BY SCOTT MCCLYMONDS
This month’s CEO spotlight takes us to Huntsville, Alabama. Joe Newberry of Redstone FCU sits down to discuss ways credit unions can serve members beyond financial products. He also offers practical advice on how CUs can innovate in ways that not only increase financial performance but also benefit both members and the community.
This month my leadership discussion was with Joe Newberry, CEO of Redstone FCU in Huntsville, Alabama. Redstone has approximately $4 billion in assets and over 375,000 members throughout the Tennessee Valley.
While the entire credit union movement is talking about innovation and the need to become more relevant, Joe is an example of an industry veteran who is taking the innovation bull by the horns and making a real difference in the lives of Redstone’s members.
Joe and his team are passionate innovators, and our discussion was focused almost entirely on how Redstone’s innovations are increasing the credit union’s relevance and value for its members while strengthening the institution’s financial performance.
What I found refreshing was that Joe refuses to let Redstone default into the “commodity” mindset that many financial institutions fi nd themselves in, oftentimes subconsciously. Joe realizes that what worked yesterday and today won’t necessarily work tomorrow. So in order to provide differentiation and value, the Redstone mindset is: “We are here to benefi t our members’ lives, and members have more than just fi nancial needs.”
In other words, Redstone looks for ways it can serve members beyond fi nancial products. For example:
The CU’s Trusted Advisor program provides members with critical information on life events such as weddings, exiting the military and finding a job.
Redstone Discounts helps members get discounts on items they purchase from local and national merchants.
Handling the Stresses of Being CEO
While discussions on leadership and strategy are always fascinating, I like to remember that this is a real person I’m speaking with, and the job they have is demanding and stressful.