Scott Meier - 10+ Years and Still Going Strong
Is it crazy to anyone else to realize that 2007 is more than 10 years ago? Does anyone else still think of 1990 when you hear the term 10 years ago?
Scott Meier, current Lending Manager at Des Moines Metro Credit Union (DMMCU), got his start in the credit union industry over 10 years ago. Scott has been President of the Central Iowa CU Chapter, completed CUNA Management School, been part of the Iowa Innovation Group and CRASHED the CU Direct Drive conference in his time in the industry! And even after 10 plus years’ worth of accolades and accomplishments he refuses to slow down.
Scott got his start after applying to work at Collins Community Credit Union with his dad in 2007 where he started as a part time teller until he went full time in 2009. Between 2009 and 2013, he worked in traditional and untraditional branches and was promoted to Assistant Member Service Consultant Manager during that timeframe. In 2013, Scott made the move to the up and coming city of Des Moines, Iowa where he became a Lending Officer with Des Moines Metro Credit Union and was ultimately promoted to Lending Manager.
Not only did Scott’s dad help get him into the industry, his mom and dad were the biggest influences in his life. “My dad worked at Collins for over 30 years which is really unheard of now. So for him to be there that long is really something to strive for and it says a lot about the culture there.” Scott says. Scott’s mom worked 3rd shift when he was little which he remembers as being hard for her. “By working 3rd shift, she was able to take care of the kids during the day and make sure we got to all of our sports and we always had her there if we needed anything.” Scott still talks to his parents often to get their input on life questions or when he has opportunities that present themselves.
The credit union industry became where he started his career but was not necessarily where he thought he would stay. After college, he was not able to find a job in his field that would cover his expenses without having to get an additional part time job. The industry has since become home for him because he has worked with many great people and made many good friends in the industry. “Both Collins and Metro have given me a lot of different opportunities to learn new things and do things that I might not have had the chance to do in other fields.”
While serving as the Central Iowa Credit Union Chapter President from 2016 to 2018 he became more comfortable speaking in front of people which was a fear of his before. He credits his time as President as being successful due to the great team of people he worked with. “We worked really hard to have our meetings at places we hadn’t gone to before and having speakers that we might not have hear from previously. We would average about 60-70 attendees with one event having over 110 attendees!” While Scott is still involved with the Chapter, he’s happy to be on the attendee side now. “The Current board has done a great job taking opportunities outside of the CU world and state and still provide us great locations and new speakers which has been awesome.” He hopes the Chapter continues to keep attendees informed on the changing landscape and culture of the credit union movement, and of course take him to venues in the community he would not normally go to and keep bringing him new things to learn!
Becoming a Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) was an experience Scott will never forget. Prior to attending CUNA, becoming a CCUE had previously been an online course that you would complete on your own time prior to it becoming a part of CUNA Management School. Scott applied for a scholarship from the Iowa Credit Union League for his first year of schooling and “went on an adventure he never saw coming. I met so many great people! I expected to be the youngest one there and surrounded by C-Level employees from really big credit unions but it wasn’t like that at all.” Scott quickly met some other Iowan’s by wearing his Hawkeye hat in Badger territory and his classmates were from all aspects of the credit union industry – tellers to CEO’s, people just starting a credit union up to multi-billion dollar credit unions. “It was crazy, and we all just clicked.” During the days, they would learn about credit unions, history, operations, lending and all sorts of other things. In the evenings, they would study, grab dinner, go to class outings, and continue to build their networks and friendships.
In the second year, Scott was voted in as President of the group. “That was something else. Here were all my friends and extended CU family putting their faith in to me to help lead us the rest of the way. We had a great class and again my board was great. I had to give a final speech at graduation which was hard but it made it a lot easier seeing all of my CCUE family in front of me.” Scott highly recommends everyone talk to their management about the opportunity to attend the CCUE program, “It can be very time consuming and hard, but you also learn a lot about the CU world that you might not already know, all while learning a lot about yourself too!”
As part of the Iowa Innovation Group, Scott really enjoyed seeing what all of the teams put together. “Working on our project really opened my eyes to how there are a lot of things out there that may seem similar, but even little tweaks can make a big change that can improve a lot of lives.”
When Scott applied to CRASH the CU Direct Drive Conference, He was just hoping to get a broader knowledge of the CUDL program as they had only been using it at DMMCU for about a year. “I really lucked out because I got to meet Aubrey Ward, who is a fellow Iowan and the other crashers who we’ve continued to stay in contact with to continue getting ideas from.” After CRASH, DMMCU has gone from seeing just a few apps a month to seeing a few apps per day. “Without Crashing, I don’t know that we’d still be doing indirect lending because it just wasn’t worth it for either us of CU Direct until we got a better understanding of how to best use the program.”
Scott loves the openness and the ability to continue to learn in the credit union industry. “Everyone is as open as they can be to help each other out, I’ve asked questions to people in all different departments in the industry and everyone is so helpful, it’s truly people helping people.” There are trainings for everything and the credit union industry embraces those opportunities. “The CU industry really wants us to be the best we can be to help our staff and our members and I’ve been lucky enough to learn a lot of different things and had a lot of opportunities to do those things.”
With change being something we all experience often in the industry, one thing Scott would like to see change is the constant fight with the bank world. “I wish there would be a way to work closer with the community banks and see more of our similarities than our differences. I think we all provide services for our communities and there’s a place for both of us.” He also wants to see more training opportunities for tellers and member service reps. “The League has been doing a great job the last couple years to provide opportunities for younger or newer staff and that’s awesome. I don’t think we can ever learn too much and the more we can broaden that out and get them involved, the better.”
Today, when not working at DMMCU or on the golf course, Scott likes to write comics. Along with a friend, they wrote “Eclipse” which is a super hero comic. They’ve published 3 issues with the 4th coming out later to wrap up that story. He is also working on a kid’s comic/color book that he hopes to have out later this year. “I’ve always enjoyed writing and it’s been really fun to see what our artists come back with after they read our script. That process has helped me a lot with working with teams since all of our artists have been from out of the country and with different time zones or languages, working through email can be tough. You have to be a lot more descriptive and able to compromise to get the picture panel the way you imaged it.”
Scott has taken his passions and his drive and really dove into the credit union industry all while overcoming fears and pursuing passions outside the industry. This further showcases the credit union philosophy and if you push hard enough outside your comfort zones you will accomplish many things within this industry.
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