Why are Credit Unions Different? Interview with PDCU Chairperson, Claudia Young Hunter
Dave: Hi everybody! Dave Sullivan here, part of the marketing team with People Driven Credit Union. I have a special guest:
Claudia: Claudia Young Hunter
Dave: Claudia, what position do you have, here at the credit union?
Claudia: I’m the chair of the board of directors here at People Driven.
Dave: How long have you been chairperson?
Claudia: I’ve been the chair here about six years.
Dave: You know a lot of people don’t understand what makes a credit union different from a bank. Can you tell them a little bit about what makes credit unions kind of special?
Claudia: Banks have stock holders and they are for-profit organizations. Credit unions are owned by their members and are non-profit.
Dave: When you say, credit unions are owned by the members you mean there’s no stock, per se. If you have an account with the credit union, you are in effect, a one share owner of the institution.
Claudia: That’s correct. Because we work for our members, we try to do things like, Give them great customer service and provide services that will help our members in their financial endeavors.
Dave: Claudia is there anything else that makes a credit union different from a bank?
Claudia: Credit unions often have higher interest rates for deposits and lower loan rates for their members, as well as lower fees.
Dave: You know, I feel now that now that I’ve worked here for a few years that when people apply for a loan I think that their personal situation is considered a little bit more than a financial institution. Would you agree with that?
Claudia: yes, I agree.
Dave: Claudia, what is it like to sit on the board of a credit union? What kind of things do you talk about? How often you meet?
Claudia: Well, it’s a great honor to sit on the board. We work with wonderful people. The CEO/President, Renee DiMarco and senior team do an awesome job. What I really like about it, is the opportunity to interact with other colleagues in the credit union world. As a board member, we have a fiduciary responsibility.
We are accountable to the members, so we have to make sure that we stay up to date on policies. We have to look at the compliance items that come to board meetings. Our board meets once a month, except we don’t meet in July or December. We review all of our policies annually and go through a pretty complete agenda because of a lot of the things that go on at the credit union.
Dave: It’s really kind of nice because, it’s an all-volunteer board.
Dave: However, there not for any profit motive. You’re there to try to give back to the community. Claudia: Correct!
Dave: Many of the people who sit on the board have had very successful careers prior to sitting on the board, or maybe while they’re sitting on the board, they have their additional career.
Claudia, what did you do prior to coming on the board, here at the credit union?
Claudia: I worked for Ford Motor Company for over thirty years.
Dave: Okay, now you said, “Ford,” not “Fords,” because some people might say it that way.
Claudia: Some people do say that. I also obtained my Masters in Business Administration and have been on the board of a couple of community organizations: One being the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra, It’s a community organization that gives free instruction and instruments and concerts for students;
Claudia: The other agency is the Dispute Resolution Center in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties. I’m a mediator there, still, and facilitate and I’m on that board, as well.
Dave: Sure! Well, that’s very important work! Did you play an instrument?
Claudia: Yes. Dave: What did you play?
Claudia: I played the piano and have continued on playing the keyboard. That’s a hobby that I really enjoy.
Dave: I love it! So we’re gonna have to get you on the keyboard here sometime. Claudia, I really appreciate you coming in. We appreciate all the service that you do for the community. I’m sure it’s well appreciated by both the credit union and the other organizations you represent.
Claudia: Well, it’s been a pleasure being here. Thank you!