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Remember to vote in our Moms Madness Bracket Challenge today - Carol Brady vs. M... Read More April 25 2014
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March Madness is over but MOMS MADNESS is just starting! Each day for the next 2... Read More April 24 2014
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Hope you're enjoying our fiiiine Earth on this mighty fine Earth Day. We happen... Read More April 22 2014
Click to help our running team win the SacTown Ten-Mile T-shirt contest! Very ea... Read More April 22 2014
Youth week, day 2! We're kinda proud of the fact that we fund Banzai financial l... Read More April 22 2014
It's National Credit Union Youth Week! I'll be sharing kid stuff all week. Like... Read More April 21 2014
One of our annual favorites. Happy Easter to all! Read More April 20 2014

Featured

Our Employees Rock!

employee-star

Our late and great prior president/CEO, Gino Del Carlo once put this challenge out to the staff at Great Basin Federal Credit Union:

“With the coming of the new year, will you generate the energy that is necessary to keep our momentum going toward being the dominant credit union in Northern Nevada?  Will you generate the energy to make our strategic plan come to life?  Will you generate the energy needed to provide the ultimate experience to every member of the credit union and our community?  Will you generate the energy it takes to make You a better You and to bring out the best in your peers around you?

 

Only you can answer these questions.  And only you can back up your convictions with your actions – provide proof.  I’m asking you all to get involved.  Ask questions.  Create buzz.  Don’t settle for what we are, but be a leader in taking us where we can and should be.  Our members and each other deserve nothing less.”

Many of you in the Great Basin and Washoe County community knew Gino.  He was an inspiration and a true leader.  His energy and motivation lives on here at Great Basin and is carried on by the amazing staff.  Much of the same employees that Gino addressed years ago are still here.  They are the best this community has and they are committed to “generating the energy needed to provide the ultimate experience to every member of the credit union and our community.”

At Great Basin Federal Credit Union we feel it’s important to acknowledge our employees and their accomplishments. We have created the “Shining Star Award” to acknowledge the employees that stand out as an example of great service; those who go the extra mile to help members and other staff. These employees take our core values into consideration every single day.

Please help us in recognizing a couple of outstanding employees here at Great Basin Federal Credit Union for earning the Shining Star Award last quarter:  Kim Passow and Marla Nannini.  When you see Kim or Marla, please take a moment to acknowledge them and their accomplishments and for always striving to provide the ultimate experience to our members and each other.

Quit your whining and take action!

problem-solved

Not a great morning in the Denoo household.  We run a pretty tight and efficient ship as you can imagine.  My kids are ten, six and three.  We need to be out the door by 7:00 a.m. so that they can get to the before-school program in time for me to make it to work by 8:00.  Not fun, but it is a fact as many working parents understand. 

My six year old sat at the table for 30 minutes without eating because he did not like the cereal he had.  This makes my blood boil.  It is not about breakfast, him starving or me being late for work.  Nothing drives me crazier then when my kids whine and do not problem solve and communicate effectively.  

As a general rule in my house we say, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”.  If my son had thought about solutions, like substituting frosted flakes for a breakfast bar and yogurt, I would have agreed simply because he thought of an alternative to his problem and taken action.  Ok, so he is six so maybe it is a bit much to expect him to do that but when do you start teaching those things?

Let’s go to the next issue, which is about communication.  There is a major difference between making a statement and asking a question. When you make a statement, you do not expect a response.  When you ask a question you expect action of some sort.   For example, if he said, “I don’t like frosted flakes”, I would typically respond with, “I’m sorry to hear that”.  When he can turn it into a question such as, “Mom, can I have something other than frosted flakes?” there is an expectation on my part to answer him, although it may be just a “yes” or “no”.  If he took it one step further to say, “Mom, I don’t like frosted flakes so can I get a breakfast bar?”  I would be ecstatic because he not only communicated his problem, but he came up with a solution!

I drive my kids crazy when I do not acknowledge them when they whine or when I say to them, “That is a statement so if you want my response, ask a question”.  Why does it matter to me so much?  Because now that I think about it, there is one thing that drives me crazier than when my kids to whine, do not problem solve and communicate effectively – and that is when ADULTS do those things.  I get it – it can be uncomfortable to ask direct questions.  It can take thought and time to come up with a solution when it would be easier to pass a problem off.  In my opinion though, it is more uncomfortable to live a life where you are not getting your needs met.  Can you imagine a world or a workplace where we, our employees and our peers do not whine, where they problem solve and communicate by asking questions rather than making statements?  How many marriages would stay intact and how many more family functions would be civil? 

If I can do my kids one favor in life it will be to teach them to speak up for what they want.  Find solutions and then communicate in a way that gets positive results.  The dividends to them and for their future employers and spouses will pay off big time.

We Can Do It Better, Bank On It.

help-me

I saw some survey results the other day noting that bank approval rating by the public had dropped to historic lows. The ABA recently released their annual survey of customer service and once again, credit unions rank higher than the banks in their own survey. I’ll pause to take in the brief endorphin rush here before I go through a little reality check and remind myself that for the most part, the general public doesn’t really understand the key differences between banks and credit unions.

One of the key differences between banks and CUs is the not-for-profit structure of CUs. Okay, it’s a cooperative. We run the operations to lower loan rates, raise savings rates and the fees are usually modest compared to the banks which are for-profit, which is just fine. Banks are not evil, in themselves (sorry can’t help it) just because they are for-profit. It’s their right to pursue a business activity and make money. The same as it is the right of any group of citizens to seek an alternative to high loan rates, minimal deposit rates and increasing fees in a not-for-profit alternative to banks; in other words, a credit union.

Let’s focus on one of the results of the not-for-profit motivation beyond the personal benefit to CU member participants. You might have heard there is a recession going on, or was, as the technicians now tell us that it’s officially over; NOT. Nevadans might want to discuss that point with those experts but suffice it to say the economy looks bleak and we need businesses to get going and hire those out of work, etc., etc. The business lending needed for some of the stimulation of the economy normally comes from the banks. This is where we have the chicken and egg scenario as the banks don’t want to lend in a down, okay really down, economy. Credit unions have been asking Congress to increase the controls the bankers were able to get placed on CUs 10 years ago that limit the amount CUs can do in business lending. Bankers complain that CUs simply don’t have the expertise to do that much business lending. This is usually when I start to choke, as if times weren’t so painful this might be humorous. First point, I can go out in the market and buy the expertise to do business lending. This credit union has employed some of the most experienced business lending people over the years. It’s not that difficult. It usually takes one to two years to “re-train” the mindset of a banker to consider lending might be something to actually help people instead of the bank. Given half a chance people can actually enjoy working and helping each other; startling concept.

The second and focal point to be made is that using the banker logic, mortgage lending might have been something that bankers should have done pretty well at since they were the largest mortgage originators by far.

So what went screwy? The bankers and investment bankers went screwy. They got real greedy and sacrificed the economic stability of our country for years, if not decades (remember your 401K?). Here’s the crux of what I have been meandering to; the credit union industry has a 10% Net Capital ratio (bank’s comparable capital ratios are far below that) and we want to do more. CUs did mortgage lending better than the banks ever did, and we didn’t make all the greed-based and high risk mistakes that bankers did in their mortgage lending. What we need is CUs with our not-for-profit motivation to do more small business loans. We’ll do it better than the bankers ever did. Which is why the bankers fight us on increasing business lending for credit unions; fear.