For Seth Chavez, Arkansas Federal’s commitment to members feels like home

6/10/2020

Making a difference in the lives of its members has always been the mission of Arkansas Federal Credit Union. Not making a profit or being the biggest, but simply using its resources to help improve the financial lives of members. Arkansas Federal has always considered them family members as much as credit-union members.

Seth Chavez, who joined the Arkansas Federal team as a retirement and investment coordinator in the spring of 2019, noticed this commitment right away. Having served in the U.S. Army Reserve, he recognized it immediately. And after working in the banking industry at other financial institutions, Arkansas Federal feels like “home.”

“The best thing about working at Arkansas Federal is the organization’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of our members,” he said. “Since joining the credit union family, I’ve been amazed by the level of trust that our members place in the team here at Arkansas Federal. That trust could have only been earned by ensuring that the needs of every member is put first every day.”

For Seth, that trust is evident every day. Many times, his job is to guide members through an investment strategy that for many can be an intimidating one. Trust is key.

“For many members, investing in the stock market is intimidating,” he said. “Having said that, the most challenging part of my job is to explain confusing investment terminology in layman’s terms that our members understand. This ensures that our members can confidently move forward knowing that their money is working for them exactly the way they want it to.”

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of job, though, has little to do with numbers.

Oftentimes, his job entails meeting with members going through a trying, emotional period. His role is to provide a “steady hand to guide them” and provide solutions.

“One instance that comes to mind is a member whose husband suffers from dementia and is currently being cared for in a nursing home,” he recalled. “She came into my office to inform me that her husband had taken a turn for the worse and she would be surprised if he survived the year. She stressed that it was imperative that she knew exactly where she stood financially so she could ensure that she had available funds to survive and continue paying for her husband’s medical and nursing care.

“To that end, I compiled the balances of every deposit account she had at the credit union as well as calling her annuity contract holders to confirm current balances and what portion of her funds she had available for penalty free withdrawal. At the end of our time together, she thanked me for my thorough work and being so calm in face of her anxiety. I affirmed to her that we are always here for her and if there is anything she needs, to stop by our office and we would be more than willing to assist in whatever way we can. She left my office grateful and I was reminded of our mission here at Arkansas Federal.”

Outside of work, Seth and his wife Tomi are self-described weekend warriors who enjoy hiking and discovering, be it waterfalls or new restaurants. During the week, and after hours when necessary, Seth becomes a warrior for Arkansas Federal members. He describes the credit union’s community-driven mission simply — “positive change.”

“Our communities are where we conduct business, learn, shop, have fun and most importantly, raise our families,” he said. “Our culture here at Arkansas Federal is to be a force of positive change and to give back to the communities that sustain the livelihood of our members and our families.”

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