Meet Your Interim President
Pat Brekken stepped down as RBCU President in August. Karen Hoeppner, VP of Member Services, immediately took over as RBCU’s Interim President. What’s that mean for you – as one of RBCU’s 21,000+ members? It means Your Neighborly Credit Union is in good hands.
Karen’s credit union career began almost 30 years ago. Like many managers in the credit union movement, Karen worked her way from the ground up. Her decades of member service include time as a telephone teller, a standard teller, an item processor, a member service representative, a loan officer, a branch manager, and finally as RBCU’s VP of Member Services. It would be extremely difficult to find an interim president with more hands on credit union knowledge and experience. More than that, Karen is a longtime resident of the communities RBCU serves.
“I grew up in Bloomington,” Karen remarked recently. “My father was a teacher in the Richfield school district. My first savings account was at [the credit union now known as RBCU] when I was very young. Of course, I never imagined when I went to the credit union with my father all those years ago that I would someday work for the same institution that gave me my first automobile loan and visa card. Not to mention I’d have the opportunity to be its interim president.”
The RBCU Board of Directors is actively searching for RBCU’s next president. While that search takes place, Karen is confident in her ability to help direct the talented RBCU management team toward its current business goals and objectives. She summed things up recently. “Honestly, aside from the need to find our next president, little else has changed at RBCU. The credit union’s mission and goals are the same. We are just as committed as we’ve always been to strengthening our served communities; just as committed to educating our members – especially our school aged members – in all aspects of financial literacy. We have unveiled new products and services in the last few years and more are on the way. It’s exciting.”
When asked for specifics, Karen said, “In order to provide quality member service, RBCU needs to be continually in tune with new technology and the needs of our members. The branch environment has changed dramatically over the past few years! There’s no sign of the pace of change slowing. With the rapid growth of the internet, mobile technologies, e-payments, and social media, members have been steadily and significantly shifting from conducting most of their business in a “brick and mortar” branch world to the digital financial landscape. In response, credit unions all over the nation – RBCU included -- have worked diligently to develop strong ATM networks, upgraded call centers, voice response systems, point-of-sale improvements, and faster and more secure internet and now mobile technology channels. The industry has stepped up to the challenges posed by this new financial reality. RBCU has joined other credit unions in accepting that “multi-channel” delivery capability is the only way to satisfy member’s needs. As a result, RBCU employees have become even better prepared to educate our members about the best product/service mix for their lives – offering individualized solutions for each member based on both need as well as comfort with technology.”
When asked whether she has words she lives by or a philosophical perspective that guides her overall approach to her credit union work, Karen had this to say: “My goal is to live each day with integrity, to make informed decisions and to help others whenever possible. I try to be a good example to those I look up to as well as to those who look up to me. I learned quite some time ago that you don’t have to be perfect, you just need to take one day at a time. Do the best that you can. Use your personal values as your guide. Never stray from them. Of course, it is important to realize that life is all about change. Even so, you always have to have a solid foundation of values to build upon.”
The next RBCU president will be found as quickly as possible. Whenever that occurs, he or she will be pleased to take lead of a credit union poised for many future years of success. Fortunately, it will be business as usual at Your Neighborly Credit Union as the search takes place. As the search takes place in the months to come, RBCU will continue to thrive due to the knowledge, experience, and stabilizing presence of Karen Hoeppner, its current Interim President.