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Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union opened on July 11, 1946 with a small branch in the desert community of Trona, CA to provide the plant workers of American Potash Chemical Company a place to cash their payroll checks. Over the years the credit union has expanded its Field of Membership and now boasts nearly 5000 members and $42M in assets. They are dedicated to the idea of providing their members the tools for financial success and helping to improve the economic and social conditions of their high desert Southern Californian communities. To help them along the way in this successful journey they have turned to Memphis-based Share One, a CUSO that has spent more than four decades serving credit unions across the country with their powerful, comprehensive core processing system: NewSolutions™.
For the past 15 years, Desert Valleys FCU has been led by a dynamic young President/CEO named Eric A. Bruen. In many ways, Eric was destined to lead a credit union – his entire career has been in the credit union movement, and his father was formerly the head of First Entertainment Credit Union in Hollywood before he retired after many decades of stellar service. Under Eric’s guidance, the credit union has quadrupled in assets, built a new headquarters and added numerous new products and services. According to Eric, “it has been a tremendous help to us to partner with Share One, in fact it has been a night and day difference for us since we converted to them back in 2015.” Eric and his team of dedicated employees, many of whom have been with the credit union for many years, performed due diligence on three core system vendors and also relied on the research from the Southern California Credit Union Alliance (SCCUA) which is a forum for collaboration and cooperation for credit unions. In the end, Eric recalls that “Share One was by far the best fit for us and it has turned out to be a great choice.”
Eric and his staff were pleased with how smoothly overall the conversion went, but he notes that “it is not just the conversion that matters, it is the ongoing support and relationship that is critical. We feel that we have sense of partnership with Share One that we never felt before.” With modules like NSMobile, NSJoin, and NSLoan in place, members can conveniently and quickly apply for membership or loans and check their financial services directly from any smartphone, tablet, or home computer. Desert Valleys FCU has been taking advantage of these affordable modules to greatly expand their offerings and offer new and innovative products and solutions like their hybrid loan program Driving Sense and prize-based savings program Save to Win. Eric confirms that “the NewSolutions system and its modules have opened a world of new opportunities for us with loans, digital signatures, mobile/online channels, credit/debit cards, and much more – the impact has been incredible.” He also likes the fact that the CUSO not only offers the traditional options of In-house or Service Center, but even provides a third Hybrid option, Hosted In-House. “We love the control that the Hybrid option gives us to run the system remotely, while still letting the experts in Share One’s data center handle the hardware maintenance and software updates,” says Eric.
Share One, which has a client base of credit unions with assets ranging up to $2 billion, is built on the principle of active, engaged listening and Eric confirms that “they are always working with us to find creative solutions in a collaborative manner.” He also appreciates that “Share One is not built on bottom line performance, rather they are dedicated to personal levels of service that welcome and incorporate our feedback and suggestions.” He concludes that “we believe so deeply in Share One that we chose to invest in their recent stock offering, and we are committed to them as a long term business partner.”