‘Stand True’ during distress
Board chair Terry Davidson seeks to develop unique solutions for True Sky Credit Union members.
The darkest part of the night is when the stars come out.
That’s certainly the case in Oklahoma City, where $720 million asset True Sky Credit Union created the Stand True program to assist members as they coped with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We knew we needed to have an unprecedented response to unprecedented circumstances,” says Terry Davidson, board chair. “The Stand True program gave us an umbrella under which we could easily adapt and expand services as the world around us evolved.”
Stand True featured no/low-interest, instant-decision personal loans, business lending, and more than 15,000 well-check calls to check on members. It also involved adopting local restaurants and virtually celebrating the class of 2020.
Unique solutions are nothing new for True Sky.
When the longest government shutdown in history occurred in late 2018 into 2019, Davidson drove an initiative to ensure every affected member employed by the federal government was taken care of.
That meant providing $10 million in 0% loans and credit cards, fee waivers, skip-a-pays, and mortgage forbearance.
Davidson created the Sky Crew team, which performs random acts of kindness around the metro area, and supported the launch of RiseUp!, a women’s leadership and innovation group.
Davidson joined the credit union’s board in 1977. He took an eight-year sabbatical but has served on the board for 40 years.
Looking ahead, Davidson is excited about True Sky’s technology investments as the credit union undergoes a core conversion.
“We’re transitioning from being a community financial institution to being a technology company with purpose,” says Davidson, who’s been board chair for the past two years. “We will keep the same heart for service that we’ve always had, but we’ll offer a full range of solutions to meet every member where they are with what they need and when they need it.”
His advice for anyone seeking to be on a credit union board is simple: Have the desire to serve and believe in the movement.
“This isn’t a title, it’s an opportunity to serve. Make sure you have the time and desire to do that. And you have to believe in the credit union movement and be prepared to invite other people to join it,” he says.
“Volunteering is a way to drive the movement forward, and we carry a responsibility to leave the credit union and the industry better than how we found it. If you run for the board for any other reason, you’ll end up being disappointed.”