Fourth Quarter 2017
I've written in the past of our commitment to the seven cooperative principles: voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; members’ economic participation; autonomy and independence; education, training and information; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community. I offer this message with the seventh principle in mind – concern for community.
You may be familiar with some of the organizations we partner with on a regular basis: our endowment to the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation for scholarships; the Wilson Community Center through food drives and our annual Holiday Raffle; and the 100 Club of Arizona and HandsOn Greater Phoenix by sharing office space with them and supporting their initiatives. We donate time, money and other forms of support to these and other local organizations that make our community better.
In another recently-established partnership, we are a proud sponsor of the Phoenix Rising FC that extends beyond a sponsorship and into providing financial literacy programs for children of all ages.
And this fall, we also extended our support to Local First Arizona – a non-profit organization aimed at helping small, local businesses grow by educating their surrounding communities on the impacts of shopping local. Almost four times as much money stays in our economy when you shop locally-owned and -operated businesses compared to national/international companies ($43 versus $13 for every $100 spent). Studies have also shown if 10 percent of the spending from a community with a population of 770,000 (i.e., roughly the size of Mesa and Glendale combined) was shifted to local businesses, more than 1,600 new jobs and $53 million in new wages would be created.
Our focus on local is obvious — Arizona Federal is a local credit union. All of our facilities and operations are in Maricopa County. Our Board of Directors live and work here and are member-elected, unpaid volunteers that steward your cooperative. All of our employees live in this great Valley, which means we shop here, give to charities here and our children attend school here. We are wholly-invested in our local community and in creating real, tangible value for the benefit of all of our members.
While our primary purpose is to deliver high-value and high-quality financial services and expertise for your benefit, our concern for community and our contributions to local organizations are meaningful and create mutual benefit for all of Us. You can do the same. As a member-owner of your local cooperative, the more you look to us first, the more value you can get back and the more our community benefits.
Enjoy your holidays and, as always, thank you for your active and participative membership.
Ronald L. Westad
President and Chief Executive Officer