news.cuna.org/articles/117825-doubling-down-for-members-staff
2020-06-117825_

‘Doubling down’ for members, staff

‘Heroes Among Us’ honor recognizes CEO for supporting employees.

June 2, 2020

As coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions create challenges for U.S. workers, Hope Luberda is thankful she works at St. Cloud (Minn.) Financial Credit Union. And she wants everyone to know it.

Luberda, a mortgage processor at the $202 million asset credit union, nominated President/CEO Jed Meyer for recognition in “Heroes Among Us,” a program sponsored by a local radio station to recognize those who make a difference in others’ lives during the COVID-19 crisis.

The radio station recognized Meyer as one of its heroes, featuring him on its website as a “credit union CEO looking out for employees.”

Luberda couldn’t agree more. She told the radio station how Meyer treated credit union employees to 12 days of take-out lunches from local restaurants out of his own pocket. Meyer also worked with the credit union board to give employees a bonus to ease financial anxieties brought on by the pandemic.

And Luberda admires the way St. Cloud Financial partnered with $188 million asset Great River Financial Federal Credit Union, also in St. Cloud, to provide more than 300 meals for local residents.

But Luberda says it’s more than Meyer’s actions that leave an impression on her.

“Everything he says and does comes from the heart,” she says. “We need more people like him.”

The pandemic has been an anxious time for everyone, especially those who work with the public. Like so many workplaces, St. Cloud Financial implemented many changes in a short time when COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

“We always knew our leadership team—the board and Jed—had our backs,” Luberda says. “They always told us, ‘We’re a strong credit union. We’ll work through this.’

“Every change we made had a reason behind it,” she continues. “We understood everything from the beginning. We knew we were going to be okay. That gave us strength to get through this.”

Information empowers employees, Meyer says. “Part of my job is to let people know as much as I can and tell them how we’re going to respond as a group. That gives them confidence. That’s empowerment.”

He calls the award “one of the highlights of my career because the nomination came from an employee, unbeknownst to me.”

Meyer says St. Cloud Financial’s mission is to make “a meaningful difference” in the lives of members, employees, and community. The COVID-19 crisis, despite its many challenges, has provided opportunities to do that.

“We’re doing nothing different,” he says. “In fact, we’re doubling down. There’s no better time for credit unions to make a difference than in times like these.”