The holiday season is quickly approaching in Northern New York. While the weather hasn’t been typical of the last few months, I hope you have had the chance to enjoy our prolonged fall. As we enter a time of giving I find it important to take a few moments to pause, give thanks, and reflect on the opportunities and good fortune, all of us, in some way or another, have encountered thus far in 2017.
Read the latest CEO Corner below and please feel free to write me anytime!
In this issue of CEO Corner I'd like to:
• Announce Additional Services Coming to Our Commerce Branch
• Share Enhancements to Mobile Banking - Including Bill Pay
• Share Options for Managing Student Loan Debt
• Look Back at Another Successful Spooktacular Event
• Celebrate Internal Owner Anniversaries and Promotions
Our Commerce branch is by far one of our busiest branches. With this, we realize our members want to be able to conduct their banking efficiently and conveniently; and in the winter, without leaving a warm car!
With that in mind, we’re adding an additional lane to the drive-thru area with two new servicing areas. The left lane will remain a Personal Teller, able to assist members with all transactions just like in the branch. The second lane, previously a VAT tube system lane, will become a Personal Teller lane on or around December 7th.
The Personal Tellers are serviced by team members in our Watertown corporate office and offer the same skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for service as the dedicated Commerce team. In fact, you may see some members of the Commerce team on the Personal Teller every now and again.
Wish you could use a Personal Teller like a self-service ATM with 24/7/365 access? Well, I’m excited to say that by the end of December, all of our drive thru Personal Tellers will be upgraded to include this new feature! Simply insert your card into the designated slot and proceed just as you would with any ATM transaction. The lobby Personal Tellers are expected to be ATM enabled by the end of January, 2018.
Due to ATM’s typically having lengthy lines, we are introducing a speedier option for members looking to simply take cash out of their account. The new, third (right) drive-thru lane, will feature a Quick Cash ATM allowing members to grab their cash and go in a flash! The drive-thru on the left side of the building will remain a full-service ATM able to take deposits, dispense cash, offer balance inquiries, etc.
Please let me know if there is anything more I or the Commerce branch team can do to help improve your banking options, Feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Mobile Banking Just Got Better:
As first of many “You Asked and We Listened” in this issue of the CEO Corner, we’ve made some recent improvements in our Mobile Banking app. Usage of our Northern Credit Union mobile app has skyrocketed since we first launched it in 2013. The app, available for Apple, Android and Windows devices remains the quickest and most convenient way to do your banking.
Our newest improvements, which went live on November 16, are truly time savers. You can now add a new payee in Bill Pay through the mobile app, no more having to log-in to Online Banking!
This can be done in 4 easy steps:
1. In the Mobile Banking menu, choose ‘Pay Bills’
2. Click the ‘Payees’ option
3. Select the ‘Add Payee’ icon at the bottom right hand corner of the screen
4. Enter the payee’s information and select ‘Save’
You are now ready to make your first payment to a new payee. Keep in mind, if you need to edit an existing payee, you will continue to do that in Online Banking (we’re working on that enhancement next). If you are not currently enrolled in Bill Pay, you can enroll by logging into Online Banking and clicking on the Bill Pay tab.
I, myself, use Bill Pay multiple times a month. It is so much easier than having to log-on to different websites (utilities, cable, mortgage, etc.) and remember all my usernames and passwords. I can just conveniently log-in to one place, where I already do my banking, and pay directly from my app. Plus, with Bill Pay, you can have your bills sent directly to your online or mobile banking and you can even sign up for auto-pay. Talk about a timesaver!
The other enhancement allows you to order checks directly from the Mobile Banking app. Before, you needed to log-on to our website, but now you can simply select ‘Order Checks’ in the app menu and you will be redirected to the Deluxe check ordering website. Remember to have your MICR number starting in 6069 to get started. Don’t know your MICR number? It can be found in Online Banking under the ‘Accounts’ tab or you can give us a call.
Have an idea of an enhancement or improvement? I’m all ears! Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll respond right away.
Another Option Available for Managing Student Loan Debt:
During a recent member appreciation event a common lament I heard from members, especially from young professionals and their parents, was the lack of options when it comes to consolidating and refinancing student loans - from multiple lenders, from multiple schools and multiple students. Having three grown adult children myself, I know how daunting student loans can be. To find and provide a solution for our members, we increased our partnership with Credit Union Student Choice, our student loan provider. I’m proud to say Northern Credit Union now offers Student Loan Refinancing.
This program allows you to consolidate and refinance private and federal student loans up to $125,000 into one manageable loan with a potentially lower rate. Plus, there are flexible interest rates and terms, and no prepayment penalties.
Want to learn more or apply? Simply visit http://mynorthern.studentchoice.org/refinance.
Look Back at Another Successful Spooktacular Event:
For the third year in a row, Northern hosted our annual Smart S.T.A.R.T. Spooktacular Halloween Event at the NYS Thompson Park Zoo on Saturday, October 14. An all-time high of 175 kids and their families (341 total guests) attended the trick or treat event for a fun day suitable for all ages! The event featured free zoo access, an assortment of candy stations, crafts, interactive games, a professional face painter, photo booth and pumpkin patch. Lunch was also served to all in attendance.
Anniversaries and Promotions Q3 & Q4 2017:
The following internal owners celebrated important milestone anniversaries in the later part of 2017:
1 Year Anniversaries
Sadie Delles, Member Relationship Specialist at Lowville
James Gifford, Member Relationship Specialist at LeRay
Alison Gorczyca, Member Relationship Specialist at Lowville
Sherri Gracey, Member Relationship Specialist at Lowville
Laurel Harris, HR Generalist
Bri Longamore, Owner Advocate Specialist
Paige Lyndaker, Marketing Professional
Lindsay Panunzio, Member Relationship Specialist at Adams
Seth Pfendler, Home Lending Professional
Keith Schultz, Indirect Lending Professional
Tina Torres, Centralized Loan Processing Professional
Kendra Westmoreland, Member Relationship Specialist at Commerce
5 Year Anniversaries
Melissa Broadhurst, Virtual Branch Lending Professional
Rachael Giargiano, Training Professional
10 Year Anniversaries
Nathan Hunter, CFO
Dorrine Smith, Member Relationship Specialist at Adams
Cheyenne Whitford, Member Relationship Specialist at Gouverneur
15 Year Anniversary
The following internal owners have shown skills, dedication and commitment to the Credit Union and have been awarded the following promotions:
Ryan Clark to Home Lending Professional
Tabitha Cook to Electronic Solutions Professional
Katie Edmonds to Administrative Assistant
Cassie Estal to Member Solutions Director
Rachael Giargiano to Training Professional
Amanda LeDesma to Regional Branch Manager
Flora Kampnich to Credit Solutions Specialist
Jessica Klepacz to Lead Credit Solutions Professional
Kimberly Meyer to Business Process Analyst
Madison Sebella to Electronic Solutions Professional
Nancy Sylvester to Compliance Coordinator
Ross Virkler to Business Project Analyst
Jennifer Wilton to AVP of Internal Owner Experience
As always, if you would like to chat with me regarding your ideas or experience, please email me at email@example.com. I respond to each and every email personally. Thank you for choosing Northern as your financial institution. We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season and look forward to servicing you in the New Year ahead.