Meet Bret VanAusdal – UCCU’s new President and CEO

At A Glance

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Business Management/Finance – Brigham Young University
  • Master of Business Administration – University of Phoenix
  • Western CUNA Management School

Experience:

  • Executive Vice-President
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Senior Vice-President of Lending
  • Commercial Loan Officer
  • Regional Branch Manager

Family:

  • Married for 37 years with four children and eight grandchildren

Bret VanAusdal is a true Utah native. In fact, he still lives in the same town where he was born and raised, Spanish Fork. It’s also where he raised his four children with Ann, his wife of over 37 years.

Bret has always been a numbers person and has dedicated his career to helping people better manage and master their finances. In April of 2018, after 34 years of experience in the financial industry, including 22 years at UCCU, Bret VanAusdal succeeded Jeff Sermon as UCCU’s President and CEO.

We sat down with Bret to get to know him and his plans for the credit union’s future.


When did you first learn you had an interest in banking?

Back when I was a Boy Scout in Spanish Fork, a local bank branch manager and well-respected member of our community helped us achieve our Personal Finance merit badge. That was my first experience with finance and dollars and it really resonated with me. I can remember thinking: “Someone will pay me to hold my money and keep it safe? What a fascinating concept.”

What does UCCU stand for?

People helping people, Inspiring smart decisions. That’s easy to say, but that’s who we are.

We truly believe we have a responsibility to help our membership make smart, well-informed financial decisions. We empathize with our members. We recognize they have unique needs, challenges, and opportunities. We share those challenges. We listen and do our part in trying to help them overcome those challenges. We will be a trusted financial partner.

What does it mean to be a trusted financial partner?

Trust means always having our member’s best financial interest in mind. It means designing products and services that meet their needs with competitive rates. It’s difficult to find value in today’s world and we see that as critically important. Being a trusted financial partner means adding real value to the lives of our members.

For example, as we went through the worst recession in the history of the nation, UCCU was able to help hundreds and hundreds of members through a difficult time and help them set their courses back on track, back on the path they desired.

We don’t want short term relationships with our members. We want them coming to us for all financial services. Even when a member moves away from our community, they can expect to still maintain their relationship with UCCU.

Simply put, a trusted partner does the right thing for the right reason. A trusted partner wants to be your partner for life.

Can you tell us anything about UCCU’s employees and Board of Directors?

Most of all, I want our employees to know just how important they are. They are the face of this credit union. Unlike their CEO, they’re the people our members meet day in and day out. They’re the people smiling, working hard, and helping members pursue their financial dreams.

As you know, our board members serve voluntarily, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better board of directors than at UCCU – paid or unpaid. All of them are successful leaders in their industries and communities. They put their good names and reputations on the line for the membership of this credit union, all because they have a passion for helping people. They make all of us proud.

What else makes you proud about being part of UCCU?

The thing that makes me most proud about being a part of UCCU is the way we’re meeting the needs of our membership. We work hard to design our products and services to meet those needs and our employees and our teams all work incredibly hard to deliver those products and services in a way that can improve lives and make it easy to do business with UCCU.

To all of our employees and board members, I want to say: Thank you for your service, passion, commitment, and your dedication.

And thank you, Bret! Finally, what can UCCU members, employees, and our communities expect in the next five to ten years?

That we will continue to be a leader in this community. We’re dedicated to that goal from top to bottom. We’ll keep making it easier, faster, and more convenient to do business with UCCU.

We’ve heard from many, many members over the years who have told us that when they joined this credit union, they became part of a family. They were treated like family. You treat family members right by doing the right thing. That’s what we do.

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President’s Message: Fraud Protection

Over my 35-year career in banking, I’ve often pondered what it means to truly be a trusted financial partner. In my new role as UCCU President and CEO, I think about this now more than ever.

To me, trust means always having our members’s best financial interest in mind. It means designing products and services that meet their needs with competitive rates.

Most importantly, trust is something that is earned. It comes from consistently doing the right things for the right reasons.

As UCCU moves forward with 2018, we do so with our eyes focused on continually earning the trust of our members and validating that trust by adding real value to their lives.

Speaking of trust, it’s no secret that the dangers of identity theft and other types of fraud are on the rise. As your trusted financial partner, UCCU is dedicated to doing everything we can to protect you and your family from this ever constant and evolving threat.

To that end, we’re excited to launch Be Fraud Smart, a free and informative resource that will help you learn what’s happening out there and how you and your loved ones can avoid identity theft and other methods fraudsters are using to try to separate you from your dollars. To learn more, see pages 5 and 6 of this magazine, or visit uccu.com/BeFraudSmart.

Thank you for giving UCCU the opportunity to earn your trust.

I reaffirm this credit union’s commitment to your best interests and to constantly innovating and improving the financial lives of our members. UCCU will continue to play an active role in making our communities even better places to live, work, and raise families.

It’s our hope that by continuing to do the right things for the right reasons, time and time again, UCCU will be your trusted financial partner for life.

Sincerely,

 

 

Bret VanAusdal
President/CEO

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President's Message: December 2016

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Happy Holidays from your credit union!

 2016 was another great year. We continue to be the #1 lender for mortgage loans in Utah and Wasatch counties – which means our members are getting more house with every mortgage transaction. And from our humble beginnings 60 years ago, the credit union has grown to over one billion dollars strong.

We look forward to continued growth in 2017 and are excited for a system upgrade that will make your banking faster, easier and safer. The new, modern interface is designed to make banking both easy and intuitive. Look for more information from us as we prepare for the upgrade this April.

As we close our 60th year anniversary, we thank you and hope to continue inspiring smart financial decisions for decades to come. And on behalf of our great staff and volunteer Board of Directors, we wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

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President/CEO
Jeff Sermon

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President's Message November 2016

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60 years of people helping people.

When I think back to our founders – seven BYU employees who envisioned a not-for-profit credit union that would be owned by the families and individuals that it serves–I wonder if they could have imagined what UCCU has grown into today…

A credit union that’s over $1 billion dollars in assets strong and serves over 137,000 members. 18 branches across Utah Valley (and counting). A Financial Center in the heart of this community that stands as a testament to the ideal of “People Helping People.”

2016 has been an incredible year for UCCU. We’ve celebrated our 60th Anniversary in the best way we know how: by honoring our founders and providing opportunities for our members to improve their financial lives.    

We asked you (our members) to share your personal stories and experiences with UCCU and we received 272 stories on how UCCU has positively impacted lives. With the help of your votes, we donated $37,000 to local charities and $18,571 (and counting) to schools throughout the state. We celebrated our BYU beginnings with free BYU Creamery ice cream and an inspiring video, hosted by Coach LaVell Edwards. We opened the doors to the UCCU Financial Center. And most importantly, we helped our members save money and make smart financial decisions.

Yes, 2016 has been quite a year. And we’re excited for what 2017 has in store.

As I mentioned, the UCCU Financial Center is up and running. This new building will take us into the new year by helping us effectively serve our growing population of UCCU members and provide them with the financial services they need and expect.

For two years, Utah Community Credit Union has been preparing for a computer system upgrade that will provide members with a faster, easier, and safer credit union experience. And on April 3, 2017, this system upgrade will arrive, which will enable UCCU to serve members more effectively than ever before, all while providing truly frictionless banking.

So as we look forward to the next 60 years of UCCU, we do so with gratitude. To our founders and to you, our members. UCCU exists to serve you. Our mission, as always, is to help improve your financial lives. And we couldn’t do it without you.

Here’s to 60 incredible years…and many more to come!

jeff's signature

President/CEO
Jeff Sermon

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President's Message October 2016

The UCCU Financial Center is Now Open!  

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The UCCU Financial Center located at Lehi freeway is now open. This building is in the heart of Lehi’s tech community, often referred to as Silicon Slope. Our full service branch located on the first floor, offers every financial service to our growing area. 

The ribbon cutting took place on Wednesday October 12th. “UCCU and this new building is remarkable”, Vale Hale the Executive Director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) said during the ribbon cutting ceremony, “It is fun to see UCCU’s progress over it’s 60 years. It has grown and flourished in the valley.”

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We invite the public to visit the building this week to see the amazing views and also get cookies and a gift. The 5th floor will be open from 11 am to 6 pm until Friday October 21st. And also stop by the branch located on the 1st floor to see the mural of the Utah community painted by David Bueno, a local artist from Sandy. 

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SYSTEM UPGRADE 2017! 

The credit union has been preparing for a computer system upgrade that will provide members with a faster, easier, and safer credit union experience – all while enabling UCCU to serve members more effectively.

We’re always looking for new and better ways to improve our member experience. The system upgrade will go live in April of 2017, and provide top-of-the-line banking technology to help members better manage money and spending on the go.

It’s a very exciting time at UCCU. The credit union continues to grow and grow stronger. And as it does, it’s critical that we not only maintain our ability to provide excellent, personal service to our members, but also continuously improve it. And this system upgrade will do just that. Look for more information as we approach the System Upgrade next year and learn about all of the enhancements coming soon.

Thank for being a member.

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President's Message August 2016

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I am pleased to report to you that Utah Community Credit Union continues to grow and serve our many members and our community.

The Credit Union is Financially Strong. The financial trends and ratios used to measure the success of a credit union are all very positive for UCCU. UCCU is experiencing growth in membership, loans, deposits, assets, and earnings that are all above national averages. Clean audits and financial exams attest to the financial stability and financial strength of the credit union. We are repeatedly voted as the best credit union in our market.

Members are UCCU’s Greatest Strength. The above-mentioned financial highlights are a reflection of the trust our members place in the credit union. This trust and partnership with our members is even more important than our financial growth and stability. We work hard to earn the privilege of being your financial partner. We work hard to be your “first choice” for financial products, services and information. We work hard to provide all members with valuable tools and services to help them set and reach important family financial goals.

Inspiring Smart Decisions. UCCU feels a great and continued responsibility to our members and to our community to promote wisdom and care in managing finances, and we hope to continue to inspire our members to make smart financial decisions – now and well into the future. I express my deep gratitude to the amazing volunteer Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee, to a very capable and dedicated management team and to the world-class employees at UCCU. I am convinced that there is not a better or more capable group anywhere to serve and represent UCCU to its members and to this community!

jeff's signature

Jeff Sermon
CEO/President
Utah Community Credit Union

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President's Message July 2016

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The credit union began in 1956 as BYU Employee’s Federal Credit Union. We’ve come along way since our operations on the stair landing in the Clark building. And as the credit union looks back on 60 years of inspiring smart financial decisions, what better way to celebrate than with free ice cream from the BYU Creamery. Stop by any UCCU branch location for your free ice cream voucher.*

Here are four anniversary celebrations that you should know about before they expire on July 31st:

  1. Summer Loan Sale:

Whether you need an auto, home equity, or personal loan or would like to refinance one, lock-in UCCU’s summer loan sale rates.  There is no obligation and you can use them anytime before the end of October.

Click here to learn more and lock-in these rates!

  1. Share your Story:

We are inviting you to share your UCCU story as we celebrate 60 years of stories. These stories will be judged and winners will be selected to win a Smart Car plus 60 other prizes including a trip to Disneyland, 60” smart TV, iPad Pro, $600 cash and much more!

Submit your story at uccu.com/sharestory

  1. Charity:

UCCU is donating $25K to local charities and your votes will help us decide! Working together to support important causes in our community has always been a top priority for the credit union. As part of our 60th anniversary celebration we’re donating $25,000 to local charities and we want you to help us decide how.

Vote now!

  1. Photo Contest:

Be apart of UCCU’s 2017 calendar as we showcase the great state in which we live. Creating an annual calendar has become a fun tradition at UCCU. So share your favorite photos of our beautiful state for a chance to be featured in the upcoming calendar.

Photos can be submitted at uccu.com/photocontest.

The credit union began with only seven members back in 1956, but now 60 years later we are over 130,000 members strong. We still work together as a community on the principle of people helping people. Thank you for choosing UCCU. Thank you for being a valued member.

Sincerely,

Jeff Sermon

 

*While supplies last. Limit one per household.
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President's Message May 2016

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60 years ago, seven BYU employees shared a vision of a not-for-profit financial institution that would be owned by the very people it served – individuals and families living in this community. In 1956, each of them contributed $5 of their own money and founded the BYU Employees’ Federal Credit Union on one simple industry
principle: “people helping people.”

Today, the name of that financial institution is Utah Community Credit Union. It’s over $1 billion dollars in assets strong and serves over 125,000 members with 18 locations
across Utah Valley… and counting.

And as we celebrate our 60th Anniversary, we do so with the knowledge that the
strength, success, and longevity of this credit union is founded on our unwavering
commitment to that same ideal of people helping people.

And that will never change.

We will always be not-for-profit. We will always be owned by our members. And
we will always be here to help inspire our members to make smart decisions that
will improve their financial lives.

We have some very special opportunities in store for our members and our
community during our 60th anniversary year. Right now, you can enter to win
a Smart Car or one of 60 other great prizes (like a trip to Disneyland, an Apple
watch, or a 60” Smart TV), when you submit a video or written narrative that shares
your UCCU story.

We’re also giving cash donations to local schools of your choice. Simply transfer
your existing loan(s) to UCCU. We’ll pay you a .5% balance transfer cash rebate,
up to $125, for every loan you transfer and we’ll donate that same cash rebate
amount to the school of your choice, in your name.

For all the details about these opportunities visit uccu.com/60years.

We wouldn’t be here without our members. This credit union started with only
seven people and today, it belongs to each and every one of us.

So from all of us here at Utah Community Credit Union… thank you! We are grateful
to be a part of this wonderful community.

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President's Message April 2016

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We are well into our 60 year celebration and many people are taking advantage of our Cash for You, Cash For Your School initiative. Don’t forget that for every loan you transfer to UCCU we will give you 0.5% cash back, as well as donate 0.5% cash back to the K-12 school of your choice. Tell your friends and neighbors and help support local education.

The Utah housing market is booming. There is significant demand for mortgage and construction services and consumers are continuing to build equity due to rising housing prices. With the growing population rate and the increasing demand for housing, appreciation rates have continued to rise and will likely continue to be favorable.

Trying to help your children get into their first home? It may be easier than you think. UCCU has our first time home buying program that takes the guesswork out of finding the home of your dreams.  UCCU offers support and resources to help you find the right loan product to suit your financial needs. Our BuyerRelax program offers access to mortgage experts who can answer any question – big or small.

It is our pleasure to serve you! We want to be your trusted financial partner now and into the future. Take full advantage of your membership by visiting with one of our financial experts. If you are not yet a member – become one and let the benefits of UCCU membership help you save money, make smart financial decisions, and propel you and your family closer to you financial goals and dreams.

Jeff's signature
Jeff Sermon
President/CEO

 

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President's Message March 2016

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The credit union continues to celebrate 60 years of serving this great community! This year-long celebration will give members and the credit union many opportunities to strengthen the community and take advantage of special offers and services provided by the credit union. We welcome your participation and urge you to take advantage of the special offers, rates, and service opportunities that are part of our celebration.

  • Support the School of your Choice

Throughout the year, you can earn money and also support a local school of your choice – just by transferring an existing loan to UCCU!

When you transfer a loan from somewhere else to the credit union, you will not only benefit from lower loan rates and lower monthly payments – but UCCU will pay you ½% of the loan balance in cash up to $125. But that’s not all. The credit union will also send the school of your choice the same amount (1/2/% of the loan balance up to $125) in your name!  So, by moving a loan to UCCU, you’ll most likely end up with better loan rates and terms, some cash in your pocket, and the credit union will donate the same amount to a school of your choice in your name!

  • March Loan Sale Going on Now

You’ll find low special rates on auto loans and on home equity loans as part of our 60th Anniversary celebration. Whether its time to replace your car or whether you’re planning some needed home improvements or other summer projects, UCCU’s low loan rates will help you succeed.  There will be additional special offers throughout the year.

  • Your “First Choice” Financial Partner

As always, we thank you for your trust and your membership. Our sole focus, as a not-for-profit financial institution, is to provide you and your family with the services and information that will help you set- and reach- your financial goals. One valuable resource to help you make smart financial decisions is UCCURelax.com. This educational site is a great guide to help save you money and frustration in purchasing a home or car. Check it out and see how it can give you confidence in making some of life’s biggest purchases.

We love serving you and look forward to another 60 years of serving this community!

Jeff's signature

Jeff Sermon
President/CEO
Utah Community Credit Union

 

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