“As he approaches retirement, we celebrate the far reaching impact of Marc’s work for Truliant and the greater credit union movement. He has labored tirelessly to create a unique organization that people love, and consistently taken it to greater heights,” Hall said. “An outstanding leader, we applaud Marc’s vision, his imprint on advocacy, culture, community and growth, as well as his work as a champion for credit unions worldwide.”
Schaefer joined Truliant in 1995 having previously served as President and CEO of FDIC Employees FCU, which later became NASA Federal Credit Union. He served as President and CEO of Truliant until 2018 and is currently its Chief Executive Officer.
With a list of industry achievements spanning three decades, Schaefer’s career includes transformative efforts that helped reshape, focus and strengthen the credit union movement.
Prominent among them is his leadership during the multi-year fight to modernize credit union membership rules in the late 1990s. Schaefer was integral to building support for the passage of HR 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in 1998, which codified membership rules at a national level following a lengthy court battle. Shortly thereafter, Schaefer presided over then AT&T Family Federal Credit Union’s name change to Truliant Federal Credit Union.
Under his direction, Truliant established a member-centric culture through the 2000s that led to growth and expansion. In 1995, when Schaefer joined Truliant, the credit union had $400 million in assets, 110,000 member-owners and 422 employees. Under his direction, a quarter century later, the $2.57 billion credit union has more than 240,000 members and 33 Member Financial Centers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Schaefer championed fiscal responsibility and an organization dedicated to best meeting the financial needs of its members.
“We are fortunate that the credit union message resonated with so many consumers through this period of great change. Truliant has achieved notable milestones, built an amazing workplace culture and grown our position in the broader market, all while keeping our mission to improve lives at the forefront of our journey,” Schaefer said.
“It has been my great honor to dedicate my career to credit union movement. I am truly grateful to have worked collaboratively with so many talented individuals and organizations who put the high ideals of credit unions into practice for their members each day.”
With a career focused on doing what is best for credit union member-owners, he assured Truliant avoided the risky excesses that produced the financial bubble, bookending that event in 2013 with an expansion in the Charlotte-metro region that brought credit union services to an even larger audience with ten new locations.
More recently, Truliant is opening several branches in the Piedmont Triad.
Schaefer built a model grassroots political involvement program at Truliant. It created lasting relationships with state and federal legislators and continues to serve as a model to the credit union industry today. His belief that co-operatives have a responsibility to help each other led to Truliant regularly hosting international credit union visitors at its headquarters.
Additionally, he placed an emphasis on a politically active staff and Board of Directors.
“Truliant’s Board of Directors would like to recognize the immense contributions of Marc Schaefer. His positive influence has helped shape not only Truliant, but the greater credit union movement,” said Truliant Board Chairman James (Jimmy) T. Flythe, Jr. “Truliant is grounded in the conviction that we always do what is best for our members. Marc has been the torchbearer. We wish him well in retirement.”
Under his direction, in 2005, Truliant finished a 64-foot obelisk at its then new corporate headquarters campus. Atop the obelisk glows an orb with varying shades of blue or yellow to reveal Truliant’s level of member satisfaction with service and whether or not they feel as though they are a part of Truliant. It is an ever present visible reminder of Truliant’s member service philosophy.
Other notable achievements under his leadership include the credit union’s 2004 merger with Victory Masonic Mutual Credit Union in Winston-Salem, the oldest black-owned credit union in North Carolina. It later led to opening a Truliant location in the city’s downtown, an early downtown revitalization effort.
Schaefer has been a frequent speaker at credit union conferences and symposiums and has testified before the Senate Banking Committee and before the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the Committee on Financial Services House Financial Services.
His work with community organizations has yielded tangible results. He has sat on numerous boards, including the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, the Winston-Salem and Charlotte Chambers of Commerce, Winston-Salem Business, Inc.; the Credit Union National Association’s World Leadership Development Committee; and the North Carolina Credit Union League’s Governmental Affairs Committee.
He is a former member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Credit Union Advisory Council and past Chairman of the CUNA Federal Credit Union Subcommittee, where he served as Chairman for consecutive terms. He is also a former member of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions Board of Directors and Executive Committee.