Idaho Press Shines Spotlight on Clarity Credit Union and CEO Wendy Edwards

When the Idaho Press and national business research firm Energage undertook a months-long project to identify the Treasure Valley’s Top Workplaces and leaders of 2021, Meridian-based Clarity Credit Union and its President and CEO Wendy Edwards were in the spotlight.  That’s not small potatoes when you consider how much the workplace has changed in the past couple of years and all of the financial service providers competing for consumers’ attention.

Clarity and Edwards were recognized because of their commitments that “make life better” for consumers, and that often means taking a “nonjudgmental” approach.

“We are a modest means credit union,” Edwards said. “Some of our members might be living paycheck to paycheck, and we say yes when their credit scores might not be so good, when they’ve had downturns.”

In return, she said, the members work hard to pay their loans off. Clarity’s focus on support for consumers was borne out repeatedly during the pandemic when Main Street businesses needed flexibility, and families needed help managing their finances. The credit union’s Progress in Credit (PIC) program received the NWCUA’s Members on Main Street Award during the recent MAXX Convention Summit Awards Gala. The program rewards members for improving their credit scores by lowering their loan interest rates.

Members are so well cared for because Clarity’s leadership team aims to hire employees with heart, people who are engaged in their local communities. “They care,” Edwards said. “We want to hire the person who holds the door open for their neighbor.”

Edwards started her credit union career journey in California in 1997, as a temporary call center employee. She was hired full-time quickly and hasn’t looked back, filling roles such as accounts services manager, branch manager, and beyond. In 2007, she joined the Clarity team as Vice President of Operations and was recruited from within to apply for the open CEO position in 2012.

With a President and CEO who possesses such well-rounded experience, it isn’t surprising that Clarity is identified as a top workplace in Idaho’s Treasure Valley.  But nothing is taken for granted, and the team works together to build an effective and inclusive environment.

Edwards said Clarity uses the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), practices that help organizations plan, prioritize, and solve problems. If issues cannot be resolved at one level, they escalate to the next until solutions are found. Credit union leadership also surveyed its employees about culture, pay, benefits, leadership effectiveness, and opportunities to improve. Such honest feedback helps to improve the workplace culture, and employees are involved in that process, making their own work more satisfying.

As for Clarity’s future, Edwards says, “We’re local! We are focused on serving Southwest Idaho.”

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Posted in Leadership.