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Five tips for preparing for uncertain times

first_imgAfter 9/11, PenFed built a strategic plan to transform our business within a decade to be 95% remote and only 5% brick and mortar. Over the years, our branches have encountered challenges (like hurricanes in Puerto Rico and blizzards in Nebraska), but the coronavirus pandemic has been the greatest test of our business model to date.What we have learned is that the model works – largely because we were prepared for what was to come, and we spent a decade rehearsing for it. By March of this year, 80% of our transactional business was already conducted through our mobile or web platforms (versus through phone calls or in branches). Our employees already had the capability to work from home and transitioned quickly at the onset of the virus. In our branches, we shifted to drive-through only. We have been holding our board meetings remotely, and earlier in the month we held our annual meeting virtually for the first time in our 85-year history.Year to date, our volumes are up nearly 30% from 2019. We reached 2 million members and have surpassed $26 billion in assets. This was the result of long-term preparation by our board of directors and senior leaders and the hard work of exceptional employees. Strategy, Focus and Execution has been our mantra.PenFed is just one data point. But I hope our experience with a remote business model will be helpful to other credit unions. As our economy reopens, here are five tips for credit unions to consider when preparing for the future:Take care of your employees first and foremost. The best way to prepare for the unexpected is to focus on your employees. My second week at PenFed, when I was the chief administrative officer, two female executives came into my office. They had each worked their way up from teller to executive vice president over many years and had the trust and respect of everyone who worked with them. “No matter what you do here, take care of your employees,” they advised me. I will never forget it, and it has proven to be true. “People helping people” isn’t just about helping members. It’s a chain philosophy. If you take perfect care of your employees, they will take perfect care of your members.Develop guiding principles. Develop a guide for a safe return-to-office plan that can be applied or adapted to different scenarios. At PenFed, our guiding principles are: ensuring the safety of employees; accomplishing our mission and goals; and building to “better” (always striving to add more value in our products, services and infrastructure).Be physically prepared. In his foresight, Frank Pollack, my predecessor as president and CEO, spearheaded the planning for a variety of crises. For years, we have made sure to have stocks of meals ready to eat (MREs), water, generators and masks. We have made significant investments in the physical technology that enables remote work.It’s dangerous to be wedded to an idea. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let go of that “great” idea. What you don’t do is as just as important as what you do. For example, does building another branch align with your strategic vision of becoming remote? Do you need that ATM in that location, or should you wait until you have a location that’s frequented by more members? We all have limited resources, and for every decision there is an opportunity cost. In the hard times, you will be glad you didn’t overspend, overreach or stray from your vision in the good times.Be agile. When I was in high school, I always worked several jobs at one time. I would go from a manufacturing job to mowing grass to my job as a teller at a financial institution. It taught me to focus on agility within our institution. If leaders and employees are able to move seamlessly from one task or demand to another and remain levelheaded and flexible in responses, the credit union as a whole will be better prepared to handle new challenges.In our work to ready our credit unions for future challenges, don’t lose sight of the big picture. We realize “success” for a credit union isn’t all about profit – it’s about helping people. Real success is inspiring others to do better. Remember that “many hands make the load light.” Within the credit union, when teams and people go out of their way to help each other succeed, the organization is stronger. We’ve got to stick together. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,James R. Schenck James Schenck is President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union, headquartered in Tysons, VA.  PenFed is America’s second-largest federal credit union, serving more than 2 million members worldwide with … Web: https://www.penfed.org Detailslast_img read more

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Close-knit Syracuse looking to take superstitions to Big East tournament

first_imgSuperstitions are common in sports, and Syracuse is no different.Flags, special headbands and handshakes all contribute to what the Orange (16-1, 6-0 Big East) believes, in addition to its talent, helps the team win.Syracuse will take all of its good-luck charms to Louisville, Ky., for the Big East tournament. Top-seeded SU will play No. 4-seed Providence (9-8, 3-3 Big East) at 5 p.m. Friday.The Orange is a close-knit team and, before games, the players give each other unique high-fives depending on which player is coming onto the field. But before they even enter the stadium, they are getting their minds ready by going into the same routine for each game.“I think some of the girls might wear special shorts or shirts under their uniforms,” midfielder Liz McInerney said. “It’s like a mental thing.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA “superstitious athlete” is redundant. So many of them have something special they do for games. Some listen to a certain song to get energized, others have a routine they go through, individually or with another teammate. It’s the familiarity of the routines that allows them to focus on the upcoming game.Within this team, the forward tandem of Kelsey Millman and Lauren Brooks has worn pink headbands during games that have many wondering if that is building some sort of unexplained cohesiveness between the two.“I’ve seen the forwards wearing matching headbands,” midfielder Liz McInerney said. “I’m not sure what they are for, but whatever it is, it’s got to be working.”Headbands or not, the team is clearly playing in sync. In the last game of the regular season against Connecticut, Gillian Pinder delivered a pinpoint pass to Millman as she dove to put it in the goal. The precision and wherewithal to know where her teammate is going to be is borderline scary.After the game, in which the team won the Big East regular season title, one of the Irish players pulled out an Ireland flag, and Liz McInerney, Emma Russell and Gillian Pinder all took pictures with it.“It was only me for a long time over here, so I’m happy to have two more Irish girls to keep me company,” McInerney said. “We just keep a flag around.”Another flag that has been flying high this season is the Syracuse flag being waved at every home game by backup goalkeeper Jess Jecko’s uncle, Mark Kuzio. He, along with his full Syracuse attire and signature flag, keeps the crowd energized and chanting during games.Since the tournament is being played in Kentucky, Kuzio isn’t sure if he will be able to attend it, but is sending the flag as a reminder that he and the rest of the Syracuse fans will be there in spirit.“If I can’t make the away game, I’m going to send my flag with the team for good luck,” Kuzio said. “That flag is important to me and the team; even when I can’t make the game, the flag still flies. It’s Orange pride.”The team was able to shut out Providence 3-0 in the regular season and is looking to demonstrate the same dominance this time.Whatever the team uses to prepare for games is working to its advantage. It is the favorite to win the Big East Conference Championship, but no amount of routines, charms or luck will help without hard work.Head coach Ange Bradley believes that after the team has a good week of watching film and practicing, it is ready to go far in the tournament.Said Bradley: “Nothing substitutes for a good work ethic, which I think we have.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 1, 2012 at 12:36 am Contact Jasmine: [email protected]last_img read more

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Juve striker in driving ban for ‘Mont Blanc speeding’

first_imgJuventus and Argentina striker Carlos Tevez has had his driving licence suspended after being caught speeding through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, Italian media reported on Thursday.Tevez was clocked exceeding the 70km/h limit in the tunnel, which separates Italy from France, although his actual speed was not revealed.The incident took place Wednesday, the day after Tevez had scored in the 2-1 Champions League semi-final win over Real Madrid in Turin.The 31-year-old Tevez is no stranger to falling foul of the rules of the road.In March 2013, when he was at Manchester City, he was arrested for driving without a licence while serving a six-month ban imposed for speeding.He was eventually fined €1,400 and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.last_img

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Miller: Giancarlo Stanton a Dodger? Unlikely and unnecessary

first_imgAh, folks, this isn’t putting in a waiver-wire claim on a situational lefty in mid-August to block the intended move of a rival.This is committing a decade and enough money to annually bankroll a decent bullpen to a player who has appeared in more than 145 games only once – last season – since the start of 2012.The Dodgers have been penalized by the luxury tax for five consecutive years. Thanks to a few expiring contracts, they’re one year away from having increased financial flexibility, the exact sort of thing coveted by the team’s front office.Under Andrew Friedman’s regime, the Dodgers have been impressively reluctant to do a full Arte Moreno, to splurge spectacularly – and regrettably – on any one player.All of which suggests Stanton’s potentially debilitating contract doesn’t fit into the Dodgers’ plans, no matter how perfectly his potentially exhilarating bat might fit into their order.Then again, he can opt out after another three seasons and $77 million, a decision that would cost him a guaranteed $218 million but a promise of which might greatly entice the Dodgers.Still, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t LeBron James and this isn’t basketball, where a single player can redirect the balance of an entire conference by changing teams.The Marlins have had Stanton for eight years and, although it’s not his fault, they’ve never had as much as a winning season during that time. His presence alone assures nothing.When Moreno and the Angels acquired Albert Pujols, Sports Illustrated marked the momentous occasion by placing the slugger on their cover with the headline “Power Shift, A New Road to the World Series.”Six seasons later, Pujols and the Angels are still wandering about while their GPS remains in perpetual “rerouting” mode, the road to the latest World Series instead going north on the 5 Freeway.And don’t forget about that little nugget. The Dodgers were just nine innings away from winning the World Series with a roster that gelled so well that, by the end, they should have been topped by whipped cream.Should Friedman and his staff really now mess so dramatically with all of that?While trading for Stanton sounds like every team’s fantasy, this isn’t fantasy baseball. You don’t just collect all the best stat-builders and then do a bunch of arithmetic after the last out to see who won.For a game that has remained remarkably simple for nearly two centuries – hitting a pitched ball with a wooden bat – baseball is almost incomprehensibly difficult when it comes to establishing team and lineup chemistry.Let’s be honest, the whole process is a complete mystery. Here we are debating the merits of adding a $295-million slugger, trying to determine how much – if at all – such a move would improve the Dodgers.Meanwhile, there’s no arguing that this team’s batting order became decidedly more whole this summer when $535,000 Chris Taylor was moved to the leadoff spot.Ridiculous? Sure, but if baseball made sense, there’d never be a day when Derek Jeter would be leading the Marlins and Alex Rodriguez’s girlfriend would be campaigning for Rodriguez to lead the Yankees.And, if trading for Giancarlo Stanton were that easy, there’d be no excuse for missing the chance, especially for the Dodgers.But this is one juicy, belt-high fastball they should let pass. There’s a reason players rarely are signed for 10 years or more. Unless Stanton is going to opt out, the Dodgers shouldn’t opt in. Let’s begin by paying tribute to Giancarlo Stanton by doing what he typically does, by hitting a juicy, belt-high fastball 400-plus feet.Every team in baseball would want this guy, including the Marlins – if they could pay him in live chickens or a similar alternate form of currency.Any bare-bones decision to add Stanton requires the brain power of a rosin bag, a hitter of his prowess welcomed even on the ’27 Yankees, whose regular right fielder was none other than Babe Ruth.Who couldn’t use 59 homers, 132 RBI and a .631 slugging percentage? Who wouldn’t want the reigning National League MVP? Of course, there’s nothing bare about the bones involved in acquiring Stanton, who has 10 years and $295 million remaining on a contract that could financially cripple Vermont.No, this decision requires a tiny bit of brain power, which makes it the perfect topic to be discussed in this space.Stanton is a local, a product of Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks. He grew up a Dodgers fan, the overwhelming assumption being that he now wants to be a Dodgers player.He has a full no-trade clause, giving him the final call on any deal, Stanton’s power not limited to the batter’s box. This has led to more speculation that he’ll simply force his way into Dave Roberts’ lineup.On Thursday, he met with officials from the hated Giants, a development that prompted panicked cries that the Dodgers absolutely have to trade for Stanton, if for no other reason than to prevent him from going to San Francisco.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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