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The Bottom Line blog

<p>Here at Mission Fed, your success is our bottom line. That means keeping you informed about what's going on in the financial industry and how that affects your everyday life. Our contributors are the members of our Mission Fed Senior Management Team, who offer a wide range of expertise from financial topics to community relations to human resources.</p>

Retirement “Planning”

Ron Araujo, Chief Financial OfficerA couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk to some of my co-workers about the retirement programs we offer to our employees. Nothing too major, but I really wanted to get them engaged in their retirement planning. As you can imagine, in a company the size of Mission Fed, the ages of our employees vary quite a bit—from 18-year-olds just starting out, to others who will be retiring in a short time.

In order to do this, I thought it was best that I come clean and tell them the story about my retirement “planning.” I use the word planning loosely, because I can hardly characterize what I have been doing over the last many years as planning. More like hoping nothing blows up on me until I’m done working. Believe me—I know what you’re thinking: As the CFO of the fastest-growing credit union in the county, with as much time and attention he gives to all of Mission Fed’s finances, he must really be on top of his own finances, right? Well, I am now!

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Finding a Personal Connection to Your Community Outreach

Paula Morgan, Senior Vice President, Human ResourcesWe do our best at things we are passionate about or have a personal connection to.

Mission Federal Credit Union is very proud to give back to our community as a presenting sponsor of the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, October 22 at 8am in lovely Balboa Park. (Yes, that’s a hint to save the date.)

As we plan for this event and prepare for the sale of “Forget-Me-Nots” in our branches in September and October, I’d like you to have more background why Mission Fed is involved with this cause and some information on this disease that affects more than 5 million people and 11 million caregivers.

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“Going to Bat” for our Members

Sherry Carr, Senior Vice President, LendingLike many of you, I love America’s favorite pastime: baseball. I am, of course, a Padres fan—but I love watching Little League baseball even more. I have two adult sons who played baseball from age five through their high school years, and I’ve watched more baseball games than I can count. I held all of the positions that a mom could during those baseball years, too: Team Mom, Banner Mom, Snack Bar Mom, and just mom for anything the team needed. However, the toughest and most rewarding job was coaching the teams, selecting the players, teaching the players their positions, practicing and more practicing.

There are many similarities between coaching and managing, especially in branch management. I proudly served as a Branch Manager for many years in my banking career, and it was one of favorite positions. Like coaching a little league team, a Branch Manager has the opportunity to coach and develop individuals who are just starting their careers in banking. Most of the Mission Fed Senior Management Team has held a teller position at some point in their career, including Debra, our CEO! As in baseball, we often refer to our branch staff as “teams.” It really does take the entire branch team of Tellers, Financial Representatives and Managers (Coaches) to deliver our products and services to our membership with the highest level of service. Each time you give us the opportunity to serve you, we are “up to bat” and playing proudly for the Mission Fed Team to meet your financial service needs. We want to assist with your financial well-being as well as provide you with high quality service each time you visit our offices. When that goal is achieved, it’s a “home run” for us!

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Give Without Spending, Receive Graciously—and Be Thankful for it All!

Neville Billimorian, SVP Membership/Marketing and Chief Advocacy OfficerIt is better to give than to receive—a powerful human sentiment that ties nicely with the spirit of the holidays, regardless of your beliefs and values.

During a time when we so often tend to focus on buying gifts for one another, this is an interesting question to ponder: what is really the most valuable gift you could give to others this year? After some thinking (and online research), I came across an interesting list of 12 ways to give in a non-traditional manner this holiday season.

01. The gift of time. Just “being” with someone can be of great comfort to that person.

02. The gift of good example. Most people learn fundamental attitudes by observing other people.

03. The gift of acceptance. People often begin to change when they realize they’re being accepted for what they are.

04. For those who are so often busy and distracted these days: the gift of privacy—that is, time of one’s own. Too often, we smother people with questions and demands on them and their time.

05. The gift of seeing the best in people. How can you see a ‘fine’ picture of someone close to you, when that person doesn’t always seem to be so fine? Often you will see what you expect to see.

The Easiest Answer Isn’t Always the Best

Gary Devan, Chief Information OfficerMission Fed introduced internet banking, via MissionLink, to its members in 1997—14 years ago! Through the years, enhancements have been made to improve the functionality of MissionLink, providing added value, greater flexibility and ease of use.

Websites such as MissionLink that deliver or update confidential information require strong security to ensure that only those who are authorized to access the information can do so.

At times, the concept of building strong security and keeping a website user-friendly can appear to be at odds. The more steps necessary to secure access, the less friendly the navigation becomes. While Mission Fed strives to strike a balance between these two factors, it is also important that members strike a balance as well—by establishing strong passwords and choosing harder challenge questions. Because when it comes to online security, the easiest answer is not going to be the best for protecting your confidential information.

With the convenience of making purchases or accessing information online, MissionLink is probably just one of the numerous websites you use. Every holiday season, more consumers report that they are ordering gifts or paying for travel online. Here are some simple suggestions for protecting yourself and your information.

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Showing Our Appreciation

Sherry Carr, Senior Vice President, LendingCan you believe that is it November already and the holidays are just around the corner? I don’t know about you, but this year zoomed by for me—and it has been a very special year. I am thinking about what I can do for or give to my family and friends to show them how much I value and care about them.

I also have a Mission Fed family and that includes you, our members. One of the reasons why this year has been special is the celebration of Mission Fed’s 50th Anniversary. We would not have achieved this milestone without our loyal and dedicated members.

Although we have been doing special 50th Anniversary promotions throughout the year, Mission Fed’s volunteer Board of Directors and our Senior Management Team wanted to make sure that we ended the year with a clear message to members that you are very special to us and that you have contributed to Mission Fed’s strength, soundness and stability all these years. As a result, we’re not just telling you how much we appreciate your membership...we’re showing you with several new promotions:

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From FYI to ROTFL

Paula Morgan, Senior Vice President, Human ResourcesI can’t help but smile when I look back at the time I first joined Mission Fed. I was truly overwhelmed by the number of acronyms referenced—and the ease with which everyone around me used them—in meetings and in daily conversation. Even though I’d been in the financial services industry for over 30 years at that point, I understood that, like most businesses, Mission Fed employees have their own language. I actually sought out an informal glossary that had been created by another Mission Fed employee so I could bring myself up to speed. We work very hard to avoid acronyms in all of our member communications, but our language here in the office with our “internal members” tends to take short cuts.

Now that I am a more seasoned employee of Mission Fed, I try to be conscious about how our language impacts newly hired and newly promoted employees. I attempt and encourage others to minimize the use of company-specific acronyms without providing an explanation. This is a tall order, though, especially when we’re constantly surrounded by all kinds of business and personal acronyms and abbreviations—even at home.

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Applications and Regulations: What you need to know

John Cooke Senior Vice President, Real EstateWith mortgage rates at historic lows rates, borrowers across America are entering or re-entering the home loan application process only to find a world that is probably quite different from what they experienced the last time. This is largely due to changes starting in 2008, as governmental agencies have been actively involved in molding and shaping all aspects of mortgage lending in an effort to protect borrowers.

This has greatly impacted the way all mortgage lenders, including credit unions, do business—from the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) to the new Appraiser Independence Requirements (AIR), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Loan Quality Initiative (LQI), and the Secure and Fair Enforcement of Mortgage Licensing Act (S.A.F.E. Act)—and has resulted in processing delays.

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It’s Time to Think Different®

Ron Araujo, Chief Financial OfficerAs I write this, the news is all about the passing of Apple’s® visionary—and one of the world’s cultural giants—Steve Jobs. By the way, if you haven’t yet seen his commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, it’s a great use of 15 minutes in your day and I've included a YouTube video of the speech below. Hard to believe that the capabilities of the computer you’re reading this on, whether or not it’s a Mac® product, has been greatly influenced by a calligraphy class that Steve Jobs took years ago!

To say that Steve Jobs has impacted the world greatly is an understatement and, again, you’ve probably heard all about his accomplishments by now: co-founded Apple, was forced out, founded several other hugely successful companies (ever hear of Pixar?), came back to Apple, and continued to change the world. What people close to him are saying is that he looked at things differently. For example, on one radio interview I heard, the individual said that Steve didn’t want to make “cool” stuff—he wanted to make stuff that people wanted to use. The “cool” stuff was the stuff that was added on later.

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