BY ERIC GAGLIANO
Managed by a team of twenty- and thirty-somethings, ANECA Federal Credit Union is in a position like no other CU to understand the coveted Millennial generation. Young leadership has propelled the credit union to profitability thanks to a focus on attracting younger members. Could the same approach work for your credit union?
ANECA Federal Credit Union may be entering its 76th year, but it is younger than it has ever been thanks to its new C-level management team that ranges in age from 29 to 35.
In 2012, ANECA’s Board hired Stephanie Sievers as CEO. Sievers immediately began to move the once struggling credit union toward profitability. Her ultimate goal? Attracting the Millennials.
ANECA Credit Union (pronounced ah-knee-ka) has three branches in Shreveport, Louisiana, $95.7 million in total assets and 5,506 members.
When Sievers took the helm in 2012, ANECA was limping pretty badly. “ANECA was not in good financial shape,” she explains. “We were losing money. There had been a merger, and we were experiencing member runoff from that. Also, the work culture was pretty bad. Lots of negativity.”
Turn It Around: Shrink to Grow
As ANECA’s new CEO, Sievers’ first major move in turning around the CU was to assemble her version of a dream team. Herself just 35, Sievers created a core management team of younger professionals. To be clear, age was not the sole criterion. Sievers wanted individuals who brought fresh energy and enthusiasm to the table as well as strong experience, imagination and creativity in their respective areas. That team is Amanda Simpson, Chief Operations Officer; Eric Rippetoe, Chief Information Officer; and Colton Kyle, Chief Financial Officer, who at 29 years old is the youngest member of the team. These individuals would become the catalyst for creating a new, more energized ANECA culture that has shaped the CU’s new brand. Further, they would be the key to guiding the credit union in its quest to market more successfully to Millennials.