabwe, served as his personal host for the trip. See photos from his visit below.

  • Slide 01

    Jim Morrell at Zimpta Coop Credit Union with two staff members and host Marjory Mhandu (left) of Zimbabwe’s credit union association.

  • Slide 02

    Jim Morrell at Municipality of Harare SACCO with manager Tendai Makanazi Matiyamga (to Morrell’s right) and board members, including Farai Mtawa (to Morrell’s left).

  • Slide 03

    Jim Morrell at University SACCO with board members, and host Marjory Mhandu (to Morrell’s right) and Owen Mabukwa (second from left) of Zimbabwe’s credit union association.

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