The following is Truliant President and CEO Marcus Schaefer’s speech from our Annual Meeting and Review of 2013 Financial Results on Monday, April 28, 2014.
If you’ll allow me, I’d like to be philosophical for a moment. I have friend who, like many of us, found himself rushing around trying to manage a busy work and personal life. One day he rushed home to pick up a suitcase that his wife packed for him and left on the porch for an unplanned trip to meet a client.
He recalled that, as he picked up the bag, his young son came out and said something to him. He was half way to the airport when he realized that while he had greeted his son, he had not listened to what he had said.
At that moment, he realized that he was not living in the moment and that he may be missing out on the value of the journey of life. He turned the car around, went back home and asked his son what he had said. The boy said: “I just asked if you could stay home.”
At that point he took his tie off and sat down with his son reading together from a book. Within an hour or so, his son asked if his father didn’t have something else to do so he could go play. While he was then prepared to take all the time in the world if necessary, he realized he could still comfortably make it to the meeting knowing his son was fine.
Most of us have had to learn the lesson to live in the moment; to be truly present in our lives.
Truliant’s members are living their lives hoping to be present for important moments as well. Often that means not worrying as much about how they are situated financially. Over and over again, our staff tells the story of how they guided a member to that place; a sense of comfort and confidence in where they are headed financially. It is often a simple gift for us to give and yet seemingly so unattainable for many people.
Truliant’s structure of sole ownership by the members, a volunteer Board who are first and foremost members, elected by those members, by one member, one vote, drives our mission-driven approach to focusing on improving members’ lives so that they may live in the moments of their lives.
Through over 120,000 TruFinancial Check-ups and 28,500 No Cost Credit Reviews, uncovering 115,000 member needs in 2013 alone, we’ve helped members drill down into the specifics to solve their own equation for financial success. Those conversations translated into over 525 homes for our members and provided access to real estate equity for over 2,000 more.
We provided financing, still at historically low loan rates, on nearly 17,200 new and used vehicles for members to have reliable and safe –okay maybe sometimes fun — transportation.
But even those member-oriented metrics don’t really capture the short and long-term impact of choosing the right set of services versus buying a product that others try to sell primarily based on the benefit to the financial institution. By listening, understanding and meeting genuine member needs across the spectrum of your financial life, present and future, the benefits redound beyond the capacity of numbers to capture.
Our mission to improve member lives transcends present time, present methods of delivering services and even the services themselves. It requires us to know what our members need today and what they will need tomorrow to enjoy life in the moment.
I want to recognize our Business Partner companies, organizations and communities for recognizing that special difference in building financial wellness that we bring to their employees and consumers. I’d like to thank our dedicated management team and staff and our committed Board and other volunteers for taking our mission seriously and translating it into Life Improvedfor our members every single day.