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Rio Grande Credit Union

Rio Grande Credit Union (RGCU) was started by City of Albuquerque employees in 1953, and since that time they have grown to over 30,000 members by serving employees, volunteers, residents and members of numerous companies, nonprofit organizations and neighborhood associations. The $320M asset credit union serves their members via six branches in northern New Mexico. Their stated mission is “to create a trusted partnership with our members that demonstrates excellent member service by providing financial education and solutions, competitive pricing, and convenience.” To accomplish this mission, RGCU has partnered with a company that also operates by these same lofty principles, Member Driven Technologies (MDT), which is a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) that provides credit unions with seamless, top-to-bottom IT solutions and hosts the award-winning Symitar Episys core platform and dozens of other best-of-breed products and services.

Chris Fitzgerald, longtime CEO of RGCU, has over 24 years of hands-on experience working in the credit union movement. He states that “by staying close to the credit union philosophy of service excellence, we have been able to grow our credit union tremendously. We needed a strong partner that could grow with us and we found a perfect fit in MDT.” When their old core system provider was bought out by a much larger company and service levels dropped, Fitzgerald and his team diligently researched a handful of core system providers with the assistance of a consultant with years of experience in the field. Fitzgerald recalls putting in a call to Larry Nichols, President and CEO of MDT, and was very impressed with Mr. Nichols and his team. “We wanted a vendor that was constantly improving and looking to innovate, and MDT was absolutely the right choice for us,” says Fitzgerald.

Together RGCU and MDT worked hard on all of the necessary planning and implementation steps needed for a successful core conversion. According to Fitzgerald, “we created a detailed checklist and we worked arduously to make sure that everything went smoothly. MDT and Symitar were both onsite helping us along the way. You could not have asked for sweeter process.” RGCU actually duplicated this successful process a couple of more times as they absorbed smaller local credit unions. The credit union also worked with MDT Services to design and implement a robust Wide Area Network and Local Area Network. Fitzgerald is pleased to report that “while my IT staff manages the LAN, MDT takes care of all of the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity issues for us which provides us with a great deal of peace of mind.”

While RGCU’s IT Department consists of four technicians, Fitzgerald estimates that it would take at least twice that many employees if he were to run an in-house core system. “Using MDT’s service bureau core, we are able to save on labor costs, provide great products and services, and deliver better technology to our members,” insists Fitzgerald. He continues: “MDT helps us maximize our operations and we love their CUSO model of working for the greater good of all of the members in our group.” He concludes, “I highly recommend that other credit unions looking to put their resources into serving their members consider partnering with MDT.”

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