Coastal's President and CEO, Chuck Purvis, has capped a successful year by being named 2016 Businessperson of the Year by the Triangle Business Journal. The award recognizes Purvis’ business accomplishments and positive impact on the greater Triangle community.
Among the reasons for selecting Purvis for the award, the Triangle Business Journal cited: his own drive and determination, management style and commitment to employee engagement, along with Coastal's successful loan growth, increased public visibility and community involvement.
"I was surprised and humbled by the award, and words could never express how truly appreciative I am,” says Mr. Purvis, “While it's a tremendous honor to be personally recognized, I'm delighted to share this spotlight with my incredible co-workers and volunteers who make Coastal's success possible."
Purvis, who joined the not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative in 2001 and became CEO in 2012, is known throughout the industry for innovation, financial discipline, high performance and versatility. His commitment to the financial health of members, employees and the greater Triangle community is exemplified in Coastal’s philosophy of “We Share.” As CEO of a financial institution, the honor for Purvis is particularly noteworthy in a year when large banks faced scrutiny around questionable practices that harmed consumers.
“At Coastal, we strive to put our members’ needs ahead of the numbers," Purvis points out.
In fact, Coastal's current Bank Better campaign strives to highlight the values - community involvement, transparency, fair pricing and member service - which set the cooperative apart from those large banks.
"That philosophy extends to our community service as well. Receiving this award acknowledges that we’re on the right path and I’m proud to be part of this effort," Purvis adds.
Coastal has a history of actively supporting the greater Triangle area through the Coastal Credit Union Foundation. The Foundation focuses on helping the financially vulnerable, increasing financial literacy and alleviating food insecurity by supporting local non-profits. Each time members use their debit or credit card, Coastal donates a penny to the Foundation. This has added up to more than $275,000 a year for community organizations. From Small Business Saturday through Giving Tuesday this year, Coastal doubled these donations to provide extra support for local non-profits. In addition, Coastal is a mortgage lending partner to Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, providing $3 million in low interest loans that will ensure that
30 more families find housing.
Purvis' commitment to Coastal's “We Share” philosophy includes not only the community, but also focuses on employees and members. Earlier this month, he announced that Coastal had established a minimum wage of $12.50 per hour for all Coastal employees. The move is meant to provide a higher minimum wage consistent with Coastal’s core values while retaining the best of the best in the business. At the same time, Coastal announced it would help keep more money in the pockets of members by eliminating 20 member account fees.
These core values have created a culture that has earned recognition for Coastal as one of the “Best Places to Work in the Triangle for 2016” by the Triangle Business Journal, and "Best Credit Unions to Work For" by Credit Union Journal.
This year's actions are indicative of Purvis’ dynamic leadership in a career spanning more than 34 years in the credit union industry. He is regarded as a visionary in the role of technology in financial services. Purvis was a co-inventor of the Personal Teller Machine (PTM) technology that improved the efficiency of branch teller services and has allowed Coastal to operate 24 branches with teller service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Purvis serves as a board member of the United Way of the Greater Triangle, of CO-OP Financial Services and as chairman of Members Development Corporation. Purvis is also the former chairman of the National Credit Union Foundation and was a member of its board from 1995 to 2007.
Editors and staff at the Triangle Business Journal go through an extensive internal process to narrow down candidates each year. Selection criteria is based on several factors including: the individual’s accomplishments during the current year, their impact on the community (both local and national, if applicable) and the fiscal status of the company they direct or own.
The timing of the 2016 award announcement provides extra reason for celebration. Coastal will commemorate its 50th anniversary in 2017 with plans for celebrations throughout the year.