‘Start with purpose’ in new markets
Michael Mattone of Mid-Hudson Valley Federal leads expansion efforts.
As the new vice president, community impact, at $1.1 billion asset Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union in Kingston, N.Y., Michael Mattone has an important job ahead of him. In September 2019, the credit union received NCUA approval to expand into four additional counties. Mattone will play an integral role in the expansion efforts.
Credit Union Magazine: What will your new role entail?
Mattone: I will spearhead efforts to grow in the four counties that were recently approved as part of our field-of-membership expansion. Specifically, I will develop and maintain meaningful relationships with community, business, and political leaders in our new territories to expand business opportunities and build brand efficacy. Additionally, I'll work with our retail, marketing, and lending teams to help implement their strategies for growth in our new counties.
Q: How has your marketing and business development background prepared you for this role?
A: It’s essential to understanding the importance of brand and relationship building. Entering our new counties, we need to first establish our brand as a trusted financial partner committed to working with our members throughout their lifetime financial journey. Having experience in branding and spending time out in the field, cultivating meaningful relationships, will be critical in helping me accomplish our goal of becoming the financial institution of choice for residents and businesses in our new counties.
Q: How will you approach potential members in these new markets?
A: The most important part is staying true to our mission, guiding principles, and core values. Particularly in areas where most people have not yet interacted with the brand, we need to clearly deliver our brand's value and promise. Through effective communication, building strong relationships with key community stakeholders, and aligning ourselves with groups and causes that these communities hold in high regard, we will be able to build a strong and meaningful connection with potential members.
Q: What will be your biggest challenge?
A: We are no longer competing with just financial institutions. We are competing with online lenders, money-movement platforms, fintech firms, and even retail organizations offering certain financial services. Ultimately, we provide members with a service, so these new members will be comparing the services we provide with every other organization they do business with, regardless of industry. Making sure we truly wow new members with our service quality and differentiate ourselves from competitors will be a big initial challenge. But we are ready to take it head-on.
Q: How did serving as chair for the New York Credit Union Association’s Young Professionals Commission prepare you for this new role?
A: As chair, I was responsible for managing a group of people working throughout the state and making sure we accomplished our goals—even though we all had many other responsibilities and projects that took our time and focus. Similarly, in this role I'll be working to ensure that, while everyone is not solely focused on our new market growth or physically working in the new market, our entire team does what we need to do to accomplish our strategic vision.
Q: What advice would you offer about reaching out to new markets after a charter expansion?
A: Start with purpose when building out your plan and bring in everyone who will be involved at the beginning of the process. Entering a new market without having all key stakeholders involved to build your foundation will lead to cracks in the walls, and it will hinder your short- and long-term growth. When you make sure everyone is on the same page, you will have a more cohesive and focused strategy.