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Although he’s been criticized for his employee empowerment approach, Kyle Markland says the strategy has helped staff to empathize with members and grow the credit union.

When Kyle Markland was hired at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union at the age of 33, he admits that the board took a chance on bringing in someone so young to lead what was then a $357 million cooperative.

That was in 1997, one year before the passage of the Credit Union Membership Access Act opened up a plethora of opportunities for expansion. Those heady days laid the groundwork for new charters, new fields of membership and innovation, and the industry reaped the benefits.

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