A Quick Thank You to You, Our North Star

Steve Stapp with exchange employees from First Credit Union New Zealand

A Message From the President & CEO

As a member, serving you is our north star.

The world can be unpredictable. Interest rates climb and fall, regulations fluctuate, and tragic natural disasters affect us and our neighbors.

Hurricane Dorian Relief: click here to donate

Whatever happens externally, what matters is how we respond: the relationships we build together and the lives we improve.

Thank you for partnering with us to make our world a little better.

Our members are our lifeblood, our purpose, equal owners of our credit union. You are the reason we wake up in the morning.

Like lots of other companies, we ask our members for feedback. A member recently asked me, a little skeptically, what we actually do with all that feedback.

They were right to be skeptical. If we ask for a member’s time, we better pay them back in improvements.

Here are a few changes we’ve made based directly on feedback from our members:

1. More convenient locations.

Members consistently tell us that one of the most important things to them is having convenient locations. That need guided our work to add four new branches in the past couple years – in SE, SW, central, and NE areas of Portland Metro.

To put that into perspective: In Unitus’ first 79 years, we’d opened eight branches. In the past three years, we increased that by 50%. Personal member service is important to us because it’s important to you.

If you live near Sellwood-Moreland, reach out to one of the outstanding local businesses near our branch there. We recently featured them in our Neighborhood Spotlight Series – watch now!


2. Upgraded digital banking.

Another common need for our members was a more effective mobile and online banking experience. After a challenging transition for both employees and members, the uOnline Upgrade launched in June. Together we worked through the challenges and we’ve seen a swell of positive feedback from our members.

3. Smarter member support.

Members regularly call us (503-227-5571) with questions and issues. Last year alone we walked members through more than 215,000 calls. It’s important to our members, so it’s important to us. We’ve invested in a world of programs to improve member service:

    • Reworking our team structure to connect members with the best support specialist for their need faster.
    • Members can now request a call-back to be served on their time, without waiting on hold.
    • Using new technology we are capturing insights from these hundreds of thousands of calls to identify and prepare for specific member needs before the call.

There are many more examples, and they all share a theme.

Service isn’t just a word around here. It’s a way of life. It’s a belief system.

It means that in our hearts, we measure our value by our ability to make our members’ lives better, happier, and warmer.

Thanks for being here with us and giving us the chance to serve you.

As long as you keep chasing your dreams, we’ll keep building better ways to help bring them to life.


About the Author: Steve Stapp joined Unitus as President/CEO in September of 2016. He guides strategic leadership for the Credit Union by partnering with the Board of Directors, leadership team, and staff in establishing long-range goals and strategic initiatives that provide superior member value.

Steve enjoys promoting credit union systems in developing nations as a board member of the World Council of Credit Unions, helping expand the credit union network domestically and internationally as a board member of the CO-OP Shared Branching Network, and educating people throughout the credit union industry with regular presentations on strategic planning, growth initiatives, and more.

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