October is our annual cyber safety issue of TowerLine, coinciding with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM encourages us all to “Do your part. #Be Cybersmart,” and serves as a reminder that we all must be mindful of how and when, and with whom, we are sharing our personal and financial information.
A recent study found that in 2020, U.S. adults spent an average of nearly eight hours per day online, up 15% from 2019. As a nation—and global community—we are online now more than ever, and the line between our online and offline lives has become almost indistinguishable. We must all do our part, as individuals and organizations, to own our role of protecting our part of cyberspace.
Tower is committed to the highest levels of fraud detection and prevention, and account security is a top priority for the Board and Senior Management year-round. We continue to invest in new banking technologies and upgrades, and training for staff to recognize and combat fraud.
Tower Named Best-in-State
I’m proud to announce that Tower has been recognized as Maryland’s #1 Best-in-State Credit Union for 2021 by Forbes Magazine. Tower was one of only five credit unions state-wide to make the list, which honors the top 3.6% of credit unions nationwide. To create the list, Forbes and partner Statista surveyed more than 25,000 U.S. consumers about their banking relationships. The independent survey asked participants to rate credit unions at which they have or previously have had checking accounts.
The Forbes recognition is especially meaningful given the tumultuous events brought about by COVID-19. The first-place honor is largely due to Tower’s outstanding team of employees and their commitment to providing superior member service, especially during a global pandemic, along with our full offering of low or no-fee products and services, top-notch online and digital channels, and focus on financial education and member give-back.
Tower Surpasses $4 Billion in Assets
Since our founding over six decades ago, Tower has remained committed to providing a safe and secure harbor for our members’ accounts, and we have weathered many storms over the years. We value the trust our members have placed in us, and we continue to focus on meeting our members’ financial needs, helping them to reach their goals and promoting their financial well-being. Tower recently passed the $4 billion in assets mark, reflective of the trust and confidence our members have placed in us as their credit union, and of our commitment to providing outstanding financial services for our members. We proudly now serve over 200,000 members around the globe.
TowerCares Foundation Reaches $1 Million Milestone
I’m also excited to report that the TowerCares Foundation has surpassed $1 million in donations and grants to local charities and organizations, including $125,000 in college scholarships to 25 students pursuing career in STEM-related fields. This milestone would not be possible without the generosity of our donors, and the Foundation is grateful for your continued support.
I would also like to recognize Tower’s employees for their contributions. They have been ardent supporters of TowerCares since its’ inception in 2015, through fundraising, volunteerism and sharing in the TowerCares mission of helping children, Veterans, and active military and DoD civilian employees in need. To recognize this milestone, we created a video that highlights some of the amazing charities we work with. To view the video, click here.
I invite you to visit Who We Support at towercaresfoundation.org to see for yourself the great work the charities we support are doing in our communities. I’m also happy to report that the recent Tower Classic Golf Tournament, hosted by TowerCares, raised over $26,000 for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital (JHCC), Baltimore’s local Children’s Miracle Hospital.
More than 85 golfers participated in the tournament, held in August at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville, Md. Thank you to all who organized and supported this event, which raises funds annually to help critically ill children receiving care at the Children’s Center, and their families.
The funds raised by the tournament, added to a $5,000 donation made by TowerCares to JHCC in July, brings the Foundation’s total donation this year to the Children’s Center to over $31,000.
If you’re looking for a way to support TowerCares year-round, the Foundation is a participating charity in this year’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), taking place now through January 15, 2022. The TowerCares Foundation CFC# is 23594; please see your workplace’s CFC keyworker for details. TowerCares is also a participating charity in the Maryland Charity Campaign for state employees (MCC# 47-4164006).
Tower Board Member Retires
In my June message, I mentioned that Alan P. Smith has retired from Tower’s Board of Directors. Alan served two decades on our volunteer Board, and held the position of Board Secretary for the last 16 years. We worked with Alan to create a special video about his retirement, to give him the opportunity to publicly share why he volunteered for Tower’s Board for 20 years, and to perhaps inspire others to consider making such a commitment. To view the video, click here.
Thank you for your patience
Tower remains vigilant with a very clear goal of providing excellent service to our members while, at the same time, prioritizing our employees’ and members’ safety, health and well-being. On behalf of the Board, thank you for your patience and support throughout these trying times. Tower has remained strong and responsive during the pandemic and we have come through it together with a resilient, unconquerable spirit.
For the near future, we ask that we all continue to do our part to help keep our members and employees safe, and wear masks when in Tower branches along with practicing social distancing. In an effort to limit the number of people in a branch at one time, we recommend members make an appointment online at towerfcu.org prior to visiting a branch.
In closing, I wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season. And, if you have family members, friends or co-workers who are not yet Tower members, give them the gift of credit union membership. Share your experience with Tower with them and invite them to join, so they too can be a part of the Tower family.
Arland A. White