81st Annual Meeting – Reflecting on 2022 and Looking Forward

May 22, 2023

Categories: Credit Building, Credit Score, Education, Financial Goals, Financial Literacy, Financial Planning, Financial Resources, Financial Wellness, Financials 101, Future Planning, Savings Accounts, Student Loans

Laurie Baker

BLaurie Baker, President and CEO

It’s always challenging to try to encapsulate a year into a few paragraphs. At our recent annual meeting, held on May 10th, I had the opportunity to briefly reflect on 2022 – a year of exciting new member products and positive strategic growth, and share these thoughts with our members. If you were not able to join us, either in person, or virtually, I wanted to share these with you on this platform, which has become increasingly popular with those visiting our website.

Helping our members navigate through their financial life stages and improve their financial well-being have always been our primary missions. We have never been more mindful of this than throughout this past year as we faced the lasting impacts of the pandemic and inflation on the current economic climate. While watching the cost of living rise and hearing about the obstacles our members were experiencing, we asked ourselves ‘How can we best help our members achieve their financial goals while facing these ongoing challenges?’

One way was developing products that addressed evolving needs within our member base. The products that we launched in 2022 were our RoundUp Savings Account, Visa® Secured Credit Card, and CU Student Choice student loan options – all of which filled important gaps for our members. 

The dwindling national savings rate was at the forefront of our minds as we designed our new RoundUp Savings Account. This product is tailored to the needs of our members with a built-in savings feature that allows our members to save while making everyday purchases with their Summit Visa® Debit Card. Consumers are always looking for creative ways to save that will not upset the delicate balance of their budget and this product gave members an effortless way to work toward financial goals – like saving for an emergency or a rainy day. We have been able to help our members save thousands of dollars and the adoption of this new product has exceeded our wildest expectations.

We realize that while some of our members are focused on growing their savings, others are focused on building or repairing their credit. For several years, our members have inquired about a credit card option that could help do just that. The addition of the Visa® Secured Credit Card to our credit card portfolio in the fall ensured that we were able to serve members that are looking for a simple and safe way to establish or boost their credit.

We recognized a need for flexible student loan options. Student loans and student loan refinancing have been hot topics at a national level over the past few years. Our commitment to providing ways to fill funding gaps and offer low-rate solutions lead us to a partnership with CU Student Choice. We now offer students and families expanded private education financing solutions for both undergraduate and graduate programs as well as refinancing options for members who are currently repaying their student loans.

One of the most fulfilling parts of 2022 was being able to reengage with the public at events that returned post-pandemic. We partnered with and sponsored not-for-profit organizations in our communities in a bigger way than the previous couple of years. We had a consistent presence that offered reassurance and demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to our communities. We supported hundreds of local organizations with our time and talents as well as our monetary donations. Each of these interactions and partnerships gave deeper meaning to the “why” behind our daily work and purpose.

Our products and services as well as our community involvement are our foundation, but our employees give The Summit life, and the credit union is stronger because of them. Our employees represent a diverse group of experienced and dedicated individuals who uphold our values of high standards, respect, care, and integrity. They inspire us – and each other – every day. They are our greatest ambassadors and consistently go above and beyond to support our mission, members, and their communities.

Our strong commitment to cultivate an extraordinary workplace culture, make meaningful impact in our communities, and broaden our products and services remain at the center of our focus and allow us to grow stronger together to better serve the needs of our members.