Board Chair's Report
As our 70th year of service, 2018 proved to be a significant one for Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU). It was filled with a variety of accomplishments that exceeded our Board of Directors’ expectations. Judging by the strong increase in service usage and positive feedback from members, it appears that GNCU performed well in the eyes of the membership as well.
I’m convinced our founders back in 1949 could not have dreamed that their credit union would grow to more than 68,000 members and over $965 million in assets with a branch footprint that extends well beyond our Carson City roots. With locations that extend from West Wendover, Elko and Ely in eastern Nevada to Minden/Gardnerville and Dayton in the west, not to mention Reno and Sparks in between, our credit union serves its members in a variety of communities throughout northern Nevada. The broadening of the branch network continued in 2018 as we sought to meet the needs and desires of GNCU’s membership. The opening of our new Eagle Station headquarters branch in Carson City and an additional Reno location on North Virginia Street across from the University of Nevada campus increased GNCU’s branch network to 14, and we anticipate there will be more to come in the future.
We were also excited to begin offering mortgage services to Clark County in 2018 with the opening of the new Greater Nevada Mortgage (GNM) office in Las Vegas. Driven by continued client requests and the strong population growth in southern Nevada, our wholly owned mortgage subsidiary is delighted to now be providing outstanding personalized service to families seeking home ownership in that important area of our state.
During 2018, your credit union’s long legacy of remarkable service also continued to be publicly recognized across Nevada. Those included Best Bank or Credit Union awards from:
- Nevada Appeal (Best of Carson City)
- Record-Courier (Best of Carson Valley)
- Reno Gazette-Journal (Best of Reno, 2nd place)
- Elko Daily Free Press (Best of Elko, 3rd place)
Additionally, the credit union’s subsidiaries garnered recognition in 2018 for the excellent service they deliver. Thanks to Greater Commercial Lending’s (GCL) accomplishments, GNCU was named National Lender of the Year by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the third consecutive year. GNCU remains the only credit union to ever receive that honor, as well as the only Nevada-based entity ever to do so. Meanwhile, GNM was recognized by the readers of the Elko Daily Free Press as Best Mortgage Company/Lender, a noteworthy accomplishment in an area where home buying activity remains robust.
GNCU’s Board of Directors and staff take our responsibility for ensuring the soundness of your credit union seriously. We devote significant time and energy toward careful, deliberate financial planning to protect our members’ funds. Our credit union’s safety philosophy and financial strength resulted in national recognition as a “five-star” company from BauerFinancial, Inc., which is the highest level a financial institution can achieve from that well-respected national rating firm. In bestowing that recognition, BauerFinancial President Karen Dorway noted, “Greater Nevada Credit Union’s ability to excel and consistently deliver a stellar financial performance is a true testament to its values and dedication. Through this unwavering commitment and personal relationships, Greater Nevada has distinguished itself as one of the strongest credit unions in the nation.”
Greater Nevada’s history of community commitment is another important facet of our 70 years of service. Support for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band, Special Olympics Nevada and the Renown Children’s Hospital (via funding delivered through the Children’s Miracle Network) continue to be major focal points for our efforts. In addition, we delivered financial support and strong staff volunteerism to many other fine community organizations; in fact, Greater Nevada’s employees provided over 2,854 hours of such assistance during the year.
Support for education is another large part of our community involvement. Our educational branch at Carson High School is now in its 22nd year of providing financial education to students, as well as financial services to the school’s staff and students. We’ve also expanded GNCU’s support of arts programs in our schools by providing much needed assistance to the marching bands for Carson City, Fernley, McQueen, Reed, Spanish Springs and Sparks High Schools. Greater Nevada also continued to conduct numerous financial education seminars for adults on a variety of topics and provided Bite of Reality® financial simulations to schools in northern Nevada.
In addition, in 2018 we increased the reach of GNCU’s highly successful scholarship program by adding an adult component. Members over age 25 can now apply to receive scholarships to begin or continue a post-high school course of study. Our 20-year-old program has helped hundreds of Nevada students since its inception, having awarded nearly $400,000 in that time, including a record $60,000 during 2018.
As we look forward to finding more and even Greater ways to serve our growing consumer and commercial membership base in the future, the Board of Directors and our employees remain committed to the legacy of our 1949 founders: to provide safe, efficient and economical financial services to Nevada citizens. Thank you to our longterm members and welcome to our newest ones. Your involvement in the credit union you own has made 2018 a high point in Greater Nevada’s history of delivering on our passion “To Help More People Live Greater.”
— Bill Arensdorf, Board Chair
January 24, 1949, Carson City, Nevada. It was a relatively chilly day, with a high of 24 °F and a low of 13 °F, and modest breezes making it feel much colder, though otherwise a seemingly innocuous Monday in the state’s capital city. And yet a historic event was taking place that would affect generations to come. For on that day a handful of state government workers, who had spent weeks of their personal time and energy to found a locally based cooperative to help meet the financial needs of its members, received the official charter for the Nevada State Employees Federal Credit Union.
Now fast forward 70 years, several economic cycles, a variety of political and regulatory climates, a litany of major technological developments, a charter conversion, and a name change or two. Today, that humbly formed member owned financial cooperative is Greater Nevada Credit Union, and it has grown to become the largest credit union based in the Silver State and its largest locally owned financial institution.
That’s right! What started as a small, volunteer run operation with no dedicated office space, now serves more than 68,000 members in 14 different branch locations, provides access to over 30,000 ATMs and 5,600 shared branches, and has financial assets approaching $1 billion. But just because the numbers have grown rapidly and the geographic footprint now spans all of northern Nevada, your credit union’s underlying motivation has not changed. GNCU was founded to help meet the needs of individuals and families who were seeking not a handout, but just a hand up. And that’s what we still strive to do each and every day, 70 years later. In fact, it’s captured in Our Passion – To Help More People Live Greater.
And in 2018 your credit union and its affiliated companies once again did exactly that! As reflected on the financial statements and other information in this annual report, Greater Nevada delivered many notable big-picture successes during those 12 months. However, it’s the compilation of countless day-to-day successes in the lives of our members and clients, the families they support, the businesses they own and the communities they live in that we at Greater Nevada really care most about – because that’s what we’re here to do.
However, there is one notable 2018 larger accomplishment I have the pleasure to report on this year. For the second consecutive year, Greater Nevada was recognized as Northern Nevada’s Best Place to Work among extra-large companies in the region. That honor was bestowed by the nearly 300 wonderfully dedicated, impassioned and talented employees at Greater Nevada, who work daily to make a difference in the lives of the people and communities they serve. In an economy where people have many employment choices, our team members have chosen Greater Nevada as the place they want to contribute and continue to help a company that is committed to making positive impacts.
As an aside, as the end of 2018 neared and the credit union approached its 70th birthday, I also recognized a personal career milestone with the completion of my 30th year with Greater Nevada. I’ve spent more than half my life serving the members of Nevada’s best financial institution and one of its top employers. It’s been quite a journey thus far and a special blessing in my life, and I’m eager to see what our future together holds.
On behalf of all the employees at Greater Nevada, thank you for the continued confidence and trust you place in all of us. The opportunity to serve you means the world, and remains an honor and a privilege. We look forward to continuing to find even Greater ways to do so in the days and years ahead.
Wally Murray — President/CEO
The condition of Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) continues to be stable and financially strong. In fact, we have completed another record-setting year in which total assets grew to $965 million, an increase of $87 million from 2017. Since 2010, Greater Nevada’s assets have more than doubled in size. Deposits from members increased by $85 million and ended the year at $833 million. Membership also increased and finished 2018 at a record high of more than 68,600.
During 2018, your credit union and its affiliates funded over $728 million in combined consumer, real estate and commercial loans, an indication of how members and clients rely on Greater Nevada’s expertise, award-winning service and extremely competitive pricing to help them meet their credit needs. As a result, total outstanding loans to members grew to more than $670 million at the end of the year, an increase of 18% from 2017.
Greater Nevada Mortgage (GNM), the wholly owned home lending subsidiary of GNCU, originated loans to over 1,200 borrowers during the year, totaling $206 million. That was an increase from $189 million in 2017. GNM’s ability to provide funding for home purchases as well as refinancing for existing homeowners at competitive rates with lower fees is another indication of the value the company consistently delivers to consumers. Further, the GNM philosophy of locally servicing the majority of its loans resulted in a growing mortgage servicing portfolio that rose to a record high of $724 million, an increase of $17 million over 2017.
Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), the credit union’s wholly owned business lending arm, generated nearly $344 million in loans during its first full year of existence to companies in Nevada and across the nation. That business capital helped create and preserve nearly 1,200 jobs within the U.S. economy with a direct annual wage impact of more than $66 million, further spreading our passion “To Help More People Live Greater” well beyond the borders of Nevada.
Net earnings for the credit union during 2018 were nearly $12.0 million. Meanwhile, GNCU’s wholly owned subsidiaries also produced positive results, with GCL generating $3.4 million, GNM earning $486,000 and Greater Nevada Insurance (GNI) posting $8,400. The 2018 consolidated earnings of Greater Nevada were a record high of $15.9 million, nearly double the level of just two years earlier.
Even with the fast-paced growth on its balance sheet, GNCU still managed to significantly increase its most important safety and soundness measurement, as its net worth/assets ratio grew to a year-end record high of 10.43%. That capital level exceeds the regulatory definition of “well capitalized” by nearly 50%.
The financial strength and stability of Greater Nevada Credit Union is further evidenced by the fact that auditors, examiners and independent ratings firms continued to give our institution high marks for safety and soundness. As GNCU completes its 70th year of service and embarks on its future, your Board of Directors and outstanding management team will strive to maintain our excellent financial condition.”
— Alex Talmant, Treasurer
Audit Committee Report
Greater Nevada Credit Union’s Audit Committee is comprised of four volunteer members who are appointed annually by the Board of Directors. The Audit Committee oversees the activities of the credit union and ensures that member funds and interests are responsibly maintained and protected. To help with these responsibilities, the Committee retained an independent firm to conduct the annual audit for the year ending December 31, 2018. That audit covers the consolidated operations of both Greater Nevada Credit Union and its subsidiaries.
During the most recent fiscal year, the Committee conducted internal audits of departments within the credit union, utilizing external consultants. The recommendations from these audits resulted in refinements to enhance the internal controls and efficiencies of the credit union’s operations. The Committee has and will continue to personally review branch operations for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations as well as established policies and procedures.
The Committee appreciates and values Greater Nevada Credit Union’s Board of Directors, management and staff and their commitment to providing members with quality services while maintaining the safety and soundness of the credit union.”
— Daniel Thomas, Audit Committee Chair
Greater Nevada's Leadership
|Board of Directors
|Bill Arensdorf, Chair
||Wally Murray, President/CEO
|Rob Joiner, Vice Chair
||Dan Reaser, Member
||Dean Altus, EVP/COO
|Alex Talmant, Treasurer
||Steve Watson, Member
||Joyce Whitney-Silva, EVP/CFO
|Jon Steele, Secretary
||James Anderson, EVP Mortgage Lending
|Barbara Byington, Director
||Jeremy Gilpin, EVP Commercial Lending
|Travis Lee, Director
|Paul Richey, Director
Greater Nevada Credit Union exists to serve its member-owners.
We rang in 2018 with special rates on Share Certificates of Deposit, IRA Certificates, and personal and auto loans. Plus, we offered discounts through our subsidiary Greater Nevada Mortgage. Member-only exclusives continued throughout the year, with offers such as discounted tickets and special events at Greater Nevada Field, free online financial education resources via our EVERFI and BALANCE partners, and special discounts on mobile phone plans, vacation packages, rental cars, and more for all GNCU members.
New Products & Services
As we strive to continuously deliver members the banking products and services they need, GNCU rolled out a variety of new options:
- Updates to the GNCU mobile banking app for improved navigation and log-in options such as touch ID and facial recognition
- A new student loan program available to cover up to 100% of certified college education costs plus the option to consolidate existing loans into a lower payment and/or lower interest rate loan
- New Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) that provide the option of ATM functionality or speaking with a video member service representative
- A new merchant service option for business members to provide faster support, more competitive pricing, and significantly more payment solutions
- New consumer and business credit card options with low rates, security features, rewards programs, and access to credit scores
- Complimentary financial seminars throughout the year by Greater Nevada Financial Services
Giving Back to Our Communities
GNCU has a long-standing relationship with the University of Nevada, Reno. This includes raising funds for the Wolf Pack Marching Band, supporting Wolf Pack Athletics, and providing financial education as sponsors of Nevada Money Mentors.
Throughout the year, Greater Nevada and its employees helped support a variety of causes and organizations. Following are a few other highlights of how we helped more people live greater through our community involvement.
- Awarded 60,000 in scholarships to student members throughout Nevada
- Provided support for the Luna Rocks and Meet a Meteorite program presented by the Carson City Library
- Hosted a send-off party at the Reno Tahoe International Airport for Special Olympics Nevada athletes headed for the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, WA
- Presented “A Bite of Reality” financial education to 150 teens in Elko as part of the Soroptimist International of Elko “Dream It, Be It” event
- Volunteered to help make the holidays brighter for those in need through the Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality and Northern Nevada HOPES
- Served as judges at Carson High School’s Shark Tank competition; GNCU also has an educational branch at the high school
- Partnered with the Reno Aces to celebrate the Community Partners Program, which raised $61,000 through participating organizations plus another $13,000 donated directly by GNCU
Growing Greater Nevada
Greater Nevada Credit Union experienced ongoing expansion in 2018.
Greater Nevada Credit Union experienced ongoing expansion in 2018, from membership and assets, to product and service lines. We also celebrated the growth of our branch network, as well as our subsidiaries Greater Nevada Mortgage (GNM) and Greater Commercial Lending (GCL).
In 2018, GNCU’s branch network continued to grow with the January grand opening of the new Eagle Station branch in Carson City, and the September opening of the new University branch inside the Towers at the Pink Hill student housing building in Reno. Both branches are equipped with the latest banking technology, including Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs). In addition, GNCU provided financing for the construction of the University branch building to a company founded by two University of Nevada, Reno alumni. GNCU is also the first commercial tenant of this flagship project, which features mixed-use student housing with retail space.
In August, GNCU broke ground on the new Fernley branch, scheduled to open late summer 2019. The credit union will occupy 40 percent of the 10,000-square-foot building, and the other 60 percent will be available for other retail use.
Greater Commercial Lending
Formed in December 2017, Greater Commercial Lending (GCL) hit the ground running in 2018 by obligating the largest loan in the history of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. The loan guarantee was made to Ryze Renewables Reno, LLC. Just a few of GCL’s other accomplishments throughout the year include:
- Hosted its second successful National Rural Lenders Association Public Private Partnership (P3) Lending Forum April 10-11 in the 250 Lounge at Greater Nevada Field. USDA Rural Development professionals from throughout the United States joined representatives from banks and credit unions to learn about partnership opportunities and financing options.
- Provided funding through collaborative efforts to Vidalia Denim Mills for a new state-of-the-art textile mill in the Mississippi Delta region.
- Made a USDA business and industry guaranteed loan for EB International LLC (EBI) and Hidalgo Cold Storage, Inc. (HCS).
- The two vertically integrated companies specialize in asset-heavy, third-party logistics transportation and cold storage services.
- Thanks to GCL’s accomplishments, GNCU was named the National Lender of the Year by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the third year in a row. The award was presented in October at the NRLA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.
Greater Nevada Mortgage
In January, GNM announced the launch of multiple new jumbo loan products for homebuyers in Nevada and California who need to finance larger loan amounts. A few months later, GNM launched a new down payment assistance loan program to offer California homebuyers affordable options for purchasing their first home.
GNM was awarded the 2017 International Service Excellence Award in the Small Business category by the Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA) in March 2018. Judging criteria are largely based on the International Customer Service Standard, a framework of 27 attributes designed to assist organizations in delivering consistently high levels of service.
In June, GNM opened its new southern Nevada office and quickly built relationships with local organizations such as the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors, Las Vegas. That same month, GNM rolled out an exclusive offer to all GNCU members funding a first mortgage.
Highlights of 2018: Awards and Recognition
Click here to see a complete list of Greater Nevada's accomplishments in 2018.