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November/December 2017 Issue: Front Page > Feature

In Case You Missed It...2017
Jeff Merry Many thanks to those of you who were able to join us August 16th – 18th for VolCorp’s Annual Meeting and Forum '17. As is customary, part of the Annual Meeting was my delivery of the President’s Address in which I talked about VolCorp’s strong track record of overcoming adversity, where and what we are today, and, most importantly, what all of this means to you, our members and purpose for existing. I started this 'series' entitled 'In Case You Missed It' last year upon giving my first President's Address and plan to do this annually for those who were unable to attend the event. I think it is important for all of you who support us and whom we support to have a good sense of the current state of your corporate. With that, please enjoy In Case You Missed it…2017:

Where are we?

The short answer – in a strong position on the other side of adversity. Before delving into this, I explained that the reason VolCorp has such a track record of overcoming whatever comes at us is that our goal is to partner with you to change lives and that is a goal that endures the test of time…..but more on that later. Specifically, we are on the other side of the mortgage crisis and ensuing regulatory reform with a strong capital position and a place where we can now experience a shift in strategic thinking or posture. We are now able to look for ways to do what we do better and that is strategically partnering with you to find ways to strengthen your pursuit of your mission for the benefit of your membership base. I went on to explain a few ways we are and will be working to do exactly that, but, and perhaps more importantly, I then went on to explain WHY we do what we do.

What are we?

The WHY is often masked by our regulatory focus and pressure to build retained earnings. The fact is, however, that we do what we do because of what we are. We are a credit union’s credit union that is passionately committed to partnering with you to change lives, not just to change capital ratios. Sure, we have to build our capital ratios because Regulation 704 requires it, but that is not why we do what we do. I have recently reminded staff and expressed to the membership in the President's Address that we do what we do for the single mom with four kids working three jobs that just needs a car loan to be able to get to work. We may never see her, but you do. We do what we do for the military veteran who has just returned from a deployment and is trying to acclimate to civilian life and simply needs a small business loan to pursue the next chapter of life. We may never see him/her, but you do. We do it for the countless other members of the Natural Person’s Credit Unions we serve that we never even see – but you do. In every way that we can make life easier for our credit union members, we empower you to serve that member in need. That is why we do what we do.

Vital to this pursuit is the realization of how important the depth and breadth of our relationships with you are. Last year I stated that "critical to our success, is your success." This is true because we only exist to serve credit unions. Unlike many other vendors who serve other institutions as well, we only serve you. We are always on the same side of the table as you and always in pursuit of your best interest. This year, I conveyed a similar message in another way. I expressed that each of our credit unions is an "Essential Piece" of what we do. Every time we serve one of you, it enables us to better serve ALL of you and that means partnering with more of you to change more lives. I then gave a quote that actually came from a pastor I heard speak at church a couple of weeks before the Annual Meeting. He wasn’t speaking of credit unions, of course, but his quote rang true for me. He said, "Alignment is achieved when everyone agrees that the endgame is more important than any one part. For what we achieve, we achieve together." Wow, so true and the desire to partner with you to change lives for your members is so much bigger than VolCorp. That is why we do what we do. We may not directly see the results of it since we are at the wholesale level, but you do.

Last year, I gave the example of Canadian Geese and how, when they fly in alignment with one another, they can fly 70% further than when they fly alone and how we are happy to be the lead in the 'V formation' to help you excel much in the same way. This year, the reference is the "Essential Piece", but, either way, the message is the same – We are here for you just as you have been here for us for many years. We are stronger together. And we thank you for that. To symbolically help drive this notion home, we handed out to everyone in attendance a custom lapel pen with the VolCorp logo and a puzzle piece with the words "Each Member an Essential Piece." We hope you will wear them proudly. If you weren't at the meeting and would like one, we would love to get one to you.

To bring my Address to a close, I took a moment to marinate in the reality of what an awesome mission the credit union movement represents and how proud we are to partner with you and to be in credit unions, making a difference. It’s just different, isn’t it? We are a great family together, serving others and empowering others.

Finally I wrapped it up with two quotes and a personal sentiment. I’ll provide these here as well. The first was from the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, who famously said "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence." I also provided a quote from an unknown speaker who stated that "An opportunity is never lost. Someone will take the one that you missed." What does this mean to you? It means that, as your strategic partner, VolCorp may not be perfect, but we will strive for it every day as we serve you, knowing we can, at a minimum, provide you with excellence in all we do for you. It also means that we don’t ever want to miss an opportunity to find new ways to serve you or to serve you better because we know that, at the end of the day, that empowers you to better serve that single mom or military veteran. My final sentiments in this year’s President's Address were quite simple – I said that we are honored, humbled, privileged, thrilled, and most of all, blessed by the opportunity to be your corporate and your trusted partner and we look forward to doing everything we can over the next year to make you and your membership as successful as possible as we partner with you to change lives.

This, essentially, encapsulates the President's Address I gave in August. It gives a little perspective on where we are, what we are, and what it means for you. Most importantly, it explains my thoughts on why we do what we do, how meaningful it is, and how essential our partnership with each one of you is to that purpose. I just wanted to get this information in front of you for your review...in case you missed it.

Passionately committed to your success,

Jeff Merry

Jeffrey W. Merry

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