Oklahoma CEOs Find It Lonely in the Storm
The $35 million Credit Union One of Oklahoma had just one person -William Lavin, the CEO-manning the shop this morning while the CU's 20 other employees struggled against six-foot snowdrifts to come to work.
"Yes, I am all alone answering the phones, but so far I haven't had any calls from employees that they won't make it in today," said Lavin, who like scores of other CU managers has been operating with skeleton crews or been forced to close branches during the monster snowstorm that shuttered businesses and schools in Oklahoma City and Tulsa for three days. Parts of the main interstate linking Tulsa and Oklahoma City were still closed today.
Beside Lavin, also working alone was Gary Jones, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of Oklahoma, who has a smaller four-employee staff in the Credit Union House headquarters near the state capitol building in Oklahoma City. Jones, like others on his staff, operated from home with cell phones.
Fortunately, said Jones, there have been no emergencies among the CUAO's 74 member CUs a number of which closed during the fierce blizzard which began Tuesday.
Kyle Roush, president/CEO of Focus FCU, closed his CU on Tuesday, opened at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, but decided to close again at 4 p.m. due to road conditions. That was a plan echoed by Oklahoma CEOs across the hard-hit northeastern part of the state.
Some credit unions, such as Communication FCU and Sand Springs Community FCU had employees with four-wheel drive vehicles pick up other staffers so they could open branches. Others, like Tulsa Municipal Employees FCU, did not want to risk employee safety and closed for two and three days.
"Many of the branches were able to access their systems from home, which allowed staff to continue performing processing and posting of incoming and outgoing transactions," said Tyrel McCain, CUAO communication and marketing specialist.