Nourishing Its Education Roots Helps Apple Federal Credit Union Blossom
The theme song for Apple Federal Credit Union's strategic shift might have been "Everything Old is New Again."
Several years ago the Fairfax, Va.-based institution decided to refocus on its roots in education. While many credit unions have adopted community charters in order to grow membership and assets, AFCU committed to retaining its core membership while opening its ranks to additional school districts.
"The real reason members come back is our employees. We have tremendous employees. We run focus groups and try to understand what makes us successful. The bottom line is it always comes back to the employees. If they're not happy, motivated, excited, trained and proficient, we're not going to be successful. We want to be the employer of choice, and that's not just lip service."
It's no surprise Kelly cites the nation's economic struggles as the key issue facing AFCU, leading to losses in both corporate and natural person credit unions. He indicated that credit unions share responsibility, and he considers that a tremendous worry. AFCU thought it was protecting its members by limiting exposure to corporate woes, but the credit union is on the hook for more than $10 million.