|Key figures Impact story|
VSECU’s mission is to improve the quality of life for members and the communities in which they live. The credit union is a member-owned, democratically-controlled, not-for-profit, financial cooperative. By bringing people together in cooperation for mutual benefit, VSECU is building a movement to empower the possibilities for financial, environmental, and social prosperity.
The credit union’s story begins in 1946 when seven founders came together to pool their resources and create the Vermont State Employees Credit Union. Originally limited to state employees, the field of membership grew through a commitment to the credit union movement and local efforts to modernise legislation that granted greater access to financial cooperatives. In 2009, VSECU became the first credit union to serve anyone who lives or works in the state.
Today, VSECU serves 60,000 member-owners or nearly 10% of the Vermont population.
As the credit union has grown in scale, the cooperative has developed a suite of sustainable, equitable, and valuable products, services, and programs that promote prosperity and support the essential needs of members and their communities, financial wellbeing, food and nourishment, a safe and warm place to call home, and a healthy environment to live in.
VSECU is a member-owned, not for profit, and democratically-controlled, financial cooperative serving everybody who lives or works in Vermont. Each year the credit union invites 60,000 members to participate in guiding the cooperative through annual elections by casting their votes to elect new board members, making any proposed bylaw changes, directing philanthropic giving, and deciding other key matters that affect their credit union.
Members live and work throughout Vermont’s diverse landscape of over 9,000 square miles, dotted with small cities and rural communities with mountains, forests and farmland in between. VSECU’s nine branches are strategically located for member access and serve as centers for service, education, and consultation. A network of ATMs and digital and mobile technology allow members to access their finances from almost anywhere in the state or in the world.
To increase its impact, VSECU has formed partnerships with state and federal agencies, non-profits, and local economic development organisations to support increased home ownership, investments in energy efficient homes and transportation, renewable resource development, and small business creation and growth.
VSECU is deeply committed to the 7 cooperative principles and values autonomy and independence. Decisions on business matters are made locally by VSECU staff who know their communities, and control of the credit union will always be maintained by members through a cooperative design. The credit union’s structure facilitates personal relationships that ensure consideration of the people the cooperative serves; members are seen as much more than their credit score or their net worth.
Board of Management
VSECU is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors. The 11 Board members are unpaid volunteers and member-owners of the credit union. Collectively this group represents the diversity, geography, and professional experience of membership. The CEO leads a four-person Senior Executive team to achieve goals set forth by the Board of Directors.
- Rob Miller, Chief Executive Officer
- Kim Cheney, Board Chair
VSECU’s believes that one of the greatest assets is people, including employees. The credit union actively encourages employees to innovate, improve services, and make a positive impact with the goal of building an organisation of influencers and contributors to the management of operations.
Market Focus, Products and Services
Members of VSECU have access to a full range of personal and business financial services and are part of a movement to enhance the sustainability and prosperity of Vermont. The credit union’s focus is twofold: to serve the financial needs of members through exceptional service and consultation, and to develop opportunities that leverage the cooperative’s scale, capacity, and resources to make the greatest impact possible on the credit union’s mission.
VSECU’s foundation is built on thinking differently and re-engineering standard financial products to meet the needs of members, while also having a positive social impact for the community. The cooperative roots support a belief that every member’s dollar should earn dividends equally and that those dollars grow best when they stay as local as possible. To make that happen,VSECU’s primary savings account pays the highest dividends on the first $1,000 on deposits, and credit card rates are structured to favour local purchases. Loans for energy improvements and investment in renewable energy are discounted to support the sustainable lifestyles that many members desire.
As an organisation, VSECU actively supports the development of cooperatives and social impact start-ups to bring greater value to the local economy including investments in an equity crowd funding platform and a program for direct investments in other cooperatives. To support entrepreneurship, the credit union advocates and supports co-working spaces that bring people together to work collaboratively and think innovatively to solve problems and create new opportunities.
With community empowerment and self-sufficiency at the core of the credit union’s cooperative DNA, VSECU is more than a credit union. VSECU makes an impact beyond basic financial services and is committed to improving the quality of life in the credit union’s communities and state as a whole.