President's Message

Chris Rutledge

Chris RutledgeWhen I became the CEO of Gulf Winds in 2002, face-to-face interactions were still the primary way we provided services to our members. Back then, technology was a “bonus,” a way to supplement our in-person services.

Early on, we recognized that keeping up with the changing landscape of financial services required investing in technology. Seventeen years later, technology plays a crucial role in providing services to our members, and the evolution of financial technology isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

However, even as the role of technology grows, we promise that our commitment to outstanding personal service will never decline. Technology doesn’t replace our team members and the services they provide — it makes them more efficient. Our team is growing and continuing to adapt to the needs of modern banking through enhanced training to ensure we provide the best service possible.

Speaking of better service and new technology, we are excited to announce changes to our ATM network. In the coming months, you’ll see new ATMs installed at our branches and gain access to Allpoint, a national network of ATMs. This network allows us to offer you service at 55,000 new locations, increasing our total network to more than 85,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. You’ll be able to get cash without a surcharge using ATMs in stores like CVS, Walgreens, Tom Thumb, Target and many more. We’ll be sharing more details on this upgrade in the next month or two.

Finally, please join me in welcoming more than 1,500 new members who come to us from the Monroe Education Employees Federal Credit Union (MEEFCU) in Monroeville, Alabama! We’ve worked hard over the last few months with the MEEFCU Board of Directors and the NCUA to make this merger a smooth transition for everyone involved. To our new members, welcome to the Gulf Winds family, we look forward to serving as your financial partner!

As always, all of these changes and investments are made with you, our members, in mind. We’re thankful for your feedback and are constantly seeking ways to improve our service. We look forward to finishing out 2019 together, and the many exciting announcements we’ll make in January.