CUES Member Community

  • 1.  Organic Growth

    Posted Feb 14, 2020 09:26 AM
    Edited by Eric Hepkins Mar 01, 2020 11:06 AM

    I appreciate the strong relationship we have with CUES – it has been a great resource for our credit union, and in working with this team I have been able to expand our use of and offer it to my whole employee-base.  

    I am new to the credit union world having spent most of my time in banking, I've been in my current role as CEO for two years now.  In reflecting on my time here, I can honestly say how very fortunate I am to be a part of the credit union movement-An opportunity to be part of something special, and to be surrounded by such amazing individuals.   

    My main reason for writing today is to share some experience so that I may be able to help other credit unions.   I love the credit union space, and want to become more broadly involved over time.  I see organizations like CUES providing the best connections, support and leadership across the entire industry.  I believe my seventeen years in banking offer a very unique perspective, having held senior executive positions in both a large global bank as well as a small community bank.  Now as I am building my experience with credit unions, I want to help bring the best of both worlds together in any way I can.

    One prominent example of this for me has been my experience with the 'sales' culture – or lack thereof when I first arrived.  I found that driving organic growth was just not in my team's mindset – there was a heavy reliance on vendors and third-parties – things like indirect auto-lending.  I have always believed that "sales" is a forbidden word, and certainly I think credit unions have to be careful when planning growth strategies, but asking for business and helping members understand how we can help them is something we should be doing as second nature. 

    To combat this challenge, I brought a piece of my past experience into my current credit union.  Having worked with a company, PerformanceDelta, to bring a "total-team" referral system to a former bank I managed, I thought it could work very well here too.  They are a quality organization, led by a small, and very humble and honest team.  Their story is not unlike that of the Credit Union movement – humble beginnings born out of a need to do things differently, filling a void with meaningful innovation.  They are very selective with whom they do business, and I believe the Credit Union space is a natural fit, and true win-win.  My results so far have been outstanding. 

    For me, this has been just one aspect of how taking lessons from the banking industry can help ours.  This program alone is helping me with several relevant and timely topics - Driving Organic Growth, Human Capital , Talent, Data, and more.   The system I am using offers six distinct components that function across all these areas. It has a proven referral system that provides an engaging way to build new business, while also delivering data & HR tools to help guide strategic performance.

    Through my direct experience here at Cornerstone CFCU, and through my interactions with peers at other institutions, I am finding a common thread to be that we all face significant challenges when it comes to driving organic growth without adding resources or undertaking largescale compensation system changes – and doing it in a way that doesn't compromise the quality of the CU mission.  In my previous role, leading retail banking for a community bank, we had outstanding success using this internal referral engine to drive results and reward people for spotting opportunities through natural interactions.  I would love to share my story with other CU executives.

    I appreciate your time, and I look forward to our shared success!

    Eric Hepkins
    Cornerstone Community FCU
    Lockport NY