The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 44

GETTING TO KNOW

Kris VanBeek
President and CEO, USALLIANCE Financial
Rye, N.Y.

Q: What led you to the credit union

sector and to USALLIANCE Financial?

A: I got my start in financial services

playing for the "other team." While it
may sound like a cliché, I found myself
wanting to be in an organization and
industry that encapsulated a cooperative
spirit - an organization in which people,
service and community mattered the
most. As for coming to USALLIANCE, I
was at a point in my career where I was
toying with the idea of taking the helm.
Where else would a CIO-type person
transition to a CEO-type position other
than at USALLIANCE - a credit union
founded to serve IBM? It was a perfect fit.

Q: How do you lead an

engaged team? Describe your
leadership philosophy.

A: There are two elements that I believe

help to generate the level of engagement
needed to foster positive change in any
organization. The first is ownership. At
USALLIANCE, everyone from branch
associates to senior-level staff are instilled
with the conviction that by working
together we can accomplish whatever
we set out to do. The second element
is communication. To function as one
cohesive and agile unit, everybody has to
be kept informed. We strive to maintain a
very transparent agenda so our employees
know where we're going, where we are,
our successes and how we can improve.

Q: What has your credit union

introduced in the way of technology
that has your members most excited?

A: While we have a wide variety of new

innovations, I would say without a doubt
it would be our pre-qualification tool.

44

Members - and even nonmembers - can
come to our website and find out which
consumer loan products they qualify for -
auto, personal and credit card - with no
hard pull on their credit, in just about two
minutes. People, particularly young people,
are paying much more attention to their
credit scores and, as a result, are more in
step with what can trigger change. Our
pre-qual tool provides an opportunity to
put their pulse on their score without a
negative impact and allows them to make
decisions that help them live life fully.

Q: How does your investment in your
employees and community benefit
USALLIANCE members?

A: USALLIANCE, like all credit unions,

is a financial cooperative. Successful
cooperatives are built on three key components: people, service and community.
These elements are not standalone - they
are intertwined. Recruiting the best
people we can find and developing that
talent helps to create an amazing service
experience for our members and the
communities in which we operate. To
that end, I would say about three years
ago we reached a tipping point where
our investments in employees started to
materially benefit both our community
and members. The result was an almost
viral impact, and the cooperative values
have continued to fuel advancements in
member value, service, innovation and
even growth.

Q: What is the biggest benefit
you take away from your
USALLIANCE membership?

might be getting paid two days early.
To another, it might be the ability to
refer friends via a text message or a free
monthly credit score. For me personally, it's a culmination of little services,
because we know it's the little things that
make a difference in life that matter most.

Q: Are you seeing any emerging

trends that are unique to credit
unions? What accomplishments are
you most excited about?

A: First, many credit unions seem to be

broadening their scope, adding geographic territory, fields of membership
or even product lines. Alternatively,
some credit unions are digging deeper
into specialty, true niche markets and/or
products. Both trends seem to be viable,
given an effective execution plan, but it is
interesting to observe.

I see the technological advantage that
banks have had over credit unions
diminishing. Credit unions have been
innovating and will continue to innovate
and rapidly grow their digital channels.
As for USALLIANCE, we just celebrated
our 50th anniversary in 2016. We are
now a billion-dollar-plus enterprise with
more than 90,000 members. We are on
track to become a $2 billion organization
serving 100,000 members with products
and services that five years ago were not
even on our radar. It's exciting, and I am
so happy to be a part of it.

A: Any benefit is going to be unique

to each individual. For one member, it
THE NAFCU JOURNAL MAY-JUNE 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017

Our First 50 Years
Events Calendar
From the Chair
Inside NAFCU
The Digital Download
50 Ways to Grow Your Credit Union Professional and operational
Fields of Opportunity
2017 Annual Conference Exhibitor Directory
Getting to Know …
Management Insight
Compliance Central
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President’s Desk
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Cover1
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Cover2
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 1
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Our First 50 Years
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Events Calendar
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - From the Chair
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 5
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Inside NAFCU
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 7
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 8
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 9
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 10
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 11
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 12
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 13
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - The Digital Download
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 15
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 50 Ways to Grow Your Credit Union Professional and operational
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 17
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 18
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 19
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 20
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 21
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Fields of Opportunity
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 23
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 24
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 25
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 26
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 27
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 28
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 2017 Annual Conference Exhibitor Directory
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 30
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 31
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 32
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 33
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 34
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 35
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 36
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 37
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 38
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 39
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 40
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 41
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 42
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 43
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Getting to Know …
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 45
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Management Insight
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 47
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Compliance Central
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 49
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Inside NAFCU Services
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - 51
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - From the President’s Desk
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Cover3
The NAFCU Journal May - June 2017 - Cover4
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