By Donya Parrish, MCU VP- Risk Management
This crazy year is (finally) almost over! We are all anxious to see 2020 in the rearview mirror; but before we do, let’s reflect on some positives that came out of the pandemic. These are a few things I heard about credit unions across Montana these past months that made me proud to work in this industry. I would encourage you to make your own list and help us all move into a more positive mindset for 2021.
- Flexibility – As soon as the risk of serving members in the traditional manner became evident, credit unions closed lobbies, shifted staff, and served members in the best way they could — whether through a window, a parking lot, the drive-thru, or online. Board meetings and member meetings moved to the virtual world, and everyone made the best of things.
- Connectedness – CEOs across Montana joined our weekly calls to share concerns and ideas and help each other get through the many challenges that were coming daily. Local groups of CEOs were meeting in Billings and Great Falls to coordinate lobby openings and how they were dealing with member service and employee situations. Other peer groups also leaned on each other through calls, Zoom meetings, and email listservs for help.
- Resiliency – This will likely be the word that defines this year when we get far enough past it. Through all the adjustments to expectations, regulations, directives, and more, member service was strong and credit unions proved they could pivot quickly to help with a financial crisis.
- Innovation – Some of the ways members have been served might have taken a year or two of discussion in “normal” times, but the desire to help members safely access their funds and loans had credit unions moving into products more quickly than ever. They also moved to virtual meetings and staff working remotely, both of which may have never been considered otherwise.
- Empathy – At the heart of every conversation about employee safety, member access, and business lending was so much caring and heartfelt desire to help.
- Hope – There’s really nothing more to say than we hope the future is healthy and safe. Credit unions continue to provide a beacon of light to members every day and you deserve to pat yourselves on the back for it!