Local Credit Union Nationally Recognized for its Commitment to its Mission
Release date: 6/27/2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (June 28, 2012) – Truliant Federal Credit Union was recently featured in Forbes Magazine’s online edition for the Credit Union’s focus on its mission. The article, written by August Turak, business consultant and author, features a glowing review of Truliant’s single-minded commitment to its mission of service that has allowed the Credit Union to avoid the risky excesses of the financial bubble that crippled so many of its peers and drove so many others into bankruptcy.
“Our strong commitment and long-term focus on our mission of enhancing the financial lives of our member-owners, has enabled us to build a sustainable business model,” said Marc Schaefer, President and CEO of Truliant. “Our main focus is understanding and meeting the needs of our member-owners to help them build strong financial futures. This was reflected in our 9% annual deposit growth over the last four years during the poor economy.”
According to Schaefer, growth and earnings at Truliant are never the focus, but a byproduct of successfully executing its mission. “People are looking for better financial institution alternatives,” he said. “They come to Truliant to get personalized financial advice from a trusted resource that only has their best interest in mind. This focus has enabled us to help more members reach their financial goals.”
Focusing on its mission has also led Truliant to develop nonconventional business metrics to measure its successful execution, as opposed to simply measuring growth in dollars. Last year alone, the Credit Union completed over 137,000 Trufinancial Checkups, financial reviews to help its member-owners reach their goals faster, while saving them money on loans and helping them earn more on deposits. Through this process, Truliant employees discovered 197,000 member-owner needs and were able to fulfill over 100,000 of them in 2011.
Additionally, to augment the execution of its mission, Truliant recently promoted two employees to Vice President, Member Experience. Rik Kielbasa will focus on Member Contact and Online Channels, while Sherri Thomas will oversee Member Financial Centers. Their sole responsibility is to ensure that members have a great experience with Truliant while enhancing their financial lives.
“Providing members with high-quality, personalized member service has never been more important,” said Thomas. “Not only is today’s financial services segment very competitive, but many institutions have cut corners in customer service, and our reputation for service catered specifically to each member-owner is what has allowed us to grow.”
Truliant communicated this commitment to its mission to its newer board members by focusing an entire three-day board and top management strategic planning session on this topic, as mentioned in Turak’s Forbes article. Several volunteers on the board were moved by testimonial videos of members revealing how Truliant had transformed their lives and businesses, which can be viewed on YouTube.
“They make all the tools available without pushing anything on you,” said Patrick Helmick, who worked with Truliant for a small business loan to start his food truck business. “Some organizations are too aggressive and indifferent. Truliant took the time to focus on me and my goals, and we sat there until I understood every aspect of the transaction. I consider Truliant a partner in Jaquin’s Rolling Tacos.”
“They’re not here for numbers, they’re here for individuals,” said member-owner Michael Sheets, who’s main goal was to get out of debt. He was amazed that his member service specialist, Ciji Hairston, stayed after closing hours on a Saturday to help him find ways to do so. “This is where I need to be, helping you,” Sheets recalled her saying.
Turak noted in his Forbes article that, while weary of customer testimonials, one in particular nearly brought tears to his eyes.
“Truliant is its people,” said member-owner Jennifer Manuel. “We’ve never had a relationship with the people like we have at Truliant, and they changed our lives.” Manuel and her husband, Van, never thought they could afford even a modest vacation home, and their member service specialist reviewed ways to help them save money and move high interest credit card debt to a lower interest option. “With Truliant’s help and guidance, we were able to buy a vacation cottage,” said Manuel.
About Truliant Federal Credit Union
Truliant Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial institution that provides affordable financial services to its member-owners. Truliant was chartered in 1952 and now serves more than 190,000 members and has 22 Member Financial Centers in NC, SC, OH and VA.
About August Turak
August Turak has integrated his life-long passion for personal and organizational transformation with a highly successful career as an entrepreneur, consultant, and executive with a variety of companies like MTV Networks, A&E Networks, United Press International, and Bell Atlantic. He draws on his experience as the protégé of the man who founded the IBM Executive School, 14 years working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, and over 30 years of business experience.