Schrader Uses Service to Enhance Bottom Line
- Schrader said the member focus served her well when she was asked her to step in for the outgoing head of marketing.
- She has been instrumental in not only maintaining the trust of members but also helping to grow the credit union’s membership.
- 'Her belief in OnPoint inspires her to help our members realize their dreams.’
Speak to OnPoint Community Credit Union Senior Vice President of Marketing/Member Services Kelly Schrader for a few minutes, and it’s hard not to be inspired to do more.
"I believe that every one of us at OnPoint has a legacy here–an opportunity for impact and can make a difference in members’ lives and create an institution that is bigger, better and stronger because we were a part of it," said Schrader. "We have something unique to offer consumers."
With a background covering every aspect of operations for some 19 years with the credit union, Schrader said the member focus served her well when she was asked to step in for the outgoing head of marketing.
"It’s funny. Although I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, I was very clear about what we would not do–forget about the member, core business or give up anything that made us uniquely what we are today. And from that baseline I guess became a good voice of the member approach," said Schrader.
According to OnPoint President/CEO Rob Stuart, at a time when confidence in the banking industry is at an all-time low, Schrader has been instrumental in not only maintaining the trust of members but also helping to grow the Portland, Ore.-based credit union’s membership.
"Her belief in OnPoint inspires her to help our members realize their dreams, whether it’s setting up their first savings account, arranging a loan for college tuition or financing their first home," said Stuart. "Kelly has also worked to make affordable auto loans more accessible to each member. Under her leadership, OnPoint developed the Driver’s Seat Auto Loan, designed to help first-time borrows members get their first car and establish credit."
Weber Marketing Group President/CEO Mark Weber credited her combination of critical strategic thinking backed by consistent execution for driving bottom line results.
"Kelly helped engineer new member growth rates at OnPoint that are among the highest in the nation. She did this while also building a depth of member relationship which rivals any high performing financial institution."
One of the first things she did when she stepped into the marketing role some four years ago was to put every employee through a brand camp week that consisted of rotating four-hour daily sessions.
"It was important that we help our staff understand who and what we are as an institution from values to what believing in our brand means and what it means to protect that role and the responsibilities that stem from it. That culture starts from within, and members won’t want to be a part of us if we don’t walk our talk," said Schrader.
She said the member growth over the past year came from making the most of consumers' concerns with Washington Mutual and Bank of America. With a focus on the better value OnPoint offers, the credit union aggressively targeted the big banks’ clients.
"We listed all the reasons why they should come in and give us a chance and it worked," said Schrader. "We went toe-to-toe with banks, and we gave back to the communities we serve by volunteering, so locals associated faces with our brand."
In 2002, with Schrader’s support, OnPoint created a community relations committee made up of employees to direct its community relations plan for donations and contributions. Since its inception, the community relations committee, which Schrader now oversees, has awarded over 480 grants totaling more than $485,000.
OnPoint now partners and collaboratively markets with more than 90 nonprofit organizations throughout the year, and in a nod to its educational roots, gives special consideration to those that focus on education and financial literacy. Over the last three years, OnPoint has provided over $263,549 to Schoolhouse Supplies, a local nonprofit organization that operates a free store for teachers–supporting the 3,000 teachers and 46,500 students in Portland Public Schools with free school supplies. In addition, OnPoint provides both financial and volunteer support to Financial Beginnings, a local nonprofit that provides financial education at no cost to children and young adults throughout the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, OnPoint’s Chief Financial Officer served on Financial Beginnings’ Board of Directors and OnPoint became an official corporate sponsor of Financial Beginnings.
Also in 2010, the OnPoint Community Credit Union Prize for Excellence in Education Award gave nearly $45,000 to local Pacific Northwest teachers and their schools–with one local teacher being honored as Educator of the Year and receiving her mortgage paid for one year along with $5,000 for her school to be used for resources and supplies. In addition, a Community Choice winner was selected and awarded $1,500 cash along with $1,500 for their school. Three finalists were selected and awarded $1,500 each and $1,500 for their schools. Five semi- finalists were also named and given $250 each for their schools.
In addition to leveraging a partnership with local NBC affiliate KGW-TV, Schrader led outreach efforts to the education community and target media to generate coverage and excitement for the campaign. Target media included reporters that cover education, business and philanthropy, as well as real estate reporters, to inform them of the "mortgage paid for a year" reward. Taking a grassroots approach when reaching out to the education community, OnPoint contacted ten of the largest education foundations in Oregon and southwest Washington directly with details of the campaign. Information was then sent to each foundation for posting within the foundations’ communications materials. In addition, principals at each elementary, middle and high school in the Portland Public School District (76 schools) were informed about the campaign. Each OnPoint branch hosted events to recognize National Teachers’ Day and encourage members to nominate an educator for the award.
A Prize for Excellence in Education microsite, www.onpointprize.com, was launched to keep locals updated, and throughout the campaign OnPoint posted Facebook updates and tweeted the latest news on Twitter.
"We were brainstorming and wanted to do something to honor teachers because so much of funding often goes to the schools or the students and we thought the Prize for Excellence would be a great way to help our underpaid teachers, those unsung heroes who do so much for our kids and our future," said Schrader. "About 310 applications later we were just blown away by how amazing our educators are and they don’t do it for the paycheck but it’s about that sense of achievement and pride in helping the next generation of leaders. They pour their hearts and souls into their students and I don’t think we appreciated just how we all take that for granted."
She said whittling the applicants down to one was one of the greatest challenges of the campaign.
"You want to give it to everyone but as we kept going through the applications over and over again over weekends one really did rise to the top," said Schrader. "It has been one of the most rewarding experiences. What’s great is that we even had the ability to have a chance to do something like this but everyone was willing to take a risk and put all their energy into something they believe in and watch it grow. It’s a tremendous gift and that’s why I take the responsibility as a representative of OnPoint, that brand and community piece, so seriously and personally and want to protect it. It’s humbling."