Building relationships that matter
In 1985, I began a new career as a service representative at a local credit union in Hope. In 2012, I’m excited to be starting a new journey as the president of the very same credit union I joined twenty-seven years ago. Envision Financial is a big part of my life. I love this organization and the employees and members here who make it what it is. It’s an honour to be leading a high-performing team that believes in making a real difference in the lives of our members and in our local communities. It’s also a privilege to be serving you—our members—who are entrusting our organization to help you reach your financial dreams.
2011 was a year of change, success and celebration for Envision Financial. This was our second year as a division of First West Credit Union and a partner of Valley First. Other organizations said that this type of partnership couldn’t exist in our industry. They thought it was impossible to maintain our local focus within a larger organization, yet two years into this model I can say with confidence that it’s not only working, but we are now thriving as a result. Our record net member growth last year is one proof-point of our success.
Growing our membership base
For many credit unions, membership growth is stagnant and membership population is aging. In 2011, we challenged ourselves to grow our membership base, particularly in the younger demographic. We continually hear from our members that they love doing business with us, so we asked them to tell their friends and family how we are making a real difference in their lives. The results were outstanding. By early September, we had already achieved our annual target. To all of our new members, welcome to Envision and to all of our long-time members, thank you for sharing your Envision experience with your friends and family and for continuing to choose Envision for all your financial needs.
Building meaningful relationships
I’m proud to share that our member satisfaction scores continue to be among the highest in our industry. This is due to our focus on strengthening our relationships with our members. Last year, we began making a shift in the way we do business, having our relationship managers provide both lending and investment services. Our goal is to provide our members with investment information, advice and expertise with a relationship manager they know and trust.
The level of care and service that our employees offer to our members further explains our high levels of member satisfaction. For example, this past year our Chilliwack City team noticed that one of our elderly members was having trouble making ends meet and had no family nearby to help her out. When they found out that she didn’t even have groceries in her house, they took action, bringing in items and purchasing gift cards to a nearby grocery store. The branch team also began researching local resources for seniors and drove her to an agency, which helped her identify grants and programs offered for low income seniors. Towards the end of the year, they noticed that her health had deteriorated and contacted the member’s doctor. The doctor was so surprised and amazed that a financial institution would act like a family member and go to such great lengths to look after this member and do what they could to ensure her safety and well-being.
Keeping it simple
The next stage of our journey will be continuing to make it easier for our members to do business with us. We recognize that members want to conduct their banking anytime, from anywhere, in a way that is convenient for their lifestyle. That’s why we’re investing in new online and mobile enhancements. In 2011, we were pleased to introduce Interac e-Transfers, Small Business Online Banking and Mobile Banking Alerts—look for more enhancements including Me-to-Me transfers and mobile apps in 2012.
We also recognize that we need to make our days and hours of operation more convenient for our members. In January 2012, all of our branches transitioned to consistent, six days a week banking and we also introduced Sunday openings at our Willoughby, Chilliwack City and Abbotsford Village insurance offices.
Thanking the ones who matter most
I look forward to seeing what 2012 holds as we continue to build on the great successes we’ve achieved in 2011. I’d like to extend a big thank you to each and every one of our employees for your commitment to building deep and meaningful relationships with our members, enabling us to deliver the products and services they need to achieve their life goals. Most importantly, I’d like to thank you, our members, for continuing to choose Envision Financial as your trusted financial services provider.
*This article was originally published in the 2011 Envision Financial Regional Report.