It’s hard to believe that we’re already into March of the New Year. For those of you that have oak trees in your neighborhood, the pollen count is very high and the debris falling from the trees seems to be greater than in past years – maybe it’s the mild winter we’re having. But like every year, spring holds for us the promise of new beginnings, as evidenced by the beauty of nature in full bloom.
Speaking of new beginnings, over the last few years we’ve welcomed almost 46,000 new members, reintroduced the credit union to a number of our long-term members, and said goodbye to others. The changes caused by the prolonged recession and the needs of a new generation of members have begun to define the “new spring” of GTE Financial.
Every new beginning in nature has a history. For GTE Financial, our basic governance model is that we’re a member-owned cooperative with a Board elected by the membership each year at an annual membership meeting. GTE Financial will hold its 78th Annual Membership Meeting at our 711 E Henderson Avenue location on March 28th at 4:30 pm. All members are invited for this business meeting which will include an update on major initiatives of the credit union since last year’s meeting. Each meeting is our spring…and this one has a large segment of members that are still new to the credit union.
Our products, delivery channels, and the kind of service we provide have to change in order for us to assure that we’ll be here for future generations of members. Today our members receive competitive value, and our Member Advantage Members – those who use the credit union in the most effective manner – receive value that far exceeds any other offering in our markets. Our We Can Help program has emphasized to those members most adversely affected by the economy just how important credit union membership is when times get tough – and how good it is when times are great. Our HARP II initiatives have helped thousands of our members save millions of dollars on their home loans – and this program is still available to those with Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loans that are most likely underwater. The only stipulations are that you must be current on your mortgage payments over the last twelve months and be currently employed. See how HARP II and GTE can help you by clicking here.
The thousands of new members I mentioned earlier have joined for a variety of reasons. The most prevalent reason is that a current member referred them to GTE Financial as a great financial alternative – we thank you for that. In other cases, they have been attracted by our award-winning website that is easy to navigate, easy to understand, and allows them to open accounts without traveling to a Community Financial Center. A number of new members are students who have attended one of our financial literacy events on campus and decided that the only choice for them was to become a member and enjoy the ongoing benefits of membership. Another growing segment of our membership is the youth – and they are being introduced to the value of credit union membership by their parents and/or grandparents and being taught about the benefits of thrift.
So, as we hold our annual meeting, it’s important to understand that we are committed to serving the needs of our members and providing value to each member commensurate with the value they provide to the credit union. We are a cooperative, and all of our members either contribute value or take value out. Our target is to have a balance, so those that use us in a limited way only receive limited value. Those Member Advantage members that use GTE as their primary financial institution and use all of our virtual and remote services to transact business receive the most value.
As we proceed in 2013, you’ll see more enhancements to our Member Advantage program. We’ll continue to strive to earn your auto loan, credit card, and home loan business. And, we’ll continue to focus on attracting a new generation of GTE Financial members. Our journey to become both the primary financial service provider and employer of choice in our market will continue to shape who we are and how we do business. And remember our promise - GTE members will always experience the best value and service with complete confidence. I also maintain my promise of open communication with you, so you can always reach me at Talk2Joe with your compliments or concerns.
Happy 78th anniversary, and whether you have been a member for all those years or joined yesterday, we’re happy you joined us and hope you encourage others to become part of GTE Financial.