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Before any changes were made,
Bosiacki first wanted to observe
the credit union staff in action.
“I wanted to meet everyone and
get to know their strengths, work
ethic, accountability, and approach
to serving the
staff to be pleasant and kind. But
he saw room for
“Branch staff clearly hadn’t been trained to look for
opportunities and offer financial
solutions to better serve the member,” Bosiacki said.
He recognized that management
needed to provide a clearer vision
of how branch staff should interact
with members as well as the tools
to empower them to do so. He also
knew that change needed to come
from the top down. In the months
that followed, Bosiacki hired senior
managers who shared the board’s
vision. Together, they created goals
for each department. Then, TruStone Financial invested heavily in
training and staff development,
and empowered senior managers
to hire people who would embody
the organization’s culture.
“We became a team of people
who are competitive, who love
their job, and who want more responsibility,” Bosiacki said. “We
became unified in our desire to
bring value to the credit union
and to its members.”
Ser ving Members Well
With culture and processes
aligned, Bosiacki and his leadership team focused on expanding
TruStone Financial’s geographic
footprint, and thereby its opportunities to serve members.
Industry conditions were opportune for credit union mergers.
“We wanted to be more than just
a Twin Cities player. We began
looking for strategic opportunities
where we had expertise and where
demographics offered a higher
chance for success,” Bosiacki said.
First came a local merger with
Ukrainian Credit Union of North-
east Minneapolis in 2011. In 2012,
TruStone Financial became a
multistate organization when it
merged with A M Community
Credit Union in Kenosha, Wis. In
the years that followed, it merged
with four more Wisconsin cred-
it unions – Ladish Community
Credit Union, First Credit Union,
Southshore Credit Union and
Kenosha Postal Employees Credit
Union. It now has four Wisconsin
locations: Two in Kenosha, one in
Oak Creek and one in Milwaukee.
“Our success at finding merger
partners has come from our open-
ness about what we are good at
and about what we plan to do,” Bo-
siacki said. “We’re not a big credit
union that just wants to gobble up
small ones. We want them to be
able to keep some identity, and
we have the infrastructure to serve
their members well.”
The second part of expanding
TruStone Financial’s footprint has
been building new branches. Since
2010, it has built five new locations
and moved two in the Minneapo-
lis-St. Paul area and in nearby St.
Cloud, Minn. “Our membership
is now open to anyone who lives,
works, or worships in the Twin Cit-
ies, St. Cloud and numerous coun-
ties in eastern Wisconsin.”
An Expanded Offering
Bosiacki also saw the potential to
grow Mortgage Lending Services,
LLC, TruStone Financial’s mortgage subsidiary. Bosiacki’s first
change was to ensure all branch
locations had mortgage loan officers. Then, he hired a seasoned
mortgage veteran to hire operational staff and execute his vision
for the mortgage CUSO. Today,
Mortgage Lending Services employs more than 60 people – up
from nine employees in 2010.
The group originates more than
$20 million in home loans every
month. “The success of the mort-
gage subsidiary helps us build
resources to spend on infrastruc-
ture, brick and mortar, and serving
our membership,” he said.
Bosiacki also led TruStone Fi-
nancial to grow its investment in the
community through commercial
lending. “When I started, our com-
mercial lending was largely limited
to buying participation interests in
loans which had been originated by
other financial institutions. We saw
an opportunity to originate com-
mercial loans in-house. We hired
new staff and were selective in what
markets we entered,” he said.
Using the commercial underwriting services of CU Companies,
TruStone Financial has controlled
risk and satisfied examiners’ expectations for risk management
in commercial lending. “With the
proper controls in place, we’ve
originated more than $295 million
in commercial loans since 2010,”
Trusting One Another
When asked what he thought
most contributed to TruStone Financial’s growth, Bosiacki pointed
to the organization’s culture.
“I told staff in our first staff meeting in 2010 that together we would
take the board’s vision and build a
bigger and stronger credit union.
Today, we are one of the Midwest’s
largest full-service credit unions.
More importantly, we are well positioned to continue our growth.
“One person can’t build something like that,” he concluded,
“We had to create a team that is
unified around one vision: Building a credit union that both members and employees can be proud
CONT. FROM PAGE 1
Y Changes to a credit union’s culture and
business goals come from the top down.
Y A growth plan for credit unions should focus on
better service for members.
Y The success of mortgage services can have a
positive ripple effect on your growth strategy.