Are CU heroes born or made?

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of of overwhelming obstacles” – Superman

There’s nothing quite like the optimism you feel when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve    a new year, a clean slate, and in 2020, a new decade.  Looking back, it seems like a lifetime ago – before we caught a glimpse of the devastating effects the Corona-villain would have on our communities, our economy, our country, and the world.

Superman was right, though. Heroes are ordinary individuals who rise up in the face of unprecedented challenges. This is why we created the Right on the Money Championship.

To say that we were absolutely blown away by the nearly 50 submissions was an understatement. There is an incredible amount of work that the financial services industry is doing to keep the economy afloat locally, domestically, and globally. The mainstream media isn’t really discussing the effect of these efforts, so we are stepping up  to provide a channel for credit unions and community banks to be seen and heard, while also sharing best practices.

Our finalists executed on initiatives, virtually overnight, serving both their communities and employees. These activities ran the gamut from providing members and employees with toilet paper to PPP loans and payment deferrals. Many institutions focused on community education around mortgage rates, wellness, and leveraging technology for personal, socially distant service.

Our esteemed panel of judges, including CUInsight CEO, Lauren Culp, had their work cut out for them when picking our top three winners.

Third place was awarded to Infinity Federal Credit Union. Among their achievements was their ‘We Will Rise’ community impact program, aimed at bringing joy and positivity to the community through random acts of kindness. Virtually, Infinity hosted Zoom sessions to assist members in refinancing their mortgages due to historically low interest rates. Onsite, they had curbside tellers to ensure that members were taken care of in a timely, safe manner. For employees, they instituted monthly awareness days, providing education around a variety of health causes – and themed dress-up days. 

Next up is our second place winner, InRoads Credit Union. Their launch of the InRoads LIVE experience, onsite and virtually, is commendable. Members are able to talk face-to-face with financial advisors at drive-thru teller machines and through their app. It is a winning combination, bringing both the human experience, and digital experience, together. They’re a smaller credit union with big credit union thinking – even emphasizing their commercial relationships with local businesses.

Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for … our Grand Prize winner was State Employees Credit Union of New Mexico. COVID-19 continues to have an enormous impact on working parents, especially with most schools transitioning to remote learning. SECU is an exemplary model of an institution putting their employees first, preserving member experience along the way. 

Their crowning achievement was the creation of ‘learning labs’ at each of their branches, along with providing equipment and tutors for the students. This helped ease the worries of parents regarding childcare and education as well as preventing them from having to make tough choices around their careers.  

When the judges had the opportunity to share remarks on the winner announcement webinar, Lauren highlighted how COVID-19 had a disproportionate impact on women, as childcare falls more heavily on women in the household. Although it was not specifically highlighted as a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative, the learning labs were just that. They ensured that all their employees, especially women, were able to bring their whole selves into work because they could bring their kids with them.

The Right on the Money Championship hosted by CRMNEXT was designed as an annual event, and this is just the beginning of our saga. We will continue to recognize credit unions and community banks and give them a platform to tell their incredible stories. We can’t wait to see what you all accomplish next year!

Victoria Weber

Victoria Weber

Victoria Weber is Manager, Marketing Enablement at CRMNEXT, a leading CRM solution for credit unions. She’s recognized for her proven ability to build strong relationships with customers, partners and ... Details