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<p>NAPERVILLE, Ill. – No one can accuse the $4.4 billion Mid-States Corporate FCU of sitting in the ivory tower and doling out products to its member credit unions as it sees fit. The corporate this quarter unveiled an innovative new program that is designed to give it a look inside the back-office operations of natural person credit unions, while giving credit unions a window into Mid-States’ operational world. The goal, according to the corporate, is to be able to better serve its credit unions by making sure its product line is in line with their needs. Mid-States’ Corporate Exchange Program calls for staffers of its member CUs to spend a few days in Mid-States’ back-offices. Once that is over, the corporate reciprocates and sends some of its employees over to the credit union for a few days. “It’s just getting started. We have six credit unions signed up already. It’s modeled on the idea of what foreign exchange students do,” said Cathy Corbi, VP of Human Resources for the corporate. It’s structured as a two-day program. Starting at lunch time, the visiting CU employees enjoy a welcome lunch and then visit with particular areas of the corporate where they have an interest. Corbi said Mid-States’ members obviously understand somewhat what the corporate does on a daily basis, but how deep that understanding is she’s not sure. “I think they have an idea, but I don’t think they really know. Just like we don’t know about credit unions as well. Even our COO wants to sign up for the exchange program,” said Corbi. The corporate has daily strict deadlines with wires and the Fed that credit unions might not be aware of. Conversely, Corbi said many corporate employees probably don’t understand what kind of pressure CU call center reps are under. The program isn’t for the meek. Corporate employees may find themselves on the frontline of a credit union’s operations – the teller line. They’ll get a first hand look at the vital role tellers play in representing the CU. “We need to know our members better, so we may send out employees to the teller line. We want to learn the whole spectrum of what they do, to better serve them,” said Corbi. [email protected]</p>

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