Coastal CU CEO among 2018 Wegner Award winners
Monday, October 16, 2017
Updated: November 16, 2017
Madison, Wis. – In recognition for his almost forty years of service to the credit union movement and innovative spirit pushing the movement forward, the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is pleased to announce Chuck Purvis, President/CEO at Coastal Credit Union, as the recipient of a 2018 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.
Purvis’ award will be one of four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at a special fundraising event hosted by the Foundation at the Marriott Marquis Washington on February 26th, 2018 in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). Registration for dinner tickets and sponsorships will be available on the Foundation website (ncuf.coop) later this year.
"Chuck's tremendous work with Coastal Credit Union is well known and documented," said John Gregoire, Chair of the Foundation's Wegner Awards Selection Committee and President of The ProCon Group. "Chuck's contributions to the credit union movement are widespread and significant. For example, Chuck structured and drove the Community Investment Fund to fruition, which is the funding mechanism largely responsible for the continued sustenance for the Foundation and state credit union foundations."
People Helping People
“Under Chuck’s leadership, ‘People Helping People’ is paramount to any decision that the credit union makes,” said Joe Mecca, AVP of Communication at Coastal. “Any new policy, product or program must benefit the members as much as it benefits the credit union, and our test is that decisions are ‘member-friendly and fair.’”
As President/CEO of Coastal, Purvis has exhibited an unrelenting dedication to giving back and improving the lives of those around him. He has structured the credit union’s vision around a balanced approach to returning value to Coastal’s membership, employees and the community. He understands that as a member-owned, community-focused financial cooperative, Coastal is uniquely positioned to help each of these groups to better themselves.
Purvis was instrumental in the creation of a Member Assistance Program at Coastal following the 2008 financial crisis. The goal of the program is to help members remain current with their obligations and to avoid slipping into situations that would negatively affect their credit. Members experiencing financial difficulties that affect their ability to make their monthly loan payments can request assistance.
He also oversaw the re-evaluation of fee structures, eliminating 20 account fees and forgoing more than $600k in fee income while also establishing a new company minimum wage of $12.50 per hour, which went into effect last year.
Purvis was also instrumental in the development of Coastal’s patronage dividend program. Originally labeled VIP and now Loyalty Bonus, the program has returned more than $11.7 million to members since its inception in 2012.
Purvis has shown his dedication not just to his employees and his membership, but also to his community with educational events for adults and teenagers. Financial Reality Fairs and on-site classes on budgeting, goal setting, borrowing, saving money and more are all used by Coastal to give back to the community.
Purvis’ passion for the well-being of Coastal’s membership and community was instrumental in the creation of the Coastal Credit Union Foundation, formed in 2011. The Foundation focuses on helping the financially vulnerable, increasing financial literacy and alleviating food insecurity in the community. Since the inception, the Coastal Credit Union Foundation has made more than $700,000 in grants, and Purvis currently sits on its board of directors.
Always Looking Forward, Always Innovating
Purvis has pushed innovation everywhere he goes, creating both the Community Investment Fund (CIF) and developing video banking systems. Purvis is a former Chairman of the National Credit Union Foundation, and served on the board from 1995 to 2007. While on the board of the Foundation and working at U.S. Central at the time, it was Purvis’ personal efforts and foresight that he displayed while creating the Community Investment Fund. At its height, CIF held $350 million in investments and helped $10 million flow into the Foundation annually.
At Coastal, his involvement in the development of Personal Teller Machines showed his proficiency in using new and different ways of thinking in order to revolutionize branch banking. After countless hours of his own time spent honing the design, prototyping, testing and refining of the PTM, results have been astounding. Members now enjoy previously unheard-of convenience and hours of service while the credit union enjoys cost savings, staffing efficiency and improved in-branch sales.
Purvis also recently developed an idea with Coastal which led to the result of a revolutionary new CUSO, Constellation Digital Partners.
His willingness to innovate and look to the future was of significant help during the 2008 financial crisis, in which his leadership brought Coastal to record earnings levels in 2010. Since then, Coastal has operated from a position of strength thanks to Purvis’s foresight and the direction from him and his team.
“From the time Chuck joined Coastal, he has driven innovation,” said Joan A. Nelson, Chairman of Coastal Credit Union. “He was the thought leader behind the deployment of our video teller strategy which has not only driven tremendous cost savings and efficiency for the credit union, but has become the foundation for expanded service options for our members. Additionally, he has used Coastal as a showcase so that credit unions and other financial institutions around the world could explore and leverage this technology themselves.”
An Inspiration for Educating Current and Future Leaders
Purvis is a staunch supporter of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program. Having gone through the DE program himself, Purvis is always encouraging members of his staff and volunteers to pursue certification and helping to foster growth and development of their support of the community. He takes the credit union cooperative principles to heart in all that he does, and under his leadership those principles are at the forefront of Coastal’s decision-making process.
Purvis’ passion for the credit union principles and difference spurred the creation of a two-day Principles and Philosophy Workshop designed for non-management employees and facilitated by Coastal Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). In April of 2017, 45 employees attended the inaugural session and earned the Coastal CUDEs the coveted 2017 Credit Union Development Education Cooperative Spirit Award.
His manner of management allows him to talk with the entire staff on a one-on-one basis. From the lowest level of staff to senior management, Purvis is a true mentor. He encourages his staff to be volunteers in the community and at other credit unions while himself being involved in Habitat for Humanity, Better Business Bureau, the United Way, and other activities.
His support for young and upcoming employees is extensive, and he is constantly on the lookout for new adventures and ways to help the credit union movement as a whole.
“The Carolinas Credit Union League has a mentor program called CU Protégé,” said John Radebaugh, President and CEO of the Carolinas Credit Union League. “This program is designed to mentor young credit union professionals to help them advance in their careers and keep the movement viable for years to come. Chuck is our top supporter of this program. Many of our mentors and mentees come from Coastal and help make the program a huge success.”
About the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards:
The awards are named in honor of the late Credit Union National Association CEO Herb Wegner, whose tireless dedication, innovative ideas and deeds truly revolutionized the ways that credit unions serve their communities. The awards that bear Wegner’s name recognize his spirit of “innovative, creative, risk-taking” leadership.View past award recipients here.