Message from the Board Chair

Board Chair

You may have noticed that Tower’s website looks different these days. No need to adjust your browser: towerfcu.org got a much needed facelift last quarter. What’s changed? The site is easier to navigate, with redesigned pages that give you a better understanding of what Tower offers and what to expect from our products. We also improved the search function, and made it easier to access loan rates, applications, financial education materials, and other information.

The biggest change is that the site is now optimized for mobile devices. What hasn’t changed? The Home Banking login and account interface remains the same and is just as secure.

With data breaches becoming all too common, many of us are concerned about falling victim to identity theft, and with good reason. To help our members reduce that risk, we recently held two free community shred days: one at our Clarksville branch in April and another at our Owings Mills branch in May. Both events were well-attended by our members, and in total almost 12 tons of documents were shredded! Members attending the events were not only able to shred their confidential documents safely, they also enjoyed games, prizes, food and giveaways, and were able to meet with representatives from our lending department and Tower Wealth Management®. Stay tuned…we expect to hold more events like this in the future.

To further help prevent fraud, if you’re traveling this summer, be sure to let Tower know before you go. Also be sure to take with you Tower’s toll-free U.S. numbers (and collect call numbers if going overseas) in the event one of your cards is blocked, lost, or if you suspect card fraud.

If you need cash while you’re out on the road, Tower members have access to over 47,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, including at most 7-Eleven and Royal Farms stores. Use our Mobile App to find them at your destination or along the way. If you’re traveling in the U.S., look for ATMs with the CO-OP Network, Credit Union 24 CU HERE, or MoneyPass logos. Outside the U.S., use ATMs with recognizable logos, like Mastercard®. To protect your accounts, cover your PIN when entering and be wary of any wires or small cameras on the ATM, or removable plastic coverings on the card slot.

On behalf of the Board and Tower’s Senior Management team, I wanted to take a moment to thank those of you who attended Tower’s Annual Meeting on May 16.  At the meeting, three Board members were re-elected by acclimation, including myself. Congratulations to my fellow volunteer Board members Allen Brisentine and Arland White, who were re-elected to serve another term. I thank you both for your time and dedication to Tower. For those of you who were unable to attend the meeting, a copy of Tower’s 2016 Annual Report is available here.

Now for the most difficult part of my message. As you may know, Martin Breland, who has been Tower’s CEO and president for 23 years, is retiring at the end of this month. Martin has led Tower from a $625 million financial institution to over $2.9 billion in asset size today. He and Tower’s Board built a common vision for Tower’s values of sound finances and excellent member service, and Martin has taken that vision and led your credit union to become what you see today.  The Board also recognizes that Martin’s position as an influential leader in the credit union industry has helped Tower to work cooperatively with fellow credit unions and industry regulators to our members’ benefit.  Each Board member has his or her own special memories of Martin, but for all of us Martin has earned our respect as a friend, colleague, and the best of what a leader is. On behalf of myself and the Board, our sincere congratulations and fond best wishes are with Martin and his family as he retires.

On a positive note, I am pleased to announce that Rick Stafford, Tower’s current Executive Vice President of Member Services, will take the helm as Tower’s new CEO and President in July. Prior to joining Tower in 2015, Rick spent his career in the retail financial services industry and the Board is truly fortunate to have found someone with his financial leadership credentials to serve as Martin’s successor. Rick understands Tower’s commitment to making sound financial decisions. Tied to this is his vision to deliver services that adapt to our members’ evolving financial needs. The Board has complete confidence in Rick’s dedication to Tower’s values and his commitment to lead Tower successfully into the future.

Wherever your travels take you this summer, or if you’re just enjoying a staycation at home, I wish you and your loved ones a safe, enjoyable and relaxing season. When you get time, please take a minute to like and follow us on Facebook.

Marie Rowland
Chair, Board of Directors