I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about a topic that the Board and the Management Team have made a major focus. The subject is “member giveback” and it takes on many different forms. I suspect most people would equate that to be favorable rates on savings and loan products. Tower does pay close attention to rates offered by other credit unions and banks to remain competitive for our members, but it is not simply a matter of matching other rates. In some cases, it may be useful to Tower to enhance deposit rates to attract deposits due to high demands for our loan products by other members. Maintaining appropriate levels of liquidity is a must while constantly ensuring we have a broad range of deposit and loan products. For over 60 years, we have focused on safe and sound regulatory practices, and have ensured proper balance sheet management while always keeping a keen eye on the ever changing economy. Tower’s Management Team does a fantastic job of balancing all of these items.
I want to talk about some of the many other forms of “member giveback,” and provide a little insight into just how member-focused Tower is. Tower is a full-service financial institution that exists for your benefit. We are always looking for opportunities to enhance the member experience, whether that means a physical location or via online services. Recently, we relocated the Millersville Branch with large focus on the member experience and convenience. There was also considerable discussion about the safety of our members and staff and the new location alleviated a number of those concerns. Member feedback has been extremely favorable.
Our focus on online services and products is always expanding and improving. Given that approximately 20% of our members reside outside the state of Maryland, online banking continues to be a priority for both the Board and Senior Management. We strive to ensure that our members have convenient access to their accounts at all times, regardless of where they live or where they are when they need us. Tower’s Home Banking and Mobile App provide members with 24/7 online account access, at home and on the go. Members can also access their accounts by phone using our automated phone system, Tower Talk 24.
I would like to shift away from what Tower does for its members and talk about a different type of “member giveback.” Tower’s Board of Directors, as well as the Supervisory Committee and the Loan Review Committee, are comprised of Tower members who have chosen to volunteer their services for these important positions. This is just one example of members giving back to each other; after all, Tower is a co-operative organization that exists for the financial well-being of its member-owners. Unlike banks, there are no stockholders to pay. Profits are returned to members by keeping rates fair, fees few and low, performance high and deposits safe. As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution, Tower is committed to meeting our members’ diverse financial needs through unbeatable value, superior service, and untiring innovation. Tower provides top-notch financial products and services for our members.
Another example of a different type of “member giveback” is the member commitment to giving back to others. The TowerCares Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established to support today’s children in need as well as the brave men and women who protect our freedom and their families—so that they all may have a brighter future tomorrow. The Foundation gives grants to well-vetted charitable organizations that align with this mission—and gives our neighbors and corporate partners the opportunity to do the same. Tower employees deserve a huge shout out as they hold several events throughout each year to raise funds for a number of various charities, with the biggest being the long-time annual golf classic that has raised much needed funding for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The TowerCares Foundation has provided an opportunity for more members to join this charitable effort by becoming a member of TowerCares or electing to contribute to TowerCares through the Combined Federal Campaign (our CFC number is 23594). TowerCares is also a part of the Maryland Charity Campaign (our MCC number is 47-4164006). I encourage all members to learn more about TowerCares and to consider donating to support these worthy causes.
I am both proud and appreciative to have the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Tower and to help continue the great work done by so many before me. While this is my first year as Chairman, this is my fifteenth year as a volunteer on the Board of Directors and my nineteenth year as a volunteer, having served four years on the Supervisory Committee. Many on the Board have served for at least a decade and bring a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience. Most importantly, they all share a strong commitment to continuing to keep Tower great and member-focused. One of the Board’s primary responsibilities is to make sure that Tower has the right CEO to run this fantastic organization and I can say without reservation, we most certainly do. In addition, we have an outstanding Senior Management Team that does an exceptional job. I also want to give tremendous praise and credit to the exceptional and professional employees of Tower who make this organization so great and enhance the member experience. Remember, as members of Tower, each one of you is part owner of this wonderful organization.
Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Tower Federal Credit Union and Tower Wealth Management are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using Tower Wealth Management, and may also be employees of Tower Federal Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Tower Federal Credit Union or Tower Wealth Management. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
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