By W.B. King
Living up to its motto “bank better to live better,” Coastal Credit Union embarked on its 56th anniversary by welcoming its third CEO in its history, Tyler Grodi, who succeeded Chuck Purvis, a celebrated 40-year credit union industry veteran.
“I’m humbled and honored by the opportunity to work with such an incredible team and board. Together, we’ll build upon Coastal’s reputation and foundation of strength, technology and member experience,” Grodi said in April 2023 when assuming the role. Prior to this post he served 11 years as CEO for the Baton Rouge, La.-based EFCU Financial.
The $4.6 billion Cary, N.C.-based Coastal Credit Union provides banking services to more than 323,000 members at 23 locations.
“I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the Coastal family, delivering financial well-being to our members and being a good neighbor to our community,” he said.
To assist in its CEO search effort, Coastal Credit Union Board of Directors enlisted D. Hilton Associates, Inc. With a career spanning 23 years, Grodi, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bowling Green State University, also previously served as chief financial officer at Black Hills Federal Credit Union in Rapid City, S.D.
“The board is excited to have Tyler join Coastal,” Joan Nelson, Coastal’s board chair, said in a statement. “Our search began with a slate of wonderfully diverse and accomplished candidates. In the end, we found a leader with the experience and proven track record that will be the key to our success; and one who offers an inspirational vision for Coastal that both respects where we are today, and outlines a path forward that values our employees, our members and our community.”
Improving the Member Experience
Grodi has a solid platform from which to build as reflected in Coastal Credit Union’s 2022 Member and Community Impact Report. A driving force behind the credit union’s growth is its ability to listen and respond to member feedback.
Employees fielded 594,910 phone calls, 221,147 online chat interactions, 2,277 social media member interactions and 597, 387 teller sessions. In some cases, these exchanges were with members who were in need of special assistance. To the end, the credit union provided 6,143 consultations for members requiring help with staying current on their loans; modified 28 mortgages, valued at $5.7 million (to help members stay in their homes); modified 835 consumer loans to help members stay current on their loan obligations; and created 483 Wealth Management financial plans – at no cost to members.
To assist in achieving the noted goals, Coastal Credit Union’s vice president of communications Joe Meccas told Finopotamus the following three tech upgrades were made: adding e-closings for mortgages, adding Visa 3D Secure One-time Passcodes to debit and credit cards and updating data centers and telecom connections.
Financial literacy was another undertaking in 2022 with 4,890 educational sessions executed for schools, nonprofit organizations and affiliated employer groups, helping 1,650 community members. Additionally, there were 16 Coastal Credit union Wealth Management live or streaming webinars, attracting more than 2,200 attendees.
“We’re proud to say that our purpose is as true today as it was when we began in an IBM broom closet back in 1967,” the board of directors noted in the report. “While our products and services have evolved over time, providing an exceptional member experience and delivering financial well-being for all remains at the core of what we do.”
A Vote of Confidence
As part of Coastal Credit Union Foundation’s platform of philanthropic initiatives, employees joined together in a program called “Volunteer Grants,” donating their time and efforts that benefited 19 organizations, which received $5,000 each in 2021.
“Making the decision to give some of your valuable time to a nonprofit organization is more than just a service to our community, it’s a vote of confidence in what that specific organization is doing to help,” noted Creighton Blackwell, chair of the foundation and the credit union’s chief community and public affairs officer.
“The foundation board saw where volunteer hours were being logged, and wanted to help amplify the impact our employees have made. For many of these organizations, $5,000 can make a significant impact,” he added.