3/17 Buffalo Means Business w/ Good Neighbors Credit Union

Buffalo Means Business
Saturday, March 17th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

On news radio 930 WB yen this is buffalo means business where local businesses and services tell their stories I'm Randy bush over if you have one of those stories to pass along sending an email at Randi that bush over. @entercom.com. For the segment talking with Imus Molly who's the CEO of good neighbors credit union -- welcome and thanks for being here thanks for having me. Little about your background you have I've been working in this field for. A number of years now ten years now now one how did it start and where did it starts. I started at boulevard federal credit union which is in Amherst they serve on banners and I started as a teller there that was actually just my family's credit union soul. I'd been going in their since I was an infant and started working there as a teller and then moved into the loan department. And from that you've worked. To and other levels and other credit unions he can't from there I went from the mortgage lending there there the home equity lending to. Niagara Falls Penn central employees credit union. Which as a very small Canadian in the Niagara Falls. Area. Serving only train engineers so it was really small X 700 members for a million cents. Some ran that three year and then we merged into boulevard and then I went to work with and Sweeney at Lancaster if you. And then from their now you actually are as to mention op to top the CEO of good neighbors credit union so you spun off and started Ural. Credit unions and yes so I had been working on a project for a number of years on the west side of the city afloat. To open a brand new credit union primarily to serve that neighborhood and the refugee community that's going there. And and starting a credit union from scratch is actually incredibly difficult very rarely done. We had all all the things we needed but the capital the money but I arteries and you still the study pretty union with Blake. Five bucks in a cigar box in the breaker Roman higher credit union but regulations. Dictate that that is not delay goes any more so. The we're unable to raise that money but I had taken this position as the CFO at Lancaster to pew. With the intention of becoming the CEO and the board really like the idea they were looking at expanding into the community anyway. So. We went community changers and now we serve all of the county. And they allowed me open up my branch on the west side so we have a branch there in the horse feathers building in the the market there and normal in Connecticut. Sell them. And that's to San familiar with that because that that was very interesting project with a number of things going on in that quarter two and in building. Yes it's up and coming and it's been nice. Now this is one of a couple of branches that you'd actually have now. Yes we have I mean ranch which is in to peer and then we have our city branch. In horse feathers and then. We have a student run branch in the Lancaster high school so we've had that for a number of years. And it's it's pretty it's pretty great project there to students interns so they learn how to be tellers and they learn about the pretty lenient and they get some business experience. And the teachers who are members get the convenience of having a branch there and kids get some financial literacy training to use of the the students at that branch. Teach financial literacy to commentary students. In the district so they're they're learning quite a lot and ratchets up its people project. And now why it was that important to you because and normally you would think it would be just enough and you make you mentioned a little bit and we'll get into that about how tough it was just to get things off the ground for the credit union. Yeah not only that pitcher. Getting beat these high schoolers involved in one. Yeah I I can't take credit for that Mike Shaw who's our board president Hewitt at the school and that was his his project along with and Sweeney who was the CEO at the time. So that was. That was their baby and so I've just kind of taken it and I have a really good group a staff that are kind of running with that but I think. Financial literacy. Is really important because who among us doesn't use money. And it's not taught in schools and a lot of times it's not taught in homes so. You know you've got kids that go off to college in Blakely and and I don't actually know how to pay my bills or use a credit tired or you know balance my checking account or any of that stuff. So it is really important and I am I'm glad to be apart of the project by. Credit goes to. And indeed and no pun intended but that was while play yet. As far as the role of the credit union what makes it different than any regular bank again regular putting quotes yes there. Credit unions act cooperatives so where member on actually all of the members who have a deposit inner. Credit union owned record union and they come to an annual meeting and they can vote. For the board of directors who are all volunteers. And paid like it at banks. So we hired. Chu Li member owned and operated and we're not for profit so anything that we earn up to a tailor bills and keep the lights and all that that goes back to the members and whatever this new service they want which now is you know mobile banking and remote deposit capture and lower rates on our. Loans at higher rates on deposits so it's. It's pretty equal structure it's it's the most democratic can be. And there must have been something. In in you're personalize that made you. Interested in the whole financial realm to begin was because obviously that's where your whole careers again. Well credit unions are easy to fall in love with which can understand how they are but I a world. Give that credit to my dad who would just we we don't go to banks who go to credit unions because I trust them and they know me and my money is safe there. And you treated like a person you know because they're an owner so at that time it was you know. Pretty lenient used to be just everyone in your business you know everyone here at three a station would get together and we're gonna starter credit union so that we got to go to the bank and we're just gonna charge to other low interest rates and that's how they they began its its pretty cool. Talking animus Molly she CEO of good neighbors credit union there are two branches plus high school branch as we've. Just disgusting you're listening to buffalo means business on news radio 930 WP yen. And again just to kind of flesh out a little bit more you talked about the difficulties of getting the credit union started can you talk a little bit about some of the stumbling block some of the roadblocks on your way to making this a successful institution. Yeah. It was really the fundraising piece that was was difficult but you know small pretty gains everywhere. Are struggling it's it's really hard to compete in. In the financial service sector right now as a small credit union where fifteen million now so where. We're still considered a small cranking but that's big to me I mean coming from a four million dollar credit union. You just can't afford to have the services that people expect you'd have they want you have online banking and mobile banking and and all the bells and whistles in those things cost. So it's an in a low interest rate environment like this it's it's really difficult to. To survive as a small credit union so. I'm lucky at the pretty near outward a good size who are wreaking sustained and we can continue to add services and now. Serving Olney Erie count me we have a lot more opportunities. And I am struck by the fact that you mentioned them mortgage lending was one of realms within which you worked. So was is actually for individuals for homes or more of something else yet individuals from around so you know. We do work with. An outside company to do like the heavy lifting on the mortgage lending as the regulations are pretty. Pretty severe there but you know home equity loans and mortgages that are. One of the things that credit unions. Offer to their. Members you know it's nice to do a first time home buyer you know some Izturis Tom Izzo is great. Great project work. And as far as the future plans hour. Good neighbors credit union now more branches Horry just and providing more services. Right now we're focusing and making sure we're providing all the best services that we can firm membership we just opened the city brand so where. You know we're still kind of alerting people to our presence there you know where it's a really small grants. It's cut tucked in there and then in the market so. People may not know that we're there and so working on just kind of raising awareness in the neighborhood. And that we are an option. Florida the people in the area. And among the other challenges where is there any problem would you being well. I am going to make an assumption here relatively young female. It was there any kind of issue with that when people were you know raising eyebrows that sort of thing when you're looking for help. Maybe so but I think actually. Credit unions when you when you're in the smaller assets as their predominantly run by women. So. It's when you get into the big ears you know billion dollar credit unions those are. They they tend to be run by man but you know all of the really strong credit union. Women leaders in the area there are leaders in the area of the small Canadians are our women. Is W network a little bit to that yet so that's definitely got to help. And I you've already hit on this a little bit but the the idea of financial literacy is very very key TU and that's sounds like one of the the bigger off shoots of everything you do. Yes it's really importance Meese. You can't expect people to. Plea game that they don't know the rules of and I think that it's pretty unfair that we do expect that and it's its slate is as stressful enough so our our job is really to make the finance part of it is easy and stress free as it possibly can be. And you don't have to know. You just have acted tell us that you need to now and we can help you through it and you know. I think that's that's a gradient thing that's not just us weak credit unions you know we're cooperatives and one of the cooperative principles as. You know education and service to others so you know if you're if you're live in the if you live in the talking your credit union you you should be providing financial literacy. And again before we act close up the segment one more time on now where the two branches located and how people can get ahold of you. Sure. Our main branch is into pew. So we're thirty Brunswick wrote into pew and her other branch is on the corner of Connecticut and normal and of course that is. And a phone calls at the easiest way of my getting instructions are we have website which is good neighbors it's you dot com. And it's easier now after the hour. And I think you kind of headed on up but that future plans just consolidating what to do doing better what you do yeah right now we're just we're developing our. We went through or a re brands and our good neighbors and we're trying to get the word that we are serving all very count me in and we have are two branches right now and it's like to help as many people as we can reach their. Financial goals. Well sounds like a burial lofty goal the one that day year while on your way to achieving thank you very much refused Koch thanks for having me. And a smalley CEO good neighbors credit union this is buffalo means business on news radio 930. WB yet.