Terry Richardson Sets the Member-Centric Tone
It’s all about the member for Board Chairman Terry Richardson, but for over 34 years, to the team at Pioneer West Virginia Federal Credit Union, he has simply been the personification of an extraordinary coach.
“What I’ve enjoyed the most about serving on the board is being able to help the members and that in many ways we can be their voice,” said Richardson, who has been proud of his time spent at the Charleston, W.Va.-based credit union. “My advice for anyone considering joining a board is first, absolutely do it. There is nothing more rewarding than being in service to something greater than yourself. Second, once they are in they must always remember who they are representing and that is the members." Richardson got his start on the credit committee at the prompting of some colleagues in the school system where he was working 30 years ago. He would serve on other committees for four years before being elected to the board.
Richardson stepped up as interim CEO and immediately began tackling the employee morale and member service issues. At the time about 50% of inbound calls never got answered, compensation was not in sync with the local market, and the employee training and development offered was minimal. Not only were annual reviews and compensation brought up to date and the basic employee pay was restructured to be competitive, but an organization-wide performance bonus program was developed. The program consisted of a mix of individual performance-based incentives and ones driven by overall credit union goals. In addition, a full-time training position was created and employees for the first time were provided off-site training. As for member service, during 2011 more than 94% of inbound calls were answered promptly and has been steadily improving.
It took about six months of working alongside employees and sifting through resumes and conducting interviews, but a new CEO was found in Dana Rawlings. Since then financial services were brought in house, a new branch was built, more ATM locations were created and its image underwent a successful rebrand with a new tagline of "Your Financial Compass For Life."