The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014 - (Page 34)
President and CEO
Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union
Don Carden has worked at Coosa Pines for 12 years in various roles. As CEO, he is
accountable - to some extent - for everything that happens at Coosa Pines FCU.
His management team works closely together to ensure they have solid internal
controls for employee accountability and compliance.
Q: What is your leadership style,
and how did you develop it?
A: My leadership style is a combination of
my personality and what I've learned from
other leaders. I'm naturally outgoing, passionate and energetic. As an avid Alabama
football fan, I've learned many lessons by
watching Nick Saban [head football coach
of the University of Alabama]. Principles
such as outwork your competition, pay
attention to details, do your job and recruit
the best are just a few of the ideas that can
be applied to every credit union. I try to
learn and improve my skills wherever I can.
Q: What makes you want to get up
and go to work every day?
A: Knowing I can make a positive
difference in the lives of members and
employees. Nothing is more rewarding
than helping people.
Q: How has Coosa Pines
contributed to the community?
A: We do a lot to reach out to the
students in our community. We have
a member scholarship program, which
began in 2011 as three $500 scholarships. It has now grown to 10 $1,000
scholarships. All that's needed to
become a member is $5 in an account.
We feel it's a great way to get younger
people involved in the credit union and
to give back to the community. Additionally, Coosa Pines has a good-grade
rewards program. We offer a $2 reward
for every A earned and $1 for every B
per marking period. This has become
extremely popular with our members. We'll also be doing our first-ever
internship program this summer.
Q: Are you involved with any
A: Yes, we participate in two commu-
nity fundraisers per year: Relay for Life
in the spring, an effort to support the
American Cancer Society; and Champion for Children's in the fall, a friendly
Iron Bowl wager where fans from both
Auburn's and Alabama's football teams
place their change in tip jars named for
their favorite team to raise money for
the Children's Hospital of Alabama.
Last year, fans raised roughly $1,500,
and Coosa Pines matched it to bring the
donation total to $3,000.
Q: What new and exciting things
will be happening in the near
future at Coosa Pines?
A: Being more convenient for our members is the emphasis for 2014. Instantissue debit cards, a call center and new
locations are our leading projects. By
utilizing an outsourced call center, we'll
make sure each customer will get the
attention they need in a timely manner.
While members looking to contact a
specific credit union employee will still
have the chance by entering in their
extension, this call center will catch 100
percent of the overflow, ensuring a great
The first of the new locations is an old bank
branch purchased from FDIC. The second
one, opening soon, is our new main office.
About 15 years ago, the main office was
ideally placed next to the paper mill, but
everything changed. The mill was bought
and sold a few times, mill employment
declined, and Coosa Pines FCU embraced
a community charter. It became obvious
that the current office was inconvenient for
most members. We were able to purchase
a lot in an excellent location for area
members. Our new main office is almost
complete. Members and employees alike
are very excited about the new locations.
Q: What would you recommend
to people who want to better their
knowledge of this industry?
A: In my opinion, a good understanding
of compliance is essential to being a good
manager. When I attended my first compliance school in 2002, I was surprised
by how little I knew about it. NAFCU's
Compliance School is one of the mustattend conferences for anyone with CEO
or management aspirations.
Q: What's the best advice you
could give your fellow NAFCU
A: Never stop learning and improving
your credit union. I've been in credit
unions where the CEO didn't want
to change anything. It's impossible to
provide the best service to our members
without being adaptable.
THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MAY-JUNE 2014
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014
Voices & Opinions
Calendar of Events
From the Chair
The Lending Landscape
The Social Life: A Social Media Roundtable
NAFCU's 2014 Annual Report
Getting to Know...
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk
The Federal Credit Union May-June 2014