Ep. 200: So Many Reasons 2B a Member!


Consumers' podcast graphic with image of CEO Scott Sylvester.

To celebrate reaching $2 billion in assets, a new milestone at Consumers Credit Union, Lynne is joined by Consumers President & CEO Scott Sylvester. Tune into this week’s episode of Money, I’m Home, to discuss the credit unions celebrations of 2022 and exciting things to come in 2023.



0:00:06.8 Lynne Jarman-Johnson (LJJ): Money, I’m Home. Welcome in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union. From Finance to Fitness, we’ve got it all. And let me explain something today. It is such a big day because we are celebrating 200 episodes of Money I’m Home. And to do that we kind of have a cool tie-in. Our brand-new CEO Scott Sylvester is joining us today and he’s got, you know what, you’ve got a little announcement celebration yourself that has a two in it, don’t you Scott?

0:00:37.3 Scott Sylvester (SS): Yeah I do. Good morning everyone. Yeah, this 2022 is a milestone year for us reaching $2 billion in assets. Pretty exciting.

0:00:45.9 LJJ: It is absolutely amazing when you look back. You have been with the credit union since, I don’t even want to say what number the assets were Scott. [laughter] but tell us what does that mean for members?

0:00:57.9 SS: Oh, I view it as scale for us to be able to offer better products and services, better locations, better talent to serve our members. It’s a whole host of things. But yeah, to reflect back on when I started in 1994, we were really just a $25-, $26 million credit union. And there are still many Credit Unions that are those sizes today, they still exist. We’ve been so fortunate to be able to grow organically, grow our team, and grow our footprint in West Michigan and now Central Michigan to all the way up to $2 billion in assets today.

0:01:36.7 LJJ: You know, when you look at saying that how much we give back to make sure that members can bank how they want, when they want, you have always focused on top technology. You focused on service. Why is that so important to you, Scott?

0:01:53.9 SS: You know, the credit union as a whole has always been passionate about technology and being pretty progressive in that manner. And you know, taking some risks on some products and services to be out there on the forefront, going all the way back to the internet boom in the late ’90s and launching our first online banking product where we all had to use dial up to connect to the internet. So that was a first for us to launching Bill Pay in the early 2000s and offering it free from the get-go to fast forward to the iPhone era and offering Apple Pay. Being one of the first financial institutions in the country to actually have that enabled for our members to use and just check out with just a tap with your phone on the register.

0:02:40.1 LJJ: You know, we’ve just launched Voice Check, which I think is a great example of another technology win. And this truly is most important with today’s day and age and the tick up that we see in fraud. You must be really proud of the teams that are constantly working just to make sure our members feel safe and secure.

0:03:00.9 SS: Yeah, it’s another way to tackle identity theft, which is such a thing we all worry about, not only at the credit union, but family, friends have been subject to identity theft, it’s a tool that will help secure your financial services here at the credit union, and that we are using a biometric voice pattern to identify who you are. That way, it’s just one more level of security.

0:03:29.0 LJJ: We talk about high-tech. Now let’s talk about high-touch. Because we truly are known for our member service. It’s second-to-none. It takes a lot of focus on making sure we listen to our members needs. How have you seen that grow? And how proud are you of the service that we continue to give?

0:03:49.6 SS: I think it’s offering leading edge mobile banking technology that we’re very proud of that has a nearly a five-star rating in the app stores. So, we’re very proud of that. But then you can even talk about our offices and how if you walk into an office, you can be concierged right to a teller station. Where that teller is residing at our corporate headquarters, but they can provide that in the office. Because concierged in the, office troubleshoot with the MSR that’s in the office. Or you can use the drive-up and use this exact same technology. And it even has extended hours for use for our members. So, there’s lots of different touch points that technology is involved to really hopefully raise our members’ satisfaction.

0:04:35.6 LJJ: They were heading into a new year. As you know, there’s been so much discussion. You’ve traveled around the country recently and have heard of the ups and downs, the unsureness of what’s going on in the economy. How do we as a credit union help our members when the economy looks to be a little bit rocky coming up in 2023?

0:05:00.1 SS: Well, we’ve got to be their financial wellness partner, and we’re here to listen and to assist them and hopefully improve their financial wellbeing by being their partner through their life and their needs. It’s no different than any recession we’ve gone through. We’ve done that for our members all the time. So, we’re there to help. Absolutely.

0:05:18.5 LJJ: Tell us a little bit about 2023. You’ve got any high reaching goals as CEO?

0:05:24.2 SS: One thing that we’re really proud of in 2022 is our high employee engagement scores. We have a team that loves what they do. That in itself allows us to accomplish so much. So, we do have some strategic priorities around expanding growth opportunities within Michigan and perhaps beyond. And we’re also looking to… We’re a data driven company. And the data that we have is so important in how we make decisions going forward. We want to be very purposeful about that. So those are a couple of priorities going into next year. But we’ll continue to try to improve member satisfaction even though it’s high today. We never stop trying to get better and offer some, perhaps some new products and services as well.

0:06:10.4 LJJ: And finally, as we wrap up 2022, and you’ve mentioned a little bit about some things that you’re proud of. When you look back, here it is. It’s your first year that you are our Chief Executive Officer. What are you most proud of? Are there many things?

0:06:26.9 SS: I don’t know if it’s pride so much as enjoyment. I really have enjoyed getting out to the offices, meeting with people, being out more in the community and engaging with those folks, having one-on-ones with a lot of different departments, participating in department team meetings. I was just part of an HR and training department meeting yesterday. There is just so many things, but really, it’s… I really enjoy working with people and engaging with them one-on-one.


0:06:57.5 LJJ: I need to personally say thank you, Scott. You are a joy to work with. And as we celebrate 200 episodes here on Money I’m Home, we’re also celebrating $2 billion in assets here at Consumers Credit Union. And thank you for your leadership.

0:07:15.0 SS: Thank you, Lynne.

0:07:17.3 LJJ: Hey, everybody. If you have a topic that you’d like to share, just send it our way. We would love to hear from all of you out in the community. And thank you, Jake Esselink, for your production skills. I hope everybody has a wonderful week.


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