Miss the Annual Meeting in the spring? Catch up on the credit union by reading the following Chairperson’s address to learn about our recent successes and plans for the future!
Address from the Chairperson:
Welcome to the 47th annual meeting of Alcon Employees Federal Credit Union. Based on the success of the meeting last year, we’ve followed the same format for the meeting this year, and it’s wonderful to see so many people in attendance. I can see you care not only about your financial future, but the future of your credit union as well. I applaud you.
I’m delighted to speak to you today and humbled by the trust you’ve placed in me and my fellow board members whose leadership, dedication, and passion for credit unions are integral to our success.
The Alcon Employees Federal Credit Union, like all credit unions, is a financial cooperative, or “union,” owned by its members – you. As Alcon prepares to legally separate from Novartis, it is important to remember, that the CU is not owned by Alcon, or any Novartis entity or affiliate. We are fortunate to have Alcon serving as the corporate sponsor of the Credit Union, as Alcon has provided office space, IT support and other forms of assistance since the Credit Union was founded in 1972. That said, the Credit Union staff is employed directly by the Credit Union and has no connection to Alcon. This also means that your membership in the Credit Union can continue regardless of your employment status with Alcon or Novartis. As we like to say, “Once a member, always a member”.
As a credit union member, you can take comfort in knowing that, unlike for-profit financial institutions such as banks, your board of directors serves on a volunteer basis and doesn’t profit from that service. Though the credit union needs to make a profit to keep the doors open, we don’t work for shareholders demanding to collect high profits. Our sole interests are in your interests. We are the stakeholders in this credit union, and we all share in its future. Whenever we can, we will distribute profits back to you.
Your board of directors also has a responsibility to ensure that we have a capable, competent, qualified, and trustworthy management team, and I can say unequivocally that we do.
As you will hear in the Annual Report from the Treasurer and Supervisory Committee Chair, Alcon EFCU performed well in fiscal year 2017-2018. Due to our solid performance – and because of our members – we were able to pay a special bonus dividend at the end of last year. Starting in January 2019 we also increased our savings rates to put more money in our members’ pockets.
I’m proud to say that your credit union is not just one financial institution, but one of thousands in a credit union movement that spans the globe. Each credit union serves as a supporting pillar in this movement, and that means that the success of one credit union is a success for the entire movement.
As a financial cooperative, we understand that we can most effectively serve you and strengthen that movement by engaging in the vast network of organizations and service groups available. For instance, our participation in our local chapter of credit unions allows us to benefit from the training, tools, and resources available through our trade association, the Cornerstone Credit Union League, whose sole purpose is to support our endeavors and, by extension, you.
In addition to establishing policies and ensuring that the credit union adheres to pertinent laws, regulations, and sound business practices, we are also charged with making sure new products and services are developed as needed. With the continued success of Alcon EFCU, we can offer beneficial savings and wealth-building tools and other financial products and services that enhance your life, improve our delivery channels, and expand our community outreach.
Our highest and best purpose in serving you includes some of the following objectives:
- As our CEO referenced in her remarks, we want to target particular segments of our community where we can make the greatest impact. Helping with financial literacy and the account management for our members who are most vulnerable, such as pre-high school children, young adults, retirees, and our elderly is one way we can do that.
- We want to be a knowledge hub that places the credit union at the center of our members’ financial lives, allowing them to trade peer advice and insights about budgeting, buying, retiring, and saving.
- We want to offer more and better resources that ensure our members are using the safest, most secure, and most convenient technology available.
- We want to grow our community impact through basic interest payouts, financial capability programs, payment deferral during community emergencies, and working with members that face challenges in whatever life phase they might be in; and
- We want to help you finance life activities, such as education, small businesses, and transportation in a responsible way.
Please know that we listen to you, and we want to hear how we can best meet your needs. Based on your feedback we implemented several new services last year:
- New, redesigned website with improved functionality
- New and redesigned Online banking portal
- Bill Pay
- Mobile Banking
- Mobile Deposit
Please continue to let us know how the CU can best serve your financial needs.
In 2019, one new focus area for us is to establish financial relationships with next generation CU members in the form of senior high school / young adult children of current members.
By offering and encouraging responsible use of credit and ATM cards early on, we provide a solid path toward financial health both now and well into the future.
Along these lines, we are pleased to award two $500 educational scholarships, which will be announced shortly.
In closing, I’d like to express my unwavering confidence in the leadership of Kiki Shollar, the wisdom and guidance of our esteemed board of directors, the commitment of our dedicated staff, and the support and loyalty of our members.
We are extremely optimistic about the future because Alcon EFCU is well positioned to face any challenge and seize any opportunity that presents itself in 2019.
By the way, did you know you can now like us on Facebook and Instagram?
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I wish you and your families the very best in 2019.