The Q Awards: UCCU named 2016 Headliner of the Year

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UCCU is celebrating its 60th year with a new headquarters in Lehi, shown in this rendering.

UCCU is celebrating its 60th year with a new headquarters in Lehi, shown in this rendering.

It’s been 60 years, and the state of this union is stronger than ever.

Today, Utah Community Credit Union has more than 125,000 members and $1 billion in assets — a far cry from the original $35.

“This financial institution is such an integral part of the community, it can be easy to forget just how small it started,” says Jeff Sermon, president and CEO of UCCU. “It was founded by seven BYU employees — who each contributed $5 of their own money. Six decades later, we’re bigger and stronger, but very little has changed. It’s still not-for-profit, it’s still owned by its members, and it’s led by a board of directors who serve voluntarily.”

Sermon knows of what he speaks. Having worked at UCCU for an impressive four decades, he’s had the opportunity to work in every single department: loan officer, branch manager, vice president of lending, executive vice president, and ultimately, president and CEO.

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2 TIPS FOR LONGEVITY

1. The customer is always right. “Be relevant through relentless attention to the customers’ needs and wants.” 

2. Stay grounded in the good. “Remain committed to core principles and values in good times and bad.” 

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“UCCU has played an important role in my life,” Sermon says. “In the beginning, I thought it would be a great way for me to earn money for law school. But I soon got to know the people and the culture and, most of all, what this financial institution stands for. I knew this was a place I could stay a long time. It’s been 40 years, and I haven’t regretted a single day.”

The longevity and loyalty UCCU inspires can be attributed to two simple principles: “people helping people” and “not-for-profit.”   

“The board and employees of UCCU share a singular and genuine desire to help our members reach their financial goals. You can feel it when you talk to them,” he says. “Additionally, we don’t often follow popular trends, and we’re careful to avoid unnecessary risks. We prudently safeguard every dollar, always thinking toward the future with our eyes firmly focused on safe, sustainable growth. Those are the reasons we’ve thrived for over six decades, in spite of the financial ups and downs that so commonly occur in the world around us.”

To accommodate the growth, UCCU is building on its history. A beautiful new 68,000-square-foot office in Lehi is currently under construction. UCCU will house the first two floors, and the rest will be available for lease.

“The Lehi area is rapidly developing into an important hub for families, shopping, and businesses. This building will enable us to effectively serve our growing population of UCCU members and businesses in this area and provide them with the financial services they need and expect,” Sermon says. “Through the construction of this new building, UCCU will not only avoid the cost of leasing office space, we’ll also generate revenue by leasing office space to other businesses, providing an immediate return on investment and opportunities for intelligent growth in the future.”

 And speaking of UCCU’s future, it’s undoubtedly looking as bright as its past.

“I get excited about all of the things UCCU will yet do,” Sermon says. “The individuals, families and local businesses we will help. The houses we will build. The causes and charities we will support. The education and schools that will benefit from our involvement. We know how to serve this community. We’ve been doing it for 60 years. Our mission will never change.”

Learn about the other Q Award winners here.

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