On behalf of the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee, we welcome you to our 67th Annual Meeting. The Board of Directors is happy to report that 2020 was another successful year for OTIS Federal Credit Union and our membership.
The year 2020, however, was not without its challenges. Shortly after the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Maine, Maine credit unions uniformly closed lobbies, continuing to serve their members via digital channels, drive-thrus, or curbside. It seemed like the world shut down overnight, forcing us all to abruptly acclimate to a “new normal”: Who would have imagined that it would be so difficult to purchase basic necessities such as toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, and sanitizer during the start of a global pandemic? The uncertainty about how the COVID-19 virus would impact ourselves and our loved ones was universally unnerving as we entered these unprecedented times.
One constant that has endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is our membership’s loyalty to OTIS Federal Credit Union. We want to extend a very sincere and heartfelt “thank you” to all who stood with us while we navigated the uncharted waters of 2020. Thank you for your patience while our lobby was closed. Thank you for conforming to the new safety guidelines that we put in place to protect our employees and our members as much as possible. Thank you for being there every step of the way while we pivoted and adapted to the various circumstances and challenges that were presented to us over the last year. Your support and patience have made all the difference.
In 2020, we were again able to share our profits with both our borrowers and savers in the form of a Loan Interest Refund and Bonus Dividend. We returned 6% of interest paid or dividends earned, totaling $347,795.58. It was your continued loyalty and patronage that allowed us to post this Loan Interest Refund and Bonus Dividend for the 16th consecutive year—a point of pride for our organization. As we have mentioned in years past, this practice is a true testament to one of the Seven Cooperative Principles of credit unions—Member Economic Participation. Typically, credit union members experience the impact of this principle through lower loan rates, higher dividend rates and fewer fees, but for members of OTIS FCU, the Loan Interest Refund and Bonus Dividend is a further extension of that cooperative principle.
We hope that all of our members have been able to successfully weather the volatility of 2020, and that your lives are, slowly but surely, looking a bit more like they once did before last March. We hope, too, that you experienced a sense of pride and security in belonging to your local cooperative financial institution, and felt that you had access to all essential financial products and services throughout the year. Our members’ financial health is of paramount importance to us, and we never lose sight of our reason for existing: to serve you.
Like your loyalty to OTIS, our commitment to you—our members—has never wavered. Credit unions were classified as an essential business by the Governor’s Executive Order released in March of 2020. Our employees rose to the occasion, ready to help in any way that they possibly could. Throughout the year employees were periodically shuffled to shorthanded departments, filling in wherever necessary to ensure ongoing operations. We implemented an “all hands-on deck” approach to handle the extremely high call volumes, and staff members even stood at our drive thru during particularly busy times, directing vehicles in order to ease the congestion which often extended out onto Main Street. Employees were confronted not only with professional disruptors, but also with personal upheaval as they dealt with the challenges and demands of the year with their families. Many were faced with finding childcare after the school year abruptly shifted to remote learning in April. Employees were also challenged by the personal hardships of adjusting the ways that they interacted with immediate family—from attending birthdays and holiday gatherings to seeing their elderly parents and grandparents—as they strove to keep themselves, their colleagues, and their loved ones safe. Our team bravely met these new circumstances head-on and never skipped a beat: It is truly because of our exceptional employees that our membership’s financial needs are met, day in and day out. With this, it is with a great sense of pride and honor that I dedicate our 67th Annual Meeting to each employee of OTIS Federal Credit Union. Thank you to our employees for stepping up during the most difficult of times to find innovative, service-oriented, and above all, compassionate ways to assist our members. There are no adequate words to express the amount of gratitude that the Board of Directors feels towards our trusted, skilled, and caring team of Credit Union professionals – thank you for everything that you do each day, all with the common goal of making sure our members have positive experiences with their trusted financial cooperative.
We hope that 2021 is a year of prosperity, and that it holds the promise of financial, emotional and physical health for both our employees and our members. Thank you again for trusting OTIS Federal Credit Union as your financial partner, and for making our thriving cooperative what it is today.
Duane Lake Chairman, Board of Directors
Supervisory Committee Report
On the basis of our NCUA Examination and CPA Opinion Audit, we are pleased to report that the financial records are properly maintained and fairly represented in all materials in respect to the financial condition of OTIS Federal Credit Union. In addition to the Examination and Opinion Audit, the committee members performed surprise monthly cash counts, reviewed closed accounts, and reviewed loan documents this past year. All these steps are taken to ensure that proper controls and procedures are in place.
Nancy Blodgett Chairwoman, Supervisory Committee