A look back at 2021 and looking forward
At Limestone Federal Credit Union, we are committed to building a better financial tomorrow through service, education, and advocacy. 2021 has been no exception, amidst what we had hoped would be a post-pandemic environment, we continued to work toward building a better financial tomorrow for our staff, the organization, and our membership.
In April, we opened a second location at Jack’s Fresh Market. This location, coined The Hub, differs from a traditional branch as this is a self-service location to assist members with our digital products and services. Paired with a state-of-the-art ATM, members are able to conduct their banking or obtain assistance with digital products. This location was well- received during our core conversion for members who needed assistance with our new online tools. Staffed with a Branch Manager and an MSR, The Hub is well equipped to meet the day-to-day banking needs of our members. This model will serve as a footprint for future locations, allowing us to expand without the capital expenses traditionally associated with new branches.
After twelve months of planning and preparation, in May of 2021 we went live on our new core processing platform. This conversion allowed us to upgrade our online banking, mobile app, offer near real-time remote deposit, increase up-time, all while improving our overall security posture. While change is always difficult, it is important that we recognize the need to keep up with new technology, not only to offer new functionality but to ensure we are offering products and services that meet the data security standards our members expect.
We have taken significant steps in the past twelve months to improve our data security profile. However, much of the fraud that exists today requires not only secure systems but educated employees and members. In 2021, we worked diligently to increase consumer awareness, and sought out resources to help our members avoid falling victim to scams. We recently announced a partnership with local IT and Cybersecurity service provider, SineTech, to offer our members significant resources to protect their systems while improving their knowledge to help combat fraud. This is an important step toward improving the financial security of our member owners. As part of this partnership we have held three live sessions aimed at educating members and arming them with current information designed to protect themselves and loved ones from financial loss.
We are excited to announce Daren & Hali Holt are the new owners of The Grind Coffee House. The coffee shop has operated since 2017 as a student run small business. As reported previously, this venture exceeded initial expectations and is ready for a full-time owner operator. We are excited at the opportunity for the new owner to take the business to the next level. The Holt’s will facilitate the work study program until the end of the school year. Looking to the future, we are excited to once again partner with Manistique Area Schools to recreate this project with planning and development expected to begin during the 2022/2023 school year.
Throughout 2021 member service remained our priority; in addition to improving our digital services we also expanded our staff. We added key positions such as our Chief Lending Officer, Magan Peterson, and a Branch Operations Manager, Kristine Ecclesine. We also have several new staff members in support positions as well as front-line to fill positions vacated when existing staff were promoted to lending. 2022 will bring a renewed focus on serving our membership via all channels.
2021 began with renewed hope of a post pandemic world where we would find some semblance of normalcy both socially and economically, however, the pandemic continued and we simply learned to adapt while living with the virus. Few could have predicted the civil and economic unrest that has plagued the nation for the past two years. As an organization, I am proud of the work our team has done to continue serving the membership during these challenging times. Our staff and volunteers continue to rise to the challenge of doing more with less.
Looking forward to 2022, we anticipate continued expansion of member benefits through partnerships, increased products and services, and education. We hope, as a member owner, you have found value in your participation in the cooperative and invite you to reach out to me to share your thoughts.
The Chairman’s Report
Limestone Federal Credit Union stands on solid ground today and is well positioned for a bright future for our members, staff, and our community. Despite the challenges that we faced in 2021, we emerged stronger with significant asset growth, improved technology, and broadened accessibility.
We have done much to increase our loan portfolio of products and services. Our lending team has worked diligently to be able to meet the needs of members with new ways to make loans available for a wide variety of needs. We continue to provide members with more loan options at competitive rates. We want to be the choice for members’ loan needs.
We make this possible through a highly skilled staff and improved technology. Our core conversion in 2021 enables us to enhance the product offers and improve delivery systems for member services. The addition of The Hub to our existing member services has enabled more member support by providing an ATM, lending staff, and extended hours at our branch located at Jacks.
As more of our member population embraces technology, we are appropriately focused on cyber-security. We are providing a valuable resource for both members and our community with strategic partnerships and enhanced financial security services.
In the midst of these changes, we never lose sight that each and every member is why we exist. We are there for our members, in person or virtually. We appreciate that members must adapt to changes and trust that our members have like appreciation for the work and effort our staff invests to make our credit union the financial institution of choice for our members.
We thank everyone for toughing out 2021 and look forward to a prosperous and exciting 2022.
Download the entire report 2022 Annual Meeting Report