Q: Describe your company.
A: Andigo Credit Union is a member-owned financial institution serving people throughout the Chicago area. Our services include checking, savings, mortgages, home equity loans, auto loans, business loans, Visa credit cards, investments and business services.
We have almost $900 million in assets and over 35,000 members. Our members can save and borrow, usually at better rates, because we are not-for-profit. We also offer more personalized service because we're owned by our customers -- we call them members. Although our services are available anywhere through mobile banking, mobile deposit, online banking, more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 5,000 shared branches across the country, our focus is right here in the Chicago area.
Q: From a business outlook, who do you look up to?
A: I really admire Costco. They treat their employees well. They deliver economic value to their members, and their business practices have engendered loyalty from their members. (I also enjoy their free samples.)
Q: Who can open an account or borrow from your credit union?
A: Almost everyone in the Daily Herald Business Ledger's circulation area can join. Specifically, that's anyone who lives or works in Chicago or its suburbs north of I-88.
Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
A: We do. In fact we are about to open a branch on Army Trail Road in Carol Stream next month. We'll also be opening another branch on Barrington Road in Streamwood early next year. We anticipate additional branch offices in the years to come.
Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?
A: I like to think in terms of opportunities. With two new branches coming soon, and more to follow, we will be highly focused on continuing to attract talented people who fit our culture. Andigo's culture is all about working together and making banking enjoyable. We provide outstanding service to our members, so it's critical to find people who consider serving members to be the highest priority.
Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie CEO, what would it be?
A: I would suggest reading "The First 90 Days" by Michael D. Watkins. It's a great book laying out proven strategies for the transition into the CEO role.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously.
Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?
A: We were named Motorola Credit Union before Motorola was known by that name. We were established to serve the employees of the Galvin Manufacturing Company back in 1939. The company's big product back then was the Motorola car radio, so the credit union was named Motorola Credit Union. A few years later, the Galvin Manufacturing Company adopted the name Motorola as its corporate name. Today we still serve Motorola employees and their family members, but we also serve many thousands of people in the community.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I enjoy spending time with my family, trying new restaurants and experiencing live theater.
Q: What book is on your nightstand?
A: "Outliers," by Malcolm Gladwell. It's a fascinating book focused on what makes high-achievers different.
Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: It's hard for me to imagine doing anything else. I love my job. I suppose if I had to choose, I would be planning and organizing something big like the Olympics.
Q: What was your first paying job?
A: I worked at Kanak pharmacy in Brookfield delivering prescriptions. It was a great job for a 16-year old. I got to drive around in an Oldsmobile station wagon with wood on the sides. We called it the Kanak-mobile. Unfortunately, the pharmacy is gone now … and so is Oldsmobile.
Q: What is one funny thing that has happened to you in your career?
A: I met the CEO of a credit union over lunch when I was looking for a summer job during graduate school. He told me he didn't have anything available.
By the end of the lunch, I had convinced him to hire me for a project that summer. He also said he would hire me permanently when I completed my MBA. I jokingly asked him to put it in writing. Since we were at a restaurant, he wrote it on a napkin.
I took the job, spent 13 years there, and I still have the napkin.