Chris Hendry is the primary to confess that he took a non-traditional path to operating a credit score union.
However he is simply as fast so as to add that even with an uncommon course he can nonetheless be the correct man in the correct place on the proper time.
The $ 571 million IC Federal Credit score Union in Fitchburg, Massachusetts appointed Hendry in January as its new president and CEO.
Hendry most lately served as Senior Director of Exterior Affairs at UMass Memorial Well being Alliance-Clinton Hospital, however had been a member of the Credit score Union’s Board of Administrators and Oversight Committee since 2014. Previous to his time within the business well being care, he headed the Fitchburg Basis Board. State College.
The CEO of the credit score union has at all times been a director of the college board or the inspiration board.
Tony Emerson, the previous CEO of IC, labored with Hendry whereas he was employed by the college and inspired him to affix the credit score union oversight committee.
“After which, six years later, right here we’re,” Hendry mentioned.
On this Q&A, Hendry discusses his new function with the credit score union, his profession path and the challenges he faces as a brand new CEO, IC’s development alternatives and extra.
Solutions have been edited for readability and magnificence.
How does your background and expertise within the healthcare business translate into the credit score union house?
CHRIS HENDRY: I have been on the board of administrators of the credit score union for six years. I began in an oversight function, then moved on to the complete board. It took about six months to determine what we have been on the lookout for [in a new CEO after Emerson left]. A lot of the expertise we have been on the lookout for in a brand new chief – advertising and marketing, engagement, all issues which might be extra frontal – was precisely what I do. I used to be in greater training philanthropy for nearly 17 years earlier than shifting on to healthcare. And in these two roles, my stance was ahead, the place I had full or partial duty for advertising and marketing, PR and being the face of the group. That is one thing that we’re actually embracing right here with IC Federal Credit score Union. We need to regain our function locally. So there are actually loads of transferable abilities. And with six years of information of my time on the board behind me – admittedly not what individuals who have been with a credit score union their whole careers – it is a fairly strong file of government management. It does not seem like regular as a result of, actually, it isn’t the conventional path to get right here.
Are you at a drawback? Is there a steeper studying curve for you as a result of you have not come into the business?
I believe the problem right here is that with out the years of expertise I haven’t got the story behind me. I’ll subsequently need to depend on my crew, which could be very robust. And the educational curve for me has already began and might be steep. However that does not fear me. I’ve at all times been somebody who has taken on new challenges and I really like lifelong studying so that does not scare me. However I haven’t got the expertise of day-to-day operations and I’m not ready to have a look at the completely different divisions and say, “Effectively I did this job fairly lately so I understand how it ought to be. . ” There are positively issues that I must work on.
Do you see any similarities between the well being care business and the credit score union business?
My roles between the 2 are very related. You construct these relationships and it comes right down to the identical sort of belief. If I am a philanthropic and ask somebody to belief me sufficient with their funds to need to donate to the hospital or college, it is the identical kind of factor. Now I am speaking to individuals who need to belief us with issues like small enterprise loans as a companion. You need to trust and trust within the group the place you place your paycheck.
How do you see IC discovering strategic development within the coming years? Are you interested by mergers?
It should definitely be a problem. I believe we’ve got over 120 credit score unions within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and we’re within the prime 25.[Ed. The National Credit Union Administration lists 152 credit unions in Massachusetts, and IC was the 27th largest at the end of the third quarter of 2020, the most recent data available.] We would definitely wish to be greater than that. So we have to strategize collectively to see what the expansion might be, as a result of it isn’t nearly bringing in additional members. The one manner for us to develop is to not rob members of different credit score unions or different monetary establishments. For me, this isn’t a technique that might succeed. We’ve to have a look at loads of issues. For instance, we’ve got a comparatively new [member business lending] and involving extra individuals on this program will definitely assist us transfer ahead. We have not gotten to the purpose of speaking about mergers and acquisitions but, so I can not inform you what that future might be. I have not met loads of different CEOs of credit score unions but, so I am undecided what the probabilities for a merger could be. These are issues we have to take into account, however we do not have a technique in place but. However we’ll take a look at all of it.
You talked about the brand new MBL program. Traditionally, industrial lending was the duty of banks. How do you compete with them on this house?
It is that old style credit score union mentality. It at all times comes right down to pricing. If we will present the identical stage of service and higher costs, individuals will come and ask us for enterprise loans. We should take into account a technique that may give us fixed development over the following few years.
What different traces of credit score are you optimistic about and which could require extra consideration?
Time will inform, and we have to see what the Fed does with rates of interest, however the actual property market is mature right here in New England. Our dwelling possession program is one thing that actually pursuits me. And we’ll search to supply loans through [potential certification as a community development financial institution] for housing. Can we be part of it? I do not know but, however I need to scrap the tires on what different credit score unions are doing and see what works for us.
The pandemic has clearly pushed prospects in the direction of digital choices greater than ever, so how do you search to steadiness that with brick and mortar going ahead?
It is going to be attention-grabbing to see what occurs once we reopen the doorways. I do not count on everybody to come back again. There might be individuals who need to come again as a result of they take pleasure in head to head interactions. However digital was rising anyway, and folks have been already getting used to doing every little thing on their telephones and on-line. So we have to embrace this know-how and see what extra we will supply our members. If they need the old style model of coming to a department to money a test, we’ll be there for them. And if they simply need to have the ability to do every little thing on their cellphone, we’ve got to provide them the flexibility to do this as nicely.
How can a credit score union like IC compete with the large banks relating to know-how?
We have to gamble much more than what our web belongings seem like. Is that like eager to do enterprise in your yard? We’d like to ensure our group is aware of we’re right here. However, that mentioned, there’s an ever-increasing funding within the IT facet of the house to ensure we’re preserving tempo.
Wanting on the name studies, IC made round $ 2.5 million in 2020, up from $ 3.4 million in 2019. It isn’t that unhealthy in comparison with the success that another UCs have had. Will 2021 be the yr the place income might be most negatively impacted for IC?
I believe 2021 will certainly be a problem for us. There isn’t a getting round it. I believe a part of the query in the end comes right down to when do you need to take the hit for the pandemic. Some credit score unions have taken the brunt of the monetary blow in 2020, whereas others, like IC, will really feel it in a harder 2021. I do not assume we’ve got the earnings that we’ve got had within the final two years.