“Helping our communities achieve financial wellness is what differentiates us. We’re here to help other people succeed.”—Brett Martinez, CEO, Redwood Credit Union
Who wouldn’t want to do business with a company whose brand identity is: Love? This is the brand essence of Redwood Credit Union (RCU). This what RCU embodies. “A brand isn’t something you create,” says President and CEO Brett Martinez. “It’s something people tell you is the emotion they have when they think about your organization.” That’s how people at RCU want their members and communities to feel about their financial life, their “financial wellness,” as Martinez calls it.
“It’s who we are as an organization,” he says. “We are different. We’re different on purpose. Helping our communities achieve financial wellness is what differentiates us. We’re here to help other people succeed.” Today, RCU has more than 410,000 members, is consistently recognized in NorthBay biz magazine’s annual readers’ poll as Best Credit Union, or Best Company to Do Business With, having won 32 times over the years. For Martinez, the reason is simple. It’s all about the people. “The most important decision we make is the people that we hire,” he says. “I get comments all the time that our people are amazing.”
When the going gets tough, RCU has a reputation for being there for its members and communities. “People really appreciate that,” says Martinez. “And unfortunately, between fires and floods and earthquakes and pandemics, we’ve been through a lot!” He has to laugh. There have just been so many emergencies in the last few years. “But instead of running the other way, we run right toward it,” he says. “We do everything we can to help. We never closed a branch one day, the past two years.” This is the spirit that works for its staff, as well as the members. “We have almost 800 employees and growing, which is why we need the new facility in Napa.”
RCU, long a presence in Napa County, is building additional offices to accommodate 600 people on 8 acres of ground in Southern Napa County. The expansion is underway, and Martinez and his team have been working to make affordable housing more possible in Napa County by partnering with the Napa Community Foundation to create loans for accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Martinez adds that it’s a solution-oriented response to the issue. “The Community Foundation has been a great partner on this,” he says.
Meanwhile, Martinez and the team at RCU are honored to be selected as Best Company to do Business With yet again. “On behalf of our almost 800 employees and more than 410,000 members, we want to say thank you to the readers of NorthBay biz for the recognition. It’s a big deal. It’s an honor. It’s exciting because we have this history.”
[Lead photo courtesy of Redwood Credit Union]