May 15, 2020
There has been a lot of talk recently about “reopening”. I imagine it raises questions for you about our plans at Freedom and I would like to address them; I just don’t have all the answers yet. What I can tell you is, we will not rush things.
Like everything you hear, we too will be taking a phased approach. What that approach will be exactly, or when it will happen, will first be dependent, and in alignment, with the Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery guidance announced on May 13, as well as what we feel is best for our members and employees. There will be numerous other considerations including, but not limited to, staff and member safety, social distancing needs, controlled access, hours of operation, branch configuration, and so on.
We are learning a lot from our experience serving you with the current changes in place at our branches, and how you have embraced those changes. This will help us determine what is necessary and what is in your best interests going forward. We also consider how we can best maintain our culture, our relationships, and our connection to the community in a more “touchless” world.
While we don’t know what the upcoming weeks and months will look like, we know it will be different, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We know we are not alone in this; every business will need to evolve in some way. We have had, and will continue to have, discussions about next steps and gather information since each location can pose different challenges. Whatever decisions are made will be based on the same strategies we have focused and built our success on – the employee and member experience.
Believe me, I would love to be the modern-day Nostradamus and to tell you every decision regarding reopening, or potential changes, will be perfect from the start. The reality is this is all new and we must ease into any action one step at a time. Most decisions are the result of facts, research, analysis and so on. We will not risk the trust you place in us by guessing or by worrying about what everyone else is doing. We have, and will, make decisions based on what we know and what we believe to be in the best interest of all for the greater good. You deserve that. All we ask in return is your understanding and flexibility as we navigate today’s “conditional normalcy” (whatever the conditions dictate will be what is normal).
For now, when we can safely open lobbies in our branches again, they may look and operate a bit differently. Masks will be required, social distancing should be expected, and appointments may be necessary for the short-term. You may also find that branches may be slightly reconfigured with plexiglass barriers, staff employing necessary physical distancing, signs posted with instructions for conducting business and floor markers indicating where to stand.
Regardless of how things look and what requirements are necessitated, rest assured you are still our priority and that Freedom, at its core, remains unchanged in our purpose, mission and commitment as we forge a new path in service of you and our community.
We will communicate our plans in the coming days and weeks. Until then, I want to thank you for your patience, your support, your resilience, and your trust in Freedom.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Freedom Federal Credit Union