The Florida car sale team includes employees from all of the Credit Union’s Florida branches. Team members will be coming together again in Fort Lauderdale for the next Florida Car Sale Event happening July 17–23.Sunny serviceIn South Florida, innovative personal service is not just a Credit Union mission, it’s a personal commitment.
Hosting car fairs where members can buy vehicles with no dealer fees. Offering curbside banking service. Being available around-the-clock if necessary. These tasks are part of a normal day’s work for the team at the Credit Union’s six branches in South Florida.

On rare occasion, branch managers are even meeting members outside of the branch to sign loan-closing documents and hosting evening events, knowing that many of their members work during the day. “Over the years, we’ve created a culture of transparency, trust and loyalty with our members, who keep coming back,” said Branch Manager Julio Berrios, who oversees the Miami Blue Lagoon, MIA Cargo and MIA Maintenance locations.

The Florida branch leadership team includes Business Development Specialist Barbara Berghmans; Branch Manager Julio Berrios, Miami Blue Lagoon, MIA Cargo and MIA Maintenance; Branch Manager Ivette Rivera, Fort Lauderdale and MIA Concourse H; and Branch Manager Karen Arias, MIA Concourse D.Berrios, along with branch managers Ivette Rivera (Fort Lauderdale and MIA Concourse H) and Karen Arias (MIA Concourse D), as well as Business Development Specialist Barbara Berghmans, enjoys coming up with innovative ways to make members feel appreciated and valued.

“Even when our loan officers get promotions or move to other branches, loyal members will follow them because of the relationships they've built over the years,” Berrios said. “It's always member service first. We want that to be the staple of what our branches here in South Florida are known for.”
Discover more details hereCovering the bases
For the last 15 years, the Credit Union has been holding a semi-annual new and used car sale. Dealers bring their cars, waive their fees and offer competitive prices on vehicles, Berrios said. 

The South Florida branches have a reputation for going above and beyond for the members in their area. Berghmans maintains open channels with anyone who may have questions and routinely hosts events at places the Credit Union doesn’t currently have a branch presence, such as Orlando International Airport. At these events, she highlights the Credit Union’s services to potential new members.

They frequently operate events at odd hours to be convenient for a variety of work groups, including hosting Credit Union Day events, some of which start as early as 5 a.m. to ensure good attendance from those who need to be at work.

“We’ll go from 8 a.m. to noon in one area of the airport and then hop over to another area from 1 p.m. to midnight,” Rivera said. She brings her laptop along and processes loans on location for members. “We go for two days and cram as many activities in as we can. We meet them where they are.”
The branch team at Concourse D at Miami International Airport always has a smile for their members and each other.Last-minute trips
You can call it extreme customer service commitment, but the Florida team calls it a typical day at the office. If a member worked late hours and couldn’t make it to the branch to sign her home equity loan documents, Berrios said they’re there to help her — personally. “We weren’t able to send a notary to her home at the last minute,” Berrios said. “So, I went to her home to do the closing myself.”

Rivera said that going the extra mile is part of the job for her team, adding that it’s a mindset, a mission statement she and her fellow team members embrace.

“You’re not a client here — you’re a member and an owner,” she said. “We’re here to teach members and educate them financially and plan for the future. We take that commitment seriously.”
Bridget McCrea is a Florida-based freelance writer who covers business, technology and supply chain for a variety of publications.