At this year’s annual meeting in May, we were pleased to announce that 2012 was another outstanding year for SeaComm. Member satisfaction, staff engagement and overall profitability remained high. This year, we are experiencing better than expected results in the area of loan growth. The recent news of Alcoa’s smelter upgrade has given confidence in the long-term financial viability of those operations and it has permeated into new vehicle and home purchases, along with investments into small business ventures.
As we are well into the third quarter, SeaComm continues to exceed its own expectations set forth in the 2013 operating budget. The net assets at the end of June were in excess of $470 million. That’s a growth of more than $12 million from the previous year. At the same time, net operating expenses YTD were 1.66%, 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 regulatory agency requires a minimum 7% to be classified as well-capitalized. We are substantially higher at 11.48% 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.
Fifty Years of Service Commitment
In June, we celebrated our 50th year of operation by holding an anniversary party at our headquarters in Massena, which was attended by more than 3,000 members. A ceremony was held at the beginning of the event to remember those early days at the Chevrolet plant, when the Credit Union was operated out of a tool box. It was during that ceremony we honored Gary B. Fuller, who has been a volunteer at the Credit Union for the entire five decades of operation.
Gary often reminds us that in those very early days, this credit union was run completely by volunteers until enough revenue was generated to hire paid staff…Just a belief in doing what was right for the right reasons. That is commitment. Those fifty years of leadership have been unwavering.
To honor his dedication to the mission of SeaComm, a tree was planted on the grounds at 30 Stearns Street, whereby the roots will serve as a constant reminder to all of us for many years to come about this cooperative’s foundation and specifically for Gary’s 50 years of board leadership. This reminder will help to solidify for us what we know is the key to our success; never forgetting our roots by continuing to fulfill our unwavering mission of taking care of our members by doing the right thing for them every single day. Thank you, Gary for giving of yourself to help others succeed.
After the party we had lots of fantastic comments posted on our Facebook page. Here is one in particular, which really sums it all up:
BRAVO SeaComm!!!! What an Amazing event you put on for your patrons in celebration of your 50th Anniversary! Most companies reward their top management with big bonuses, but you went above and beyond for all of your members. Anyone who missed this event really missed out. My sister and I took 5 children. They all got to ride on 3 amusement style rides, 4 different bounce houses, snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, balloon swords, saw fire dancers and fireworks.....ALL FOR FREE. I have never been to anything so rewarding that didn't have some kind of strings attached. We cannot thank you enough for a fun-filled day that the kids will never forget. We are truly grateful!!
One of the Best Companies to Work for in New York!
For a third year in a row, we have been included as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State ranking number nine out of 25 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. Last year, we added NetTeller™, an enhanced online platform, which provides the ability for single sign-on for account access, pay bills, access SeaComm Visa accounts, view check images and download a statement electronically. In 2011, we launched our mobile platform, which encompasses all the aforementioned capabilities as well.
In early 2014, we will be adding another exciting service platform by launching remote deposit capture, where a check will be 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 will no longer have to come in to a branch or use an ATM to make that particular type of deposit if they choose this delivery channel. It will be simple and convenient to use.
Don’t Tax My Credit Union!
As a Federal Credit Union, we are exempt from paying federal and state income taxes. However, we still must pay school and property tax, which supports the local schools and municipalities in the markets in which we do business. This exemption also enables us to ensure those in our field of membership (St. Lawrence & northern Franklin Counties) have access to affordable credit. In addition, we are able to support countless not-for-profit organizations, like hospitals, schools, etc… with significant financial support. What else makes us different? We are governed by a volunteer board of directors and the profits we earn on an annual basis are returned in the form of better than average deposit and loan rates, no or relatively low fees for services, such as instant issue debit cards, mobile platform, bill pay and coming soon remote deposit capture.
There is however a movement in Washington, D.C., which has been discussed significantly in the media about revamping the Federal Income Tax Code, where every organization which has exemption would have to reapply to be included for exemption. We do not agree that we should be taken out and ultimately taxed.
As a credit union we have fulfilled our intended mission since 1963. As an industry, we have ensured that we have done what was intended in the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934. That is why Section 501(c)(14), which grants tax exempt status to credit unions, should be retained in any tax reform effort, to ensure continued access to affordable credit for consumers, homebuyers, and small businesses alike, all of which contribute substantially to economic growth.
More will be heard about this issue, in particular Don’t Tax My Credit Union Week August 19-23. We will be looking for support by asking legislators to not tax credit unions. Be on the lookout as key information will be placed on www.seacomm.org and on our Facebook page.
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, I would like to thank everyone who has made SeaComm what it is today and for allowing us to continue to serve your financial needs.
We truly are a financial institution for everyone!
Scott A. Wilson
President & Chief Executive Officer
Do you answer “YES” to any of these questions?
Are you getting sticker shock while shopping for a new or used vehicle? Are you “lowering your standards” to get
the vehicle payment you want? Is buying less than what you really want the solution? Do you have a “dream vehicle”
you think you can’t afford?
STOP DREAMING....we have the solution for you!
The DrivingSense™ vehicle financing program will put you behind the wheel
of that new or used car, van or light
truck you want with a monthly payment you can afford. Like a lease, DrivingSense™ offers monthly payments
are considerably lower than conventional financing. But, unlike leasing, with DrivingSense™ financing, you
own the vehicle without all the hassle or
hidden costs associated with leasing!
All current year and previous model cars, vans and light trucks (up to three years used) qualify. Discover the advantages of DrivingSense™ for yourself!
- No first or last payment or money due at signing
- Vehicle upgrade potential
- Vehicle ownership flexibility
- No capitalization fees
- No application or acquisition fees
- No early payoff penalty
- Mileage options of 12,000, 15,000 or 18,000 per year available
- Option to sell, trade, finance or return vehicle at loan maturity
For more information about DrivingSense™, call or visit any one of our convenient SeaComm locations today, or
click on the logo above to go to the DrivingSense™ CarBuilder™ calculator to see for yourself how low your vehicle
loan payment will be......You’ll love it!