By LYNN LOFTON
Keesler Federal Credit Union is on the rise with 228,000 members and branches in the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana and in the United Kingdom.
President and CEO Andy Swoger attributes this growth to the commitment of team members who’ve had a tremendous impact and success over the years. “Our internal tagline at Keesler Federal is One Team. Team Keesler,” he said. “I believe the value we deliver to our members through consistently offering higher yields and lower rates on loans than our competitors offer is also a major factor.
“Our outstanding service commitment is the reason we have incredible member loyalty. Over 80 percent of our new members report that they joined Keesler Federal Credit Union because family or friends referred them. Our mission for the team is simple: Be extraordinary. Our team is creating a culture that supports that mission.”
KFCU has expanded their market reach from 22 to 40 branches over the past three years, adding or expanding lines of business and completing four mergers.
Looking ahead to more growth, Swoger says KFCU is fully embracing new digital technology. “The use of these new solutions will enhance our members’ satisfaction. We will grow organically within our existing markets, continue to expand within our current business lines, and look for opportunities to better serve our members whether it’s clicks or bricks,” he said. “We are excited about launching new online and mobile phone banking solutions soon that will greatly improve our members’ experience.”
Keesler Federal provides a comprehensive array of consumer, commercial, and mortgage loans in addition to a wide range of consumer deposit products and many commercial deposit services.
“Team Keesler’s dedication to high member service standards is a key differentiator between us and other financial institutions,” Swoger said. “We maintain a Net Promoter Score above 80, exceeding the average of our peers in this industry.”
KFCU offers special programs such as a Member Giveback program that each month awards 36 members with prizes such as a $100 deposit for making a transaction in a branch, a match of a direct deposit or loan payment, and an all-inclusive cruise. They select members each month and match their monthly loan payment or direct deposit always following necessary legal disclosures.
The three overseas branches are located on Lakenheath, Mildenhall, and Alconbury Royal Air Force bases. Services at these locations are limited to all U.S. military active duty personnel, retirees, government employees, and their dependents who have access to the base.
Joining Keesler Federal Credit Union is easier than you might expect. “As a credit union we are restricted to who is able to join and we qualify each prospective member. However, there are many avenues for eligibility, including whether you live, work, worship or attend school near one of our branches or have a family member who is a member,” Swoger said. “In addition, we have more than 400-plus companies and organizations whose employees or members qualify for membership with Keesler Federal Credit Union.
“Many companies like to be associated with a credit union because this is an employee benefit. If your application to become one of our select employee groups is approved, you are able to feature credit union membership as a benefit to your employees.”
Executive Vice President George Mitchell says the company is proud to serve their communities and is always looking for ways to make a difference. “Our most recent major community giveback initiative was the Gold Star Family Memorial that was dedicated across from the Biloxi Town Green,” he said. “This monument is a tribute to those families that lost loved ones in our country’s service along with those who sacrificed their lives. The dedication ceremony was a moving experience for everyone in attendance and also appreciated by our many members who have served this country.”
Last fall, Keesler Federal; began a new initiative that supplied more than 6,300 backpacks, with all of the required school supplies, for each public school student starting kindergarten in South Mississippi. “This was a huge cost savings for families, reduced a lot of first-day-of-school stress and ensured that every kindergartener started the first day of their educational journey on the right foot.”
Keesler Federal is also proud to support the Combat Wounded Veterans of South Mississippi through a charity golf tournament, Eagles Under the Oaks. Over the past seven years the tournament raised more than $250,000 to assist these veterans as they transition from active duty to their new lives.
“I personally encourage each of our team members to help and serve the community where and when they can,” Mitchell said. “We have dozens of team members who participate in associations such as Purple Heart Homes, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and Court Appointed Special Advocates.
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