January Message from the President
January Message from the President
As we end an unprecedented and challenging year, I want to wish you a Happy New Year with the hope for a safe, healthy, and happier 2021. Despite the difficulties and challenges, I am pleased to report that Provident emerged from 2020 strong and secure with a continued commitment to our members. Our financial performance remains solid with record real estate transactions, along with increases in efficiencies in our business operations, and improvements in member products and services. As always, your Credit Union remains safe and secure.
Details follow on our response to the pandemic, our continued implementation of technologies to support you, and investment in our community and staff.
Implementation of Technologies to Make Your Life Easier: Zelle®
In late 2020, we implemented Zelle, the digital payment system used by more than 700 banks and credit unions nationwide. Zelle enables you to send contactless payments to local businesses, friends, family, and others in a fast, convenient way. Safe and secure, you can use access Zelle through our online banking website or mobile app and you can send money in minutes---no inconvenient checks, no delays, and no need to use postage or mail.
Our Response to the Pandemic: Keeping Members and Staff Safe and Secure
From the beginning, we took the threat of COVID-19 seriously. We made our branches safe and secure by complying with CDC guidelines, California shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders, and other local regulations and restrictions. We installed Plexiglas® teller window separators and other separators in all offices; we installed disinfecting air-filter systems in all branches, and established masking and social distancing measures. Each morning, staff complete a COVID assessment, which asks critical questions about their health, temperature, exposure to others with COVID, and recent travel. These measures help ensure member and staff safety.
Our Commitment to Investing in Our Community and Staff
During 2020, our commitment to our communities and staff continued. Reinvesting and supporting our communities and team brings value to everyone, including, of course, our members. We helped more than 45 community groups, including food banks, educational groups, hospice and healthcare organizations, homeless shelters, and those engaged in COVID community relief efforts. Undeterred by the pandemic, Provident continued important staff volunteer activities, including a mask-making event to support donations of masks to homeless persons. Other internal efforts included staff assembly of kits for RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers) to support teachers and parents engaged in remote teaching. Staff also bought and distributed supplies and treat bags to teachers in underserved schools throughout the Bay Area. Provident staff also made contributions that helped provide relief to wildfire victims.
We understand investing in people provides a pathway to creating value for our members. I am delighted to report that we redoubled our efforts to support and invest in staff. In 2020, we awarded five full college scholarships to staff for undergraduate and graduate degrees, and we expanded our internal training efforts in leadership and business topics.
Continuing Focus and Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
There is no doubt that a diverse and inclusive workplace creates a healthier, more innovative, and profitable business environment. In 2020, we accelerated our focus on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace by creating a special committee dedicated to education, training, informing, and promoting these essential areas.
I continue to appreciate and remain grateful to each of you for the trust you place in Provident to deliver the highest level of service and the best products for your financial needs.
Jim Ernest, President & CEO