Spotlight: John Fiore

CU makes it a priority to meet members’ on-the-go financial needs.

July 26, 2011
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Who: John Fiore
What: President/CEO
Where: Motorola Employees CU, Schaumburg, Ill.

Mobile banking is big at our CU:

Our members can access mobile banking via our mobile website, text message, or our mobile applications for Android phones and iPhones.

We rolled out mobile banking in December 2010. By May, we already had more than 4,000 members using it. That’s more than 10% of our members in only five months.

It’s important for CUs to offer mobile banking services because:

Members are always looking for more convenient ways to access and conduct transactions on their accounts. With mobile banking, members can manage their money whenever they want and wherever they are.

CU executives should understand technology:

Just as they should for all of their products and services. But it’s more important that they have the right team of people on staff with a high level of technical expertise. We’re fortunate to have a great information technology team. They make my life a lot easier.

Am I a techy person?

Does using my Motorola Droid count? No, it’s fair to say no one will ever accuse me of being a techy person.

The main characteristic of our CU that members seem to really appreciate:

We look out for their interests as though they were our own. We’re on their side, and we’re advocates for their financial well-being.

My best work hours:

I’m definitely a morning person. When the sun comes up, I’m ready to go. I’m lucky if I’m still awake on the couch to watch the 10 p.m. news.

A recent personal accom­plishment I’m proud of:

Over the years, I’ve been proud of so many accomplishments. But, I’m always proudest of my current challenge since it’s the most important thing to me at the time. Currently, I’m helping to charter a new corporate—Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union. It will add enormous value to small and midsize credit unions and the future of the credit union movement.

My favorite lifelong hobby:

I love to collect sports memorabilia. It’s part of sports history and it links the past to current-day sports. I have more than 600 autographed items—pictures, jerseys, bats, and balls—on display at my home. Some of my favorite items are signed by Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Vince Lombardi.

To achieve work/life balance:

You have to make time for both. Plan your family calendar the same way you plan your work calendar. If you don’t plan for family time, it won’t happen.

To “get away from it all”:

Nothing beats a vacation with my family. It doesn’t matter where, as long as we’re all together.

My favorite time of year:

Summer, hands down. I can enjoy the yard, golf, and my Cubs. The only enjoyable thing about Chicago winters is the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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