Dear Fellow Member-Owners,
Each year, when the time comes to pause and write this Annual Report letter to you, it is one of the few times I permit myself the luxury of looking back rather than always focusing on the future. Through this exercise, I find myself considering the things that we could have done better in 2018 – mistakes that could have been avoided or situations that could have been handled differently. Through that process, it is a great chance to use these situations as opportunities to become wiser and more effective as your CEO.
Along with these learning experiences also came a myriad of wonderful successes coupled with story after story of how Notre Dame FCU made a meaningful difference in the lives of so many of your co-owners. As a result, we ended the year stronger and better prepared than ever to provide you the best banking experience possible.
In 2018 we gave-back an incredible amount to you and the communities we serve – an amount in excess of $1 million! The organizations highlighted in this Annual Report are just a small sample of the kinds of endeavors we supported this past year.
Your credit union also made history by becoming the first and only credit union in Indiana to earn the prestigious national Juntos Avanzamos distinction for our commitment to serving and empowering Hispanic and immigrant consumers. The Juntos Avanzamos distinction acknowledges our historical and ongoing commitment to help our owners “move forward together” with financial empowerment tools that improve lives.
Other highlights of 2018 include the installation of new Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) at our Granger and Portage Branches, bringing continued innovation to our credit union. It is our plan to continue the rollout of these machines at all our drive-up locations. Once complete, we will be able to offer extended after hour access to “live” tellers, even after the branches close.
I could also not be prouder to work at an organization that has received the honor of being named Michiana’s Best Financial Institution for the sixth year in a row. The partners who work here are passionate about improving and enhancing your financial life and it is gratifying to see that those efforts are noticed and appreciated by those who continually vote us the best financial institution in town!
In 2018, your Board of Directors continued to “walk the walk” in living our mission by again raising our minimum wage – this time to $15 per hour. In a period of prosperity and growth for financial institutions, it is my sincere desire that this initiative will be taken up by more banks and credit unions. If Notre Dame FCU can pay a living wage, there is no reason other financial institutions cannot do so as well.
Never forget that the sole reason for our existence is to improve your financial life. It is not to maximize profits or build monuments or to enrich some at the expense of others. We are a cooperative, and as such, spend every waking minute thinking about ways to provide you the best financial services possible at the lowest possible cost.
Some days we hit the bullseye and other days we struggle to even hit the side of a barn. I think what really matters however, is that you own a credit union that will always strive to do the right thing and continually pushes forward to improve lives. Such perseverance is in our organizational DNA and you can be assured it is something we will never forsake.
We cannot dictate what other financial institutions do; we can only strive to control our own destiny and in doing so, perhaps make our world a little better. We are very blessed to have you as loyal owners, who enable us to continue this journey.
As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, comments or complaints, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected](link sends e-mail).
Best wishes for a continued happy and healthy 2019!
Thomas J. Gryp, President/CEO
Class of ‘79