SeaComm is in its first year of the second half of a century doing business as a credit union. Today, we are approaching the half of a billion dollars in assets mark. Fifty-one years in operation with more than 40,000 members and SeaComm continues to be committed to ensuring our membership has the latest in up-to-date technology channels, above market deposit rates and the very best in service delivery.
Commitment to the Community
We are also committed to the communities in which we do business. This year we launched a program entitled “Do Some Good” enabling staff to volunteer at the charity / cause of their choice which will deepen their commitment to the communities in which we do business. Our staff has committed themselves to working in church and community programs, humane societies, fire departments, arts festival, AMVETS and Relay for Life to name just a few.
To provide a deeper perspective of the importance of this program, Malone Branch teller Doris Allen said, “Taking part in SeaComm’s Do Some Good program allowed me to contribute to an organization that means a lot to me and my family. The Neonatal Intensive Care (NIC) Unit has taken special care of my granddaughter, and I am able to see firsthand what they provide to families and how much they need. By participating in this program, I was able to represent SeaComm; and along with a group from Malone’s local AmVet’s Post 8 Auxiliary, we delivered over fifty handmade blankets and supplied children’s books to the unit,” she adds. Everyone was surprised to learn that my place of employment was, not just allowing, but encouraging me to take the day to fulfill such a wonderful task. Needless to say I was beyond grateful for the opportunity to “Do Some Good”.
At this year’s annual meeting in May, we were pleased to announce that 2013 was another outstanding year for SeaComm. Member satisfaction, staff engagement and overall profitability remained high. The overall message relayed was that SeaComm is concretely committed to doing the right thing for its membership and with that success follows. A copy of the annual report is on our website.
As we are well into the third quarter, SeaComm continues to be on target to exceed our own expected forecast set forth in the FY2014 operating budget. The net assets at the end of June were in excess of $485 million. That’s a growth of more than $15 million from the previous year. At the same time, net operating expenses YTD were 1.56, well below the 2.75% targeted goal set by the credit union’s budget. We remain well-capitalized. In fact, the National Credit Union Association, our federal regulator requires a minimum 7% to be classified as well-capitalized. We are substantially higher at 12.20% without realized gains in our investment portfolio. We have maintained a solid dividend to our membership on deposit products. Our balance sheet continues to be strong and therefore provides further confidence in us to serve our members well into the future.
Weiss, an independent rating agency, has once again provided SeaComm the A rating in terms of excellent financial strength.
One of the Best Companies to Work for in New York!
For a fourth year in a row, we have been included as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State ranking number 12 out of 32 in the small to medium category. This designation is chosen by our own employees, who participate in a very comprehensive survey in the categories of Leadership & Planning, Corporate Culture & Communications, Role Satisfaction, Work Environment, Pay and Benefits, Training and Development and Relationship with Supervisor.
We absolutely recognize that our success is in our “people advantage”, simply the ability to gain competitive advantage through people strategies. We know that our staff make the difference and have ensured through specific strategies we have a fully engaged workforce. We are extremely proud to be included within this privileged group.
We are always looking to add-value for our membership by looking for new products and services which will make life easier. Early this year, we added another exciting service platform by launching remote deposit capture, where a check is able to be deposited via a smart phone. By taking a photo of the front and back of the check through our mobile platform, a member no longer has to come into a branch or use an ATM to make that particular type of deposit if they choose this delivery channel. It is simple and convenient to use.
Later this year, we will be launching a new online account opening platform. Instead of having to come into one of our branches to open that new account, one will be able to do it from the convenience of their home or work.
In addition, we are moving to migrate to EMV in 2015, which will add more protection from fraud on not only our issued credit cards, but also our debit as well. This is a technological based initiative which moves our cards from the current magnetic stripe card to more intelligent chip enhanced cards. There is no mandate to have EMV in place by a certain date; however, as a credit union we want to begin the process sooner than later. At the same time, we will be upgrading all of our ATMs for EMV.
Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act
Eight decades have passed since the passage of the 1934 Federal Credit Union Act. This was introduced during the Great Depression which allowed credit unions to be formed through the country under charters approved by the Federal government. The main purpose was to ensure that credit was made available to those who could not obtain it from other financial institutions.
Today, the cooperative system is thriving and we are still missioned to ensuring that credit is available to those who need it. We have helped countless members who were in situations in which a loan made a tremendous difference in their lives. We are proud of what we do and continue to do for all of our members.
Our $5.4 million expansion on our Massena headquarters continues. We broke ground in May and today are on target to have Phase II completed by December. The time line we currently have is to erect steel beginning in August and by the end of September to have the roof put on and the exterior walls in place.
Much of the sub-contract work is being done by local contractors. This has been a critical component to the overall plan.
We are continuing to keep everyone informed with a dedicated webpage about this project. This includes a blog from me, photos of the progress and even a live web cam where one can login and see in real time what is happening.
As an update, we are committed to providing an ATM in the downtown area and will be locating our current one from 79 Main St. to 35 Andrews. This will remain a drive-up for the convenience of our members.
We look forward to the remainder of the year, and will continue to differentiate ourselves in the way our members are served; through the product and delivery channels offered and by continuing to be a good “neighbor” in the communities in which we do business. It’s a focused strategy; one which we take serious by continuing to ensure we fulfill our mission of “people helping people”.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, management and staff, we are grateful to our more than 40,856 members, who have put their trust in us and we will continue to work diligently to remain strong in order to be able to serve well into the future.
Scott A. Wilson
President & Chief Executive Officer
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