Our Real Heroes

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

Over many years, I’ve been privileged to meet and chat with famous athletes and sporting icons, often referred to as cultural heroes. Such individuals include professional basketball players, members of the PGA Tour golf elite, soccer stars, gymnasts, even a few music & entertainment luminaries. The talent with which these folks are blessed and what they accomplish in their endeavors is certainly impressive and appreciated by hundreds of thousands; they inspire and provide us with thrilling memories.

However, as I think further about the concept of heroes and how it applies to the real people surrounding us, the exemplary America First staff comes to mind. Our team strives diligently to help members fulfill their dreams, develop & maintain financial well-being, alleviate stressful circumstances, and simplify their lives. I will share three quick examples.

A gentleman recently visited a local branch with his autistic grandson, whom he hoped to assist in finding a job at Deseret Industries. The immediate problem was that the grandson did not have any government-issued identification, which is necessary for both employment and receiving pay to be deposited at a financial institution. The grandfather was indeed worried and frustrated but, long story short, our branch manager worked directly with this member and found a solution for getting his grandson ID and an account. I was blessed to get a wonderful letter that expressed sincere appreciation for our manager and her willingness to go above and beyond in helping this young man secure his first identification card, savings account and, I’m happy to report, job—he was all smiles when his first check arrived!

I also learned of another terrific branch leader who spent countless hours assisting a single mother research and meet the requirements to qualify for her very first mortgage. The happiness and joy exhibited by this mother in having a home of her own to raise this child was evident in her thankful note.

Lastly, I was in a restaurant in the Salt Lake airport, having a bite to eat because my flight was delayed. My server immediately noticed the America First logo on my shirt and exclaimed, “You saved my life!” I had never met her, let alone saved her life. Yet this kind woman explained that she was referred to our credit union by a friend and we found a way to consolidate her bills so that she was able to save hundreds each month, putting some money away for her son’s college education.

These are simple, powerful, potentially life-changing experiences our credit union was able to facilitate—all by helping each America First member, every single day. The people who work here are the real heroes in my eyes and in the sight of those they serve. We are truly grateful for your membership, loyalty and stories. We look forward to a lifetime relationship.