Nov 23 '16

Credit Unions, Thank You for Your Service and Leadership

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! At Filene, we decided to have a little fun this week and take a therapeutic crafting break to make some good old fashioned hand-shaped turkeys and remember what we're thankful for—yes, just like we did when we were kids. 


It helped pull us back into a different mindset and pace of life if only for a moment. Doing so immediately lit up the room and put smiles on every face. I thought about how we all came to be here together and it caused me to remember the values that matter most to us.

One thought that came to the surface was that I wanted to thank all credit unions for their leadership through serving their communities.

The 10 characteristics of effective, caring leaders, through the lens of servant leadership have been described as:

  1. Listening
  2. Empathy
  3. Healing
  4. Awareness
  5. Persuasion
  6. Conceptualization
  7. Foresight
  8. Stewardship
  9. Commitment to the growth of people
  10. Building community

To demonstrate what these characteristics look like in action, through the words of one leader in our credit union industry today, I’d like to share this message of gratitude and rededication to core values, delivered to this credit union’s staff earlier this month.

“I was on a flight to our nation’s capital on November 9, and it was probably the most solemn flight I have ever been on. I am not sure if it is because we were all exhausted from watching the results come in the night before or because this was the most divisive election in recent memory with very strong feelings on either side. This is a time in our nation like none other. Regardless of your political beliefs, I think we can all agree there is a divide amongst the great nation in which we live.

As I ponder this, I thought maybe a little history and grounding would help us all. A+ Federal Credit Union was founded by a group of teachers that wanted to make sure there was a way for fellow educator employees to fulfill their dreams--the original peer to peer lending--and know that the credit union was there to help in times of need. 

We still have that same mission today except now we serve a more diverse group of people. We continue to demonstrate our mission every day by fulfilling our Core Values. We strengthen the foundations of our community through financial education, providing a way to buy that new house, getting that first car, helping members get out of debt, providing a safe place for their funds, volunteering in the community and treating everyone with respect.  

This has not changed since day one and continues to be at our core. Members will continue to come in looking for help, seeking stability, celebrating, or even just getting a cup of coffee and someone to talk to. We are a strong, stable financial institution and will continue to be a partner for our members throughout any crisis or celebration.    

Thank you for everything you do to make a difference in our members' and team members' lives.”

-- Kerry Parker, CEO, A+ Federal Credit Union 

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, l wish to echo this sentiment. To thank credit unions serving all types of communities across the world for their service, their leadership, their dedication to members and their belief in their core values and mission to make a difference in people’s lives.

Thank you and have a Happy Thanksgiving!