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Small biz owner CU is doing it right
SALT LAKE CITY (3/27/08)--A credit union couldn't ask for a more glowing endorsement from a member on its philosophy of service. The $3.2 billion asset Mountain America CU in Salt Lake City was the topic of a column written by a member with a business loan. The title: "Doin' it right." Jim Ackerman, president of Ascend Marketing Inc., a two-person business run out of his home, recently attended Mountain America's Business Services Department's third open house. The event attracted 100 business members. "I have never run into a financial institution so committed to serving its business clientele in such a comprehensive way," he said. "It is so refreshing to see an organization that thinks customer service the way 'I' think it." Mountain America CU so impressed him he wrote a column in The Enterprise (March 10-16), a weekly business-focused newspaper. In it he tells how he had been "reasonably satisfied" with his bank. An earlier big bank "always made me work hard to do business with them," but the bank he settled with was "pretty decent. They never went out of their way to get to know me or my business, but they didn't actively hamper my efforts either," he wrote. He did most of his banking online, but he didn't like to run to the bank with his deposits. At a networking event, he met Annette Zimmerman, senior vice president for business services at Mountain America, who introduced Ackerman to Dan Summerhays of the credit union's business department. Ackerman mentioned the deposit dilemma and Summerhays said, "No problem. We can come pick those up for you." Ackerman became a business member, and the credit union is still picking up his deposits. Summerhays also asked for a meeting to get a better idea about Ackerman's business, offered a line of credit, and even referred a business to Ackerman. "I don't care how much the banks want to make the case that credit unions have become just like them, you won't convince me," Ackerman wrote. "Banks are all about them and their stockholders, and playing it safe and sound." Credit unions, he wrote, "understand the spirit of interdependence. I've never seen anybody exemplify that like Mountain America Credit Union." He suggested all businesses do as the credit union does: "Pro-actively work for the good of your clients. Take care of them first. When you do, they'll take care of you, and the sky is the limit."
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