July 13, 2023
As I write this newsletter article, it is with mixed emotions that I share with all of you that 2023 will be my last full year at the helm of Heritage Family Credit Union. After a wonderful 30-year career at HFCU, I will officially retire in early 2024. I am still a little in shock that it’s gone by so quickly, but the time has come to begin the next chapter of my life.
The Board of Directors was made aware of my intentions earlier this year and engaged a firm, Shanley Search Partners, in May to lead the search for a new President/CEO. Their plan is to have a new President secured by early this fall, in order to get that person onboarded prior to the beginning of 2024.
As we move forward with this succession plan, I want to ensure all of you that the continued success of HFCU remains a top priority of management and the Board. We will continue to focus on the execution of our strategies and I will assist the leadership team in navigating these uncertain times over the coming months.
To that end, I wanted to let you all know of a few exciting things happening over the next few months that will assist us in better serving our members. First, we are in the process of purchasing a new piece of property in Bennington. While our current branch on Pleasant St, the one that we inherited from the merger with Bennington County Teachers Credit Union, has served us well over the years, the time has come to expand our delivery channels and service offerings in that important part of the state. This branch will serve as a “hub”, with plans for mortgage, business and financial advisor services at that location. From there we will be able to expand our reach to the southeastern part of the state and beyond to New Hampshire. Construction on this new facility is planned to begin in early 2024.
Second, we have been approached by the Town of Poultney about offering additional services in that area. While there isn’t enough business to warrant a new branch in town, we are working on installing an Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) in the drive-thru at the former Citizens Bank branch. This will allow our members to self-serve many of the normal transactional services simply by visiting that drive-up location.
And lastly, we continue to look at opportunities to improve our environmental responsibility as an organization by reducing the amount of paper we process. That is where you come in. This summer, we will be asking all members that are eBranch users to accept an updated eBranch agreement. As part of this acceptance, you’ll be asked to agree to receive your monthly statements electronically. This change will not only allow us to be “greener”, but it will help us to deliver the statements faster and more securely. However, if at any time an eBranch user wants to receive paper statements, they will have the option to convert statement preferences within eBranch, by visiting a branch or contacting a call center agent. As stated previously, this new process should be ready to go in the near future and help us reduce the number of paper statements we produce by over 25%.
I hope you are as excited as we are about all of the operational initiatives going on at your Credit Union. If you have any questions about the items listed above, please do not hesitate to give me a call. Thanks, and enjoy the warm summer months ahead.
-Matt Levandowski, President/CEO