President's Message

Chris Rutledge

Chris RutledgeHere at Gulf Winds, we talk a lot about being the #1 Community Credit Union serving the Gulf Coast. It’s an ambitious goal to aim for, and one we care deeply about. But why do we want to be #1? What does it mean to you, our members, for us to be #1?

For me, this goal is about making sure all of the personal interactions we have with you are the best they can be, whether it’s on the phone, online or in person. It’s about providing financial services centered on your needs, delivered with caring, honest customer service, in ways that make your life easier.

This commitment to Service That Soars Above is at the core of who we are, and it’s what has driven us since day one. We’re always looking for ways to make your experience easier and more rewarding at Gulf Winds.

A critical step to achieving our service goals is the building of a new branch in downtown Tallahassee. Construction is already underway with the hope of opening in late Fall. This new branch has been nicknamed The Branch of the Future, and not just because of its sleek, modern look. The branch was designed for the practical purpose of saving you time by providing concierge-level service. This means that any of our staff can help you, whether you just stop by to deposit a check or you need to have a more in-depth conversation about getting a loan to buy your dream home. Opening The Branch of the Future is an exciting first step to enhancing the member experience in all of our branches.

We are also improving service with the creation of an online chat feature on our website. If you have a question you can simply chat with our Member Service Team and get the answers you need right away. We introduced this new service because we know that it’s not always possible to step away from life’s distractions for a phone call. With our new chat feature, you can reach us no matter where you are and we will answer your questions, securely and fast.

Another way we are working to be #1 is our commitment to keeping your information safe and preventing fraud. While we’re continually adding new and better technology to our systems, we’re aware of the increased risks involved with providing access to our members on the go. When fraud occurs in ways that are out of our control — for example when a retailer’s data systems are breached by hackers ­— our safeguards help us to respond quickly to keep your accounts secure.

Of course, we are committed to identifying steps you can take to protect yourself, too. After receiving a suggestion from a member of our service team, we launched a plan to share more of these fraud prevention resources with you starting this past Spring. Stay tuned to your email and our blog filled with strategies to help you stay informed and protect your financial information.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone that joined us for the Member Appreciation Event. It was a beautiful day to enjoy great music, food, give-a-ways and the comradery of more than 500 members! I had the privilege of speaking with many of you and hearing about your experiences. You shared some fantastic ideas and we are eager to turn them into action. Our team is always here to help, and we’re dedicated to proving our commitment to being #1, each and every day.