Each year, Credit Union Magazine recognizes the credit union movement’s Rock Stars. Those unique, innovative people who excel in their areas of expertise — and by doing so make our movement better. This year, two Florida credit union leaders made the esteemed list. Both were recognized for their outstanding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael in 2018.

CEO Valena Alexander of Jackson County Teachers Credit Union and CEO Thomas Flowers of Calhoun Liberty Employees Credit Union were saluted for their year-round commitment to the people-helping-people cause of credit unions.  This recognition is in response to their efforts above and beyond the call of duty in ensuring employees were safe and members could receive the services they needed during the chaos following the drastic storm.

Valena Alexander 

Valena AlexanderAlexander and her husband used chainsaws to clear the way to get to the $35 million asset credit union in Marianna, FL — where downed trees and power poles blocked all three entrances. Once they gained access, the credit union opened: outside in the drive-thru lane and operated this way from Oct. 10 until Oct. 24, when power was restored.

The article said, “Alexander believes member service sets Jackson County Teachers apart from other area financial institutions. ‘I feel like we’re the ‘Cheers’ of credit unions because we always know your name,’ she says. ‘I’m always available to my members, and I think that sets the precedent for how my employees treat our members as well.’

Thomas Flowers

Thomas FlowersFlowers went into action for the credit union and the community when the storm abated whether  by”picking up a chainsaw to clear trees downed by a storm, hunting alligators that roamed into residential neighborhoods, or planning to protect employees and members of  his credit union in Blountstown, FL.

Credit Union Magazine says, “As CEO of the $60 million asset credit union, Flowers persuaded the board of directors to install generators at the main branch in Calhoun County and a branch in neighboring Liberty County in 2017. The generators were a financial lifeline when Hurricane Michael hit in October 2018.”

According to the story, “On Oct. 12 alone, the main branch’s ATM had more than 1,100 transactions, compared with its typical daily rate of 50. ‘We had people 40 deep at the walk-up ATM and backed up to the highway on our drive-up lanes,’ he says.”

“Every credit union professional can learn from the leadership and creativity exhibited by this year’s class of Credit Union Rock Stars,” said Vincent Brennan, president, Credit Union Solutions, Fiserv. “Their stories and achievements portray a bright future for the credit union movement and set a high bar for those of us who have the privilege of supporting it.”

Sponsored by Fiserv, Credit Union Rock Stars will be profiled in the Fall issue of Credit Union Magazine.

The League salutes these outstanding CEOs! Read the full story here.