Via CU's Dick Kibbey Reflects On His 36 Years In CUs

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MARION, Ind.-After 36 years at Via Credit Union in Marion, including 34 years as CEO of the former Marion School EFCU, Dick Kibbey has overseen growth from a tiny, single sponsor CU to a $245-million institution that serves more than 22,000 members. Before Kibbey turned the reins over on Aug. 31 to EVP John McIntyre, Kibbey took time to speak with Credit Union Journal to reflect on his career, credit unions and more.

Credit Union Journal: What would you consider your greatest achievements during our career? Kibbey: Assisting in the creation of a work atmosphere that 1) attracted and retained quality staff; 2) fostered growth of the credit union in size and services offered, and three, resulted in great member service.

CUJ: How has ViaCU changed in those three and a half decades, and what do you see for its future?
Kibbey: Almost everything has changed in that period of time...from offering two savings accounts and one loan rate on weekly batch data processing, to almost having more services than we can count, with practically everything done online in real-time. During this time the credit union has grown from six employees and $2.5 million in assets to 75 employees and $245 million in assets. I believe the future is bright for Via Credit Union. The immediate challenge for John and most credit unions will be dealing with new legislation, new regulations and the costs resulting from corporate credit union losses. Looking further out, the challenges are trying to differentiate our credit union in the market place and being relevant to those under age 25.

CUJ: How has the industry as a whole changed over your career?
Kibbey: I suppose the biggest change is the migration from small credit unions serving a single sponsor to much larger credit unions serving multiple employee groups or a geographical area. Along with that, we have gone from being referred to as 'my credit union' to being called 'my bank!' We correct those we can without offending them. When looking at change, you can't overlook the explosion in services being offered to members, the tremendous technological advances or the introduction of CUSOs.

CUJ: Any advice for those who are still active in the movement and especially for those just breaking into the CU industry?
Kibbey: I would just say hang in there; there is likely to be a few rough years ahead. Credit union people are great and the industry provides a rewarding career for people who care about others particularly their financial health. A credit union career provides the opportunity to do the right thing for the right reason.

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