Banking Reimagined My Foot

December 4, 2020

You know what annoys me?  Commercials.  One in particular gets under my skin.  It’s the commercial for Capital One.  It’s bad enough they talk about having no fees or minimums on checking accounts like they just thought of it or that you can bank on the go with a mobile app like no one else offers that.  No, it was the phrase “banking reimagined”.  You know what banking reimagined is?  A CREDIT UNION!!!

All you need to do is look at our history to know that banks are still banks no matter what kind of pretty package you put it in or spin you put on it.  You still get your best deal, have your best experience, at a credit union and with people like you.

Mike

 

Overcoming 2020 Challenges Together

November 5, 2020

Dear Freedom Members,

Over the years, we promised to uphold our core value of people helping people by focusing on creating a memorable experience for members, employees and the community we serve.  Year after year we stayed true to this philosophy as it drove achievements and stability.  Now as we near the end of the year, that strategic focus has proven vital in successfully navigating in 2020.

In recent years, we worked on our infrastructure and improving various processes, products, delivery channels, etc.  We put greater effort into expanding and enhancing call center capabilities and online services and refined every avenue to allow you to conduct business virtually to provide the options and convenience that would create a better experience.  As it turned out, these efforts were also the key in adapting to the “contactless” world thrust upon us by an unexpected pandemic.  Before times had changed, we were already preparing for you to have the ability to conduct business without leaving your home.

As a result, and despite the situation, we never shut down, we never stopped serving.  Yes, we had to keep our distance, we had to modify some operational aspects for everyone’s safety, but, like always, we were here, we heard you and we responded.  We responded not just to the normal business of the day, but to those of you who needed extra help created by the impact of the virus on our lives and economy.

We helped 95 businesses by providing more than $2 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.  We processed over 1,400 payment deferral requests on loans and mortgages.  We provided lunches and PPE supplies to first responders and over 25 Harford County organizations and, even though some plans and events were cancelled, Freedom maintained our financial support of each organization as originally committed.

Of course, you, our members, were also key to our ability to successfully adapt to this crisis.  Every step of the way you have been resilient, understanding, supportive and more.  You demonstrated the most important part of a cooperative; that we achieve more together when we work towards a common purpose.  We are grateful for you and we appreciate you.

Finally, I cannot be more proud and appreciative of all the employees of Freedom, especially those who are on the front lines, who come in every day, and work tirelessly to ensure they provide the hands-on service you have come to expect.

Freedom will continue to earn your trust by holding to the values we established over 67 years. Our name is built by living up to our vision and mission. Our name is synonymous with respect, compassion, service, integrity, trust, and safety. Our name reflects all of the good and dedicated people that help and serve. Our name is Freedom and Freedom will continue to care for our community, one member at a time.

Sincerely,

CEO Signature

Michael MacPherson
President and CEO
Freedom Federal Credit Union

I Think Therefore I Am

July 17, 2020

I think thinking is good.  I think about thinking a lot; especially these days because there is so much more to think about.  I think we even think about things we never thought about before and think about what we’re going to need to think about in the future.  You think more about where to go, how to go, the known and unknown.  You think more about family and friends.  You may think more about strangers and what they’re thinking.  You may even think about how much thinking people are not doing these days.  You think about how they act rather than think because thinking takes too much effort.  I must say, however, I think there is some non-thinking that is actually good.

When you think about it, our brains are a marvelous thinking machine and I find myself thinking about how much thinking my thinking machine can take.  Which is why, I think, it’s good to take some time not to think, but not in the way most people aren’t thinking these days.  For example, if I go to the beach I see lots of people reading books or scrolling on phones and tablets.  Not me.  I took a book once and read only three chapters in a week.  I took a comic book for the entertainment value and minimal time it took.  Mostly though, I just sit and stare off.  Perhaps play some music, but it’s just background.  I sit and think of nothing.  I take in the wind and sounds and visual rhythms that pass before me, but I don’t think about them; they just are.  As I think about it now, I realize when I don’t think, sometimes I think the best. When you tune out the all the thoughts that constantly plague your mind, when you take a few moments to clear your head, it’s like a reboot to your entire system and when you tune back in, there are amazing ideas, a greater appreciation of things and a renewed focus on what needs to be done.

Of course, you don’t need to be on a beach.  You can do it anywhere.  Sometimes I take a few moments to get up from my desk and look out the window.  You just need to make time, for a few brief moments, at home, in your car, walking a trail, anywhere, to let it all go, breath deep, and don’t think.

Thinking is good, thinking is necessary most of the time, but not thinking for even just a little bit here and there, is a really good thing too.   I think.

 

Mike