RCU’s Pereira visits New RichmondThe new leader of Royal Credit Union, a $1.7 billion Eau Claire-based financial institution with branches throughout the area, told area business leaders he’ll be driving the organization to accelerate efforts to provide all services on-line.
The new leader of Royal Credit Union, a $1.7 billion Eau Claire-based financial institution with branches throughout the area, told area business leaders he’ll be driving the organization to accelerate efforts to provide all services on-line.
In a short talk to about 50 invited guests last Wednesday, March 28, RCU Chief Executive Officer Rudy Pereira cited an industry expert who predicted that within a decade, consumers will measure the quality of a firm’s offerings by “how easily you can serve yourself,” versus the traditional customer-service model where guests visit a brick-and-mortar storefront.
Pereira was introduced by Paula Kolbeck, RCU’s regional director of branch operations who offices at RCU’s main New Richmond location and who accompanied Pereira to the various St. Croix Valley locations to meet staff members shortly after he joined the organization Dec. 12.
Pereira screened a four-minute YouTube video, developed by RCU’s marketing department, entitled “Building a Bridge to the Future” — an apparent play on the Eau Claire River scene that frames RCU’s home office in Eau Claire. The video underscored Pereira’s commitment to drive innovation as part of the RCU culture. It noted that 42 percent of its current members use the Internet to access their accounts regularly and that soon, consumers will use mobile devices to pay for items like gas, groceries and clothing the same way we currently use cash and charge cards.
Pereira, a native of southern California, is only the third CEO since RCU was launched in Eau Claire back in 1964 as a service to 100 Uniroyal employees.
Today, the member-owned firm claims 140,000 customers and has 25 branch offices in 18 Wisconsin counties and 12 in Minnesota.
Pereira, who grew up and spent most of his adult life in the Los Angeles area, most recently spent six years as senior vice-president of operations and technology at Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, the sixth largest credit union in the nation. At Alliant, his focus was long-term strategic planning, product development, organizational process improvement, new channel development and membership growth. He’s worked in credit unions for 21 years.
Pereira told some 40 people gathered for lunch at Ready Randy’s Wednesday that his first brush with Wisconsinites came during Rose Bowl festivities in Pasadena back in 1994 when the Badgers took on the UCLA Bruins. Pereira was so impressed with the warmth of the Badger fans he met, he told his wife and three sons that someday they’d move to Wisconsin.
Pereira replaced Charlie Grossklaus, who served 26 years as RCU’s CEO. Under Grossklaus’ watch, credit union deposits grew ten-fold to over $1 billion and employee census to nearly 600.
Its most recent major acquisitions were the 2010 purchase of Anchor Bank and last year, it assumed some $600 million in mortgages formerly serviced by the now-closed RiverBank.
In western Wisconsin, RCU has offices in New Richmond, Star Prairie, Somerset, River Falls. Osceola, St. Croix Falls, Milltown, Amery, Balsam Lake and Centuria.
For more information, visit www.rcu.org.