CommunityAmerica Credit Union works to be 'financial first responders'

CEO Lisa Ginter explains how the company is adjusting to the pandemic
CommunityAmerica Credit Union
Posted at 12:16 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 19:27:06-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lisa Ginter is the CEO of CommunityAmerica Credit Union. She sat down with 41 Action News Anchor Kevin Holmes to discuss how CommunityAmerica is dealing with and adapting to life and business during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m doing great. I’ve got a great support system. If you asked me this question about three weeks ago when we were dealing with all the SBA (Small Business Administration), PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) stuff, I would tell you I had my moments of breakage," Ginter said.

It really is hard to bank on anything during the pandemic and there is a compound interest to get back to business as usual for Ginter. Before the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 started off good. It was one of the best first quarters in recent history.

“We knew it was going to be record-setting. Chiefs are our Super Bowl Champs. We were seeing a lot of activity. Then boom, COVID hit,” she said.

Once the branches shut down, CommunityAmerica put together a Readiness Task Force. The goal was to make sure banking was still made as easy as possible for its members. Now the task force has shifted its focus to re-entry, a process Ginter said will be gradual.

“The summer months will be telling, especially in the banking field,” she said.

At the height of this pandemic, only about 10-percent of CommunityAmerica’s workforce worked at the branches. Everyone else worked remotely.

“In a time of a crisis, I think leaders are really tested,” Ginter explained. “For their leadership and being compassionate and really leading with your heart and letting them know we’re in this together.”

When asked about furloughs or layoffs, Ginter told 41 Action News she doesn’t see that as of right now.

In the spirit of togetherness, what happens to our local economy will truly make a statement and help CommunityAmerica navigate this pandemic. Spending is down and so is job security for many. That’s why CommunityAmerica started a program allowing members to skip payments for 60 days. In the first few weeks, more than 10,000 members signed up and took advantage of that opportunity. CommunityAmerica has granted over $300 million in loan extensions.

“I look at our role to the community as financial first responders,” Ginter added. “But even first responders need help sometimes."

Ginter said year-to-date revenue will not be what they originally projected, but if consumer confidence goes up and the housing market remains steady, Ginter is confident Kansas City and Community America will rebound from this pandemic.

“It’s not about the profit as much as it is about taking care of people.”

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