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  • Writer's pictureW.B. King

Tech People in the Know: Addition Financial Credit Union's Alex DeJesus

In what is a recurring feature, Finopotamus will profile interesting and intriguing tech professionals who are positively impacting the credit union industry.

For this issue, we visited with Addition Financial Credit Union’s Senior Vice President of Member Experience Alex DeJesus.

By W.B. King

In a continued, strategic effort to deliver exceptional service and enhance the financial well-being of its valued membership, Addition Financial Credit Union named Alex DeJesus senior vice president of member experience in November 2023.

“Alex has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership, vision, and commitment to our success,” said Kevin Miller, president and CEO of Addition Financial CU. “His ability to achieve measurable results, inspire colleagues, mentor team members and bring innovative ideas to the table makes him a valuable addition to our senior management team.”

Alex DeJesus

Beginning his career in 1999 as a bank teller, DeJesus has held many industry positions, including branch manager and assistant vice president. He joined Addition Financial CU in 2016. Prior to his current post, his roles included associate regional manager, and vice president, member experience, contact center and growth.

“I’ve spent a lot of time engaging directly with members, listening to their needs and helping them achieve financial success from working as a part-time teller to various roles in branch banking,” DeJesus told Finopotamus. “Collaborating with small business owners and chambers of commerce, I’ve navigated the challenges of accessing capital and educated on small business banking.”

Noting that he is rooted in the “people helping people” credit union ethos, in his new role DeJesus “aims to positively impact individuals’ financial lives through meaningful conversations — a philosophy embraced at Addition Financial.”

A Learning Organization

The $2.8 billion Lake Mary, Fla.-based Addition Financial CU serves more than 170,000 members at 26 full-service branches and 10 high school branches. The credit union has a proud 85-year legacy of serving educators and supporting education. To this end, Addition Financial CU is the official financial institution (FI) of the University of Central Florida Knights and owns the naming rights to the Addition Financial Arena on the UCF campus. The credit union is also the FI of choice for Seminole State College and for Valencia College.

“The credit union industry aims to support individuals in reaching their financial goals through financial education and its not-for-profit structure. Credit unions, such as Addition Financial, utilize profits to benefit members by offering loans at lower rates and engaging in philanthropic activities within their communities,” DeJesus offered.

“For instance, Addition Financial contributes to Central Florida’s school systems through its annual ‘School Spirit’ debit card program and grants two paid volunteer days to teammates for participation in local 501C3 events of their choice,” he added.

To keep pace with industry trends and emerging technologies, DeJesus told Finopotamus that Addition Financial CU is a “learning organization” that strategically utilizes data and insights, placing significant importance on survey feedback from members.

“This includes insights on everyday banking, member relationships, and specific products or services. The organization assesses member satisfaction, net promoter score (NPS), and values Google reviews. Internal surveys for teammates contribute to process improvements, aiming to enhance the overall ease of doing business,” he continued. “We have made significant changes due to the feedback we have received and will continue to make changes with the member experience at the helm.”

AI: A Gradual, Not Swift, Solution

Sharing that generative AI (i.e., a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio and synthetic data) has become a “prominent topic” at industry conferences, DeJesus said he views it as a “nascent technological solution” for member services.

“Through collaborations with organizations, I’ve encountered both positive and challenging experiences in adopting AI workflows. Notably, the training period required for generative AI to align with service standards makes it a gradual rather than swift solution,” he shared. “At Addition Financial, our commitment is to deliver thoroughly tested solutions tailored to the specific needs and requests of our members. Therefore, AI as a solution for our members is a future technology for us to explore.”

When Finopotamus asked what steps the credit union takes to attract younger members enticed to opt for alternative banking solutions that advertise ease-of-use apps, DeJesus again leaned on Addition Financial CU being a learning organization, which he said is an integral strategy.

“We actively survey our younger audience to grasp their banking needs, ensuring tailored solutions,” he noted. “Our commitment extends to college branches at UCF and high school branches, fostering an environment where students experience ‘branch life,’ engage in member service, learn about banking, and develop leadership skills.”

A “direct connection” with the “younger generation,” he added, not only “enriches our understanding but has also paved the way for some to discover and pursue career paths with Addition Financial.”

As more and more members of all ages and demographics expect their FI to keep pace with technology offerings they may experience at retail settings, such as at Amazon, Finopotamus queried DeJesus on how the credit union addresses this all-important topic.

“We prioritize our members by embracing technologies that align with their needs. Unlike some retail settings, we don’t adopt solutions simply because they work elsewhere,” he said. “Our approach is strategic, ensuring that technological changes are communicated purposefully and well in advance to minimize disruption.” DeJesus continued: “We value feedback, continuously learning from our membership to refine and offer functional solutions tailored to their current and future needs.”


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