Expert Interview with Melissa Shaw About a Unique Banking Experience with 3Rivers for Mint

Melissa Shaw is the marketing communications manager of 3Rivers Federal Credit Union. She took some to talk with us about some unique aspects of 3Rivers, financial security and giving back to the community. With over 14 years of experience in the industry, Melissa is a well-respected leader with valuable insight to share. Read on to learn more!

How does 3Rivers stand out as a company and a credit union?

For nearly 80 years, 3Rivers has been deeply embedded in the communities we serve. We are passionate about giving back to our community, and the community has always given back to us. While we offer all the same products and services that a traditional bank does, it is our people and our culture that make us unique. Our mission is "Helping People Understand Money Matters Every Day." This is more than a statement to hang on the wall or something we just say in training; this is a way of life at 3Rivers. We exist to put our members in a better financial position that either saves them money, makes them money or protects their money and future. If our members are successful, the credit union will be successful.

Tell us a bit about your scholarship program and the importance of giving back.

The advancement of education is a main pillar in our philanthropic giving. Investing in the advancement of education is a lifelong investment in the community. Every year we award ten $1,000 scholarships. Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee based on the quality of their applications and essays. Last year we had over 80 applicants.

You also have a strong belief in being an environmentally sound company. Why is this so important?

Being good stewards of the environment is the responsibility of each of us and one that 3Rivers takes very seriously. Our standard of doing business always bears in mind our impact. Not only are we mindful of our environmental footprint, but our reduction in energy and waste positively benefits our members. The less money we spend in energy and waste removal, the more we are able to give back to our members in the forms of higher savings rates, lower interest loans and investments in technology.

What is the mobile role with 3Rivers?

Mobile is a critical piece of our strategy. We live in an age when nearly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and they expect to be able to manage their money from that device rather than exclusively using traditional online banking. We take great pride in the mobile solutions we offer our members. We began offering mobile banking in 2010 and have since evolved into an incredibly robust platform that even allows our members to deposit checks and pay their bills just by snapping a picture on their smartphone or tablet. Remaining innovative, convenient and relevant is paramount to our strategic growth.

Can your members receive financial counseling and budget planning to develop the best personalized plan?

Being able to create a custom financial plan for our members is key to their financial success. Our team members are very well-versed in finding the best solution to put our members into better financial positions. It is not uncommon for a team member to sit down with a member and help them chart a plan that reduces their monthly debt by hundreds of dollars. In some cases, we've enabled members to quit extra jobs while also starting a retirement savings. That's not just helping, that's life changing! We share and celebrate these success stories to keep our mission of helping people with their money matters top of mind with our team.

Please talk a bit about security. Fraud and identity theft are scary out there! How do you protect your members?

We take our members' security very seriously. We have thorough fraud suppression tools and monitors in place. But even more important than monitoring for fraud, we educate members on how to protect their identity and their personal information. We frequently publish blogs addressing security and fraud issues. We even host three Shred Days a year when we invite the entire community (whether they are a member or not) to come and securely shred their sensitive documents free of charge.

Where do you see 3Rivers down the future road?

We currently serve 68,000 members in the Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio regions. In the future, I see us being able to help even more people with their money matters. That growth comes with the positive and life-changing impact we are having with our current members. From an internal standpoint, if we keep getting better and more efficient at what we do, we should be well-positioned to continue to grow within our community and beyond.

Lastly, what's your favorite aspect of your job?

I love so many aspects of working for 3Rivers, but it boils down to the culture and the people. I truly feel fortunate that I am able to work in a culture that fosters and values creativity, personal growth, and collaboration. And I get to work on a team with some of the most talented, passionate and inspiring people in the industry.

Read more about 3Rivers on their blog and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.