To Be Part of Community, You Must Be Active

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PORTLAND, Texas-The importance of the CU being involved in the community is not lost on Diana Eyhorn.

The manager of the Portland branch of the $1-billion NavyArmy FCU has been a member of the local Chamber of Commerce board for years, and she says it not only is something she enjoys doing, it gives her credit union branch an advantage.

"For the credit union to become a big part of your local town, you have to be involved with the community," said Eyhorn, who has been branch manager here for the last six years. "Being part of the chamber really makes people aware of the credit union, and lets people know who we are and what we do."

Participation in the chamber also provides NavyArmy CU a head start on other institutions when a new business considers coming to town. "I often hear about the opportunity first," shared Eyhorn. "But what I think being a chamber members does most for the credit union is let people in Portland know we care about the community."

The Portland Chamber of Commerce named Eyhorn's branch Financial of the Year in 2009 and Medium Sized Business of the Year in 2010.

While the Corpus Christi, Texas-based CU's connection with the chamber provides a business benefit, Eyhorn said what makes a branch successful is how well employees deal with the different personalities and attitudes of members. "I teach my staff to always greet someone as soon as they walk into the lobby," Eyhorn said. "They may not be able to serve them immediately, but they make eye contact and let them know they will be waited on soon. I now know how frustrating it is to walk into a business and have no one acknowledge you. We always treat our members like we would want to be treated."

Staff are always on the lookout for members who might need special attention. "You have your members who come in every week, smile at you, and maybe bring you donuts," Eyhorn said. "They are a joy to serve. But then you have those members who stop by every week and complain about the same things. You have to treat both the same."

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