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CEO's Annual Message: Anticipating Needs in an Ever Changing Environment

Contributed by: Heath Combs

The following message was written by our Chief Executive Officer Marc Schaefer for our 2018 Annual Report. 

The beauty in the mission of Truliant is that our primary responsibility is to improve our members’ lives and in doing so have them choose us as their primary financial institution. As our Chairman indicates in his annual message to the membership, that quest requires us to follow our members’ lead on how, where and when they wish to be served. Furthermore, we are charged with anticipating those preferences in a dynamically changing social and technological environment. We need to know what our members will want and how they will want it delivered – even before they do.

Truliant enjoys the advantage of having built our foundation on the bedrock of understanding and prioritizing the best interest of our members. Ensuring that we have a fully-committed and mission-driven team of financial services professionals and a strong fiscal position are what makes it possible to continue our mission. It is amazing how our sponsor companies, our team of more than 700 professionals, our volunteer Board, Supervisory Committee and Advisory Board come together to create a compelling and valuable alternative that enables our more than 239,000 members and small businesses to build and strengthen their own financial base.

Through good times and bad, Truliant has been there as a constant and trustworthy resource to assist our members as they face the challenges and opportunities life brings.

How do we know that we are having an impact that helps members improve their lives? While not an easy metric to gauge, during 2018 we engaged directly with our members over 96,967 times uncovering over 150,813 specific needs tied to their goals. At a deeper level, we helped members discover the “why” in their lives over 41,344 times uncovering 60,919 mid-range goals and 32,507 personal milestones. Our people, technology and processes obviously take our members beyond a product, rate or term to what matters to them in their life journey.

Once you know how your product decisions fit your path, rate does make a difference; we conducted more than 27,000 No-Cost Credit Reviews to help improve cost and access to credit.

With attractive rates and terms, we were able to provide 23,704 auto loans for $505 million to meet their transportation needs. We extended mortgage loans to 347 member households for nearly $59 million to finance their homes and an additional $187 million to 3,243 households in home equity loans.

Our member business services area extended $55 million in capital for 92 term loans and an additional $2.9 million in lines of credit to our small businesses.

We are proud that more than 1,000 companies and organizations have chosen Truliant to provide affordable financial services and guidance to their employee base. Seventeen new Business Partners joined their ranks in 2018 adding access to Truliant for about 3,000 of their teammates and associates.

As we continued to provide access to members where they live, work and play – and coming off of the recent expansion by ten new Member Financial Centers in the Charlotte area (for a total of 13) – we’re adding to our footprint in the Greensboro market with two additional locations. Even as we expand our offering of useful digital access to all of our services from anywhere/anytime, we will continue to complement them with physical locations that provide access to our talented teams with their own set of tools for service and guidance.

Providing affordable financial services, including guidance, to the broad swath of consumers in our geographic footprint as a not-for-profit is, in itself, a valuable social good and where we devote most of our resources.

In addition, we are committed to being a valued partner to improve each of our communities, urban and rural, where we are a part of the fabric. To that end, our commitment to financial education, youth, basic needs and arts and culture was evident in our collaboration with our communities in 2018. In 2018, these alliances included sponsoring or participating in more than 250 local events, and contributing $435,000 to our member communities through corporate sponsorships, community mini grants, scholarships, financial education grants and charitable donations.

No matter the ups and downs of our economy or the speed of change in our lives, Truliant will be there to support our members and small businesses. Our longevity is not driven by a point in time (e.g. 1952) or a specific group of organizers and operators. It is driven by the idea that we will always stay true to the mission of improving members’ lives over the course of time and as those needs change.

Successive generations of committed leaders, both professionals and volunteers, along with members who understand the value proposition of a financial institution that has their best interest at heart, propels us forward into the future where we will become even more adept in improving member lives.

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