The Power of Trust, the Power of Attorney

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The one personal anecdote from my credit union career that reflects the essence of credit unions was when I was Senior VP at Kirtland FCU in Albuquerque, N.M. Among other credit union responsibilities, at that time I had oversight of the member services area. Department staff and member interaction usually involved fairly routine transactions with an occasional special request, but the one request I would never have expected and still remember today as truly reflective of the special nature of credit unions, was one that was made by an older member named Aleda. Although she transacted business at the credit union on a regular basis, she rarely struck up a conversation or asked for assistance from staff. She was very quiet and reserved. Over the years, she placed her life savings in accounts at the credit union.

One day she walked into the credit union and asked if I was available. I welcomed her into my office, she sat down and handed me an envelope to open. I opened the envelope which contained a folded piece of paper. I held the folded document, not opening it until after she spoke. Taking me totally aback, this is what she said; "I am going in for surgery tomorrow and I want to be sure that everything will be taken care of should something happen to me. That piece of paper is my power of attorney. I trust you and the credit union. I know you will carry out my wishes for my family."

It was a request that stirred so many emotions: compassion for her health and well-being; concern for her and her family; and a feeling of heavy responsibility to act as her representative, if the need had arisen. I reassured her that we would follow her directives and immediately secured the document as signed and witnessed by my staff.

My anxiety over the next few days was obvious. However, I received a call by the end of that week saying the surgery was successful and she was recovering at home. The memory of that experience has remained with me over the years. It was an honor and a privilege to be asked to carry out her personal wishes and says volumes about the unique and special relationship of trust between members and their credit union.

Roshara (Rosie) Holub is president/CEO of the Missouri Credit Union Association.

Personal Recollections of Credit Unions

To mark credit unions' 100th Anniversary, Credit Union Journal is publishing "100 voices" answering, "The one personal anecdote from my credit union career that comes to my mind and which sums up what credit unions are all about is..."

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