It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is definitely in the air.
After all, I love celebrating a successful year, and rewarding members for making Coastal successful. I love seeing my friends and coworkers earn recognition for their hard work. Most of all, I love fighting for the best interests of our membership, and for credit union members everywhere.
It’s only natural, then, that my latest member message is focused on exactly those things.
This morning, Coastal paid out our Loyalty Bonus, a special dividend rewarding members for making us successful.
Loyalty Bonus replaces the old VIP program, and works a bit differently. First, total payout was calculated based on Coastal’s overall performance for 2016. Then, individual shares of the payout were calculated based on each member’s total relationship with Coastal (the sum of your average monthly deposits and your end of year loan balances), as well as your length of membership.
The total payout is more than $2.3 Million, shared among nearly 48,000 members, making it our largest ever payout by both metrics. This payout represents approximately 10% of our Net Income in 2016. I hope you’re one of the many members who woke up this morning to find a little extra in your primary savings account.
On February 2, I was fortunate to attend the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation awards gala, and had the pleasure of seeing Coastal collect two notable awards. Our Foundation earned the Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility, in recognition of the Power of Sharing Gala we hosted in 2016. The Power of Sharing event brought together some of our key business partners and several deserving nonprofit organizations from the community who were awarded more than $280,000 in charitable grants. I’m very much looking forward to the 2017 event this May.
More significantly, our Board Chairwoman Joan Nelson was honored with the Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award. Joan has been a volunteer on our board of directors for 23 years and has served as our chair for the past five. She’s been instrumental in leading Coastal through all of the successes and challenges that I’ve experienced in my career here. It’s an absolute privilege to call her my boss, my mentor and my friend. If you know Joan, be sure to congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition.
Heading to Capitol Hill
In a few weeks, I’m leading a delegation of key employees and board volunteers to Washington for the annual CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. There, we’ll aim to accomplish two things when we meet with our elected officials.
First, we want to share all of the good that Coastal is doing in their districts. Among other things, we’ll tout our $21 million 2016 Member Giveback, the $307,000 that our Foundation made in grants last year, and the plethora of financial education sessions and other events that we conducted in the community throughout the year.
We’ll also reinforce the fact that any action taken by our legislators results in real life effects on our members. For each major financial services issue, we like to be able to share what that means to our members and community, and how each proposed change could either help or hurt. With a new Congress and new presidential administration, we expect tax reform to be at the forefront. We know the big Wall Street banks are already pressuring Congress into taking away credit unions’ favorable tax status; a move that wouldn’t do much at all to close the budget deficit, but would have detrimental effects on our ability to make a positive difference in your life.
As this year goes on, I plan to use these letters a bit more frequently. In part, to keep you abreast of the happenings at Coastal as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, and in part to keep you informed of the issues in Washington and how they might affect you. If necessary, I may even ask for help in reaching out to our elected officials, just as you have during the Don’t Tax My Credit Union and Stop the Data Breaches campaigns.
Until next time, thank you for the opportunity to do what I love each day.
President & CEO