Columbine Seeks to Inspire With New Mission and Vision Statements

Mission-Vision work helps credit unions prioritize resources, maintain relevance

Columbine Federal Credit Union

“We listen to your personal story and provide the tools and education you need to reach your dreams and succeed. When others don’t, we give a damn.”


That’s the mission statement for Columbine Federal Credit Union, and you can find it on the credit union’s website, tumblers, t-shirts, email signatures and other locations where staff and members are likely to see it. Arick Williams, CEO of the $66.5 million credit unions, explained that the credit union’s previous mission statement was “nice,” but it would also work for any financial institution


“Our old mission statement was not motivating,” Williams explained. “It was not inspiring anyone to get out of bed and come to work.”


Columbine, which already uses Your Marketing Co. to facilitate its strategic planning sessions, engaged CEO Bo McDonald to help in crafting the development of a mission and vision that would help simplify all decision making and get the team raring to come into work in the morning.


Columbine’s vision statement reads, “Our vision is to be the leader in helping our members, employees and the community pursue their dreams.”


McDonald explained that the credit union had already found its niche serving motorcycle businesses and enthusiasts in its field of membership. Williams added that the credit union is also unique in that its willing serve traditionally underserved communities.


For example, Columbine provided loans for three different motorcycle businesses to open, one of which just celebrated its 12thanniversary and Columbine was on hand to join them. The mission doesn’t stop at members; employees are just as important. One team member decided she wanted to become a teacher, and Columbine is currently helping her reach that goal by adjusting her schedule. In fact, her productivity has actually increased since that time, too, according to Williams.


Williams advised other credit unions considering new mission and vision statements to prepare, but “Don’t let assumptions impact possibilities.” He said he had what he thought was an excellent starting point – none of which made it into the final result.


“Arick and the team at Columbine worked well together to craft a mission and vision statement that is uniquely theirs,” McDonald said. “It’s tremendous to witness the evolution of a credit union as it finds its way to its true mission and vision. When credit unions, and particularly our boutique credit unions, can find their way to clarity, it becomes easier to identify their ideal member, prioritize resources and maintain relevance.”