This month marks my ten-year anniversary as Chief Executive Officer. Taking this opportunity to reflect on the past decade, I am humbled to be leading an organization that has never forgotten its roots. During the height of the “Great Recession”, SeaComm was able to navigate through some of the most tumultuous times economically that our country has experienced since the “Great Depression.” Bank and credit union failures, the bankruptcy of General Motors, thousands of good workers displaced through unemployment and foreclosures of homes were regular fodder on the nightly news.
During those days, SeaComm was a beacon of hope for so many. We didn’t adversely affect our members by rescoring our credit card portfolio, stop lending to small businesses, nor did we increase our fees to offset the loss of interest income due to the low interest rate environment set by the Federal Reserve. In fact, we kept our deposit rates among the highest in our market. We ensured that we stayed true to what the 1934 Credit Union Act was all about. We continued to ensure we were making credit available to those who needed it and ensured that we did it in a safe and prudent manner.
Groundbreaking of our Plattsburgh Branch
We continue to make progress in growing our products,
services and footprint. All while we are meeting our key operating goals and maintaining an overall strong balance sheet. Although not our intended mission, it does continue to be extremely important to our long-term financial well-being. The heart of why we exist comes from us improving the overall financial lives of the member, which begins from the moment they open that door and enter a branch, make that phone call or send that email. As a cooperative financial institution, missioned with helping one another, whether it is borrowing or placing funds on deposit, we are here to help one another. As the economic climate continues to change, we remain committed to being there for any type of financial situation. We understand that no members’ financial life fits into a “one-size-fits-all” box and therefore shouldn’t be reduced to just a FICO credit score. The relationship we enjoy with our members isn’t just about the one-time car loan; it’s about the entire lifelong relationship. We are committed to being there – when you need us the most.
There are numerous highlights of my career at SeaComm which I could share. A few resonate to the top. One in which we were able to save a family who faced losing their home through foreclosure by a larger financial institution. In a letter of appreciation, these members wrote, “After the loss of my job in 2008, the faceless individuals called us losers and were going to take our home. With no other options, we went to see you. I have never heard of an individual going to the President of a banking institution and asking for help. But, you Mr. Wilson, President of SeaComm, did meet with us and because of your compassion and understanding, made it possible for us to keep our home.”
We help so many. Auto loans to get that needed car to get to work, fulfilling a dream of home ownership and even personal loans to help with Christmas or those badly needed tires for the car. Whatever the need, we are willing to take a look and hopefully assist in any way we can. These successes come in many forms. A member sent this message to me recently highlights the impact we have on our members’ lives, “You answered my call and addressed my request to get through a stressful situation. SeaComm cares for every member and will help and direct them to a better life of success and prosperity.”
Given this opportunity to lead SeaComm has been a pinnacle of my professional career. A day never goes by that I am not personally appreciative of the hard-working, talented staff who ensure our members are taken care of every single day, the Board of Directors, who dedicate their time and talent to ensure our mission of doing the right thing of enhancing our members’ financial lives is fulfilled and to the 44,000 members who have put their trust in us to continue to serve their financial lives.
I would like to thank everyone who has made SeaComm what it is today and for allowing us to continue to serve your financial needs. We look forward to working together well into the future.
Scott A. Wilson
President & Chief Executive Officer
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