Happy Holidays to each and every one of you. I hope this message finds you winding down what was a great 2017, and that you are hopeful and optimistic about what 2018 will bring. I know that this has certainly been a whirlwind year here at Coastal, and next year promises more of the same.
I’m proud of all the hard work that went into serving members this year, and of everything our team has planned to help you make your dreams come true next year and beyond.
Looking Back at our First 50 Years, Forward to the Next 50
One of the highlights of this year was celebrating our milestone 50th anniversary, and highlighting the various ways that Coastal has made a difference in the lives of our members since we were first chartered in 1967.
We shared member stories, held special events, and even threw a huge member party at Coastal Music Park. There were also a number of giveaways and special member offers.
To tie it all together, in September we ran a contest to help kick off our next 50 years of sharing. Dubbed 50 Forward, we invited our members and the public to nominate a local nonprofit organization that they felt is deserving of a $5,000 donation. I’m pleased to say, we received more than 1,500 entries, nominating 483 different organizations.
Our five winning organizations were The Public Gallery of Carrboro (WCOM-LPFM), Beginnings, First NC Robotics, Chapel Hill High School Philharmonic Foundation, and Raleigh Rescue Mission.
Videos highlighting the five organizations are posted to our YouTube channel.
As a special surprise, we also awarded the people who nominated those organizations with $5,000 of their own. As I said during the award ceremony, it takes a special person to recognize the value that an organization brings to a community. The first step in paying it forward was for someone to get them on our radar.
New Branch Groundbreaking
Speaking of getting on our radar… some of the most common feedback from our members is suggestions for new branch locations, and one that has topped our request list for the past several years is Holly Springs.
We heard you, and on December 4th, our board chair Joan Nelson and I were joined by representatives from the Town of Holly Springs and the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce to break ground on our newest branch, which will be located at 700 Village Walk drive.
Initial site work is scheduled to begin in early 2018, and construction should be complete by the third quarter. The new branch will feature three drive-up video tellers, and will offer Coastal’s signature 7am to 7pm teller service, seven days a week.
New Fraud and ID Theft Tools
Lastly, I have something that will benefit all members. Over the past few years, fraud, ID theft and the threat of merchant data compromises have continued to grow. We’re constantly working to stay ahead of those threats and minimize the risks to our members and to Coastal.
I’m pleased to introduce two new fraud and ID theft tools, one to help fight back against the threat of compromised card data from being used, and another to help you recover if you do become a victim of fraud.
Earlier this month, Coastal began offering CardNav, a free smartphone app that allows you much greater control over your debit card. Using CardNav, you can quickly turn any Coastal debit card on, or off, preventing it from being used fraudulently. You can also customize controls to restrict certain merchant categories or transaction types. You can even set your card to only work when it’s in the same location as your phone.
CardNav also features a number of customizable alert options, and much more. I’ve been using it and love having another level of control over my cards. Visit the CardNav page on our website for more details and the link to your favorite app store.
Also, starting in January, we will be making a new ID theft recovery service available to all members, at no cost to you. In the event you do suspect identity theft, or if your personal information becomes compromised, Coastal will assign you to a certified, professional Recovery Advocate, who will complete the recovery work on your behalf, report progress along the way, and be there for you until your good name is restored – no matter how long it takes.
This is a service that would cost individuals up to $36 a year to buy on your own. We feel it’s important enough to provide at no cost to all of our members, regardless of the size or profitability of your relationship with us. No other financial institution in our market is doing this yet, and we’re proud to be the first.
I’m hoping very few of you will ever need it, but everyone should have the peace of mind knowing that your credit union is going to work on your behalf.
Look for more details about that service soon.
Until then, please have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
President & CEO