In 1973 the State Employees’ Credit Union’s Board of Directors approved a program that would provide far reaching and long lasting benefits. It had been five years since the first two branches outside Raleigh (Chapel Hill and Goldsboro) had been opened. The Board of Directors recognized that growth to other areas of the state would continue. They also understood that as a member-owned cooperative the ability to stay in touch with its membership during this growth was vital. To do this the Board asked members to serve on local Advisory Boards.
Today, with over 260 branches, at least one in each of NC’s counties, the Credit Union continues to rely on Advisory Boards. Each branch has an Advisory Board with up to 12 members who work at area state departments/agencies, universities and public schools. Local Boards meet quarterly to learn about Credit Union accounts/services, discuss concerns and suggestions from fellow members and respond to questions and requests from the Board of Directors and management about issues affecting SECU and how it serves its members.
Advisory Board members also assist their branch manager and staff in connecting with the community and participate in outreach events such as Member Appreciation Days, fundraisers and community Shred Days. In their role as an Advisory Board member they promote the Credit Union and keep the two-way line of communications between the Board of Directors and membership open.
A creative example of how Advisory Board members learn about SECU is found in Durham. For the past 10 years Board members from Durham branches have gathered for a showdown on which Board is most knowledgeable about SECU. Competition abounds, as members answer Credit Union trivia questions and score points for their Board. While one Board is ultimately named the victor, the real beneficiaries of this annual event are members who hear about new products and services, or changes to existing services when Advisory Board members report back to them.
JoAnn Molnar, a member of the Durham-Guess Rd. branch Advisory Board said the game, “brings awareness of the many beneficial accounts and services offered by the Credit Union.” Molnar, who is an educator, uses information learned during Board meetings to educate and encourage others who are eligible to join SECU. “The more details you know about the Credit Union, the more you can share and discuss with people in your community,” she said.
Thank you to over 3,000 Advisory Board members across the state for volunteering your time to serve your fellow members. For more information about SECU’s Advisory Board Program or if you are interested in being considered for your local Board please contact your branch manager or email email@example.com.