There’s an implied open-endedness to the phrase, four carefully chosen words that convey a sense of possibility and expectation and potential. And whether that “wherever” leads to the purchase of a home or the opening of a new business, the team at Fortera Credit Union wants to be a part of the journey. The tagline is ideal, a call to action encouraging people to imagine a future without limitations; and when Fort Campbell Credit Union rebranded itself in 2016 as Fortera Credit Union, they wanted to establish their own new hope and vision for a future without limit.
Originally founded in 1954 as Fort Campbell Credit Union, Fortera’s life is obviously on a new path in a world that has changed a great deal in the past 60 plus years. And while the outward packaging may be a bit modernized and more appealing to in the current market, they have hardly abandoned the heart of their original establishment, one fully focused on meeting the needs of their members as they navigate the course of their lives and seek success in their financial goals.
“As a credit union, Fortera differs from a traditional bank in that we are owned by our membership rather than a corporate entity; and that structure inherently benefits the community in which we serve,” explains CEO Tom Kane. “Our membership is available to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Montgomery or Stewart counties in Tennessee or Christian, Trigg, or Todd counties in Kentucky; and we offer a wide-range of financial services products, from checking and savings accounts to car loans, mortgages, and home equity loans. Our objective is to meet all of their needs in the financial realm and provide real solutions that make their goals a success.”
And making those goals a success means changing with the times. “With a focus on our future and changing demographics, Fortera has a robust online and mobile banking platform that competes with and often exceeds what many national brands offer,” Kane continues. “We updated the brand to give it a new image and change our overall look and feel to enable the integration of a new culture as we strive to become better, simpler, and faster. Those are the needs of our members, and so we’ve implemented ways to meet those needs. Modernizing our methods has certainly changed things, but we believe that to be for the better; and now, more than ever, we consider investing in the community to be a priority.”
In Clarksville, that investment in the community has meant forming a relationship with Austin Peay State University and securing the naming rights to Fortera Stadium. And despite the fact that the credit union no longer bears the name of the Army post, they still offer their full support to serving Fort Campbell and are proud to be one of only two financial institutions allowed to host a branch on base.
Fulfilling their brand promise of meeting the needs of their members “Wherever Life Takes You” also means going where their members go. And their members go worldwide, a fact that has expanded Fortera’s reach across the globe. They literally go to the ends of the earth for their members, and that’s a level of commitment that no redesigns or rebranding campaigns will ever phase out.
Tom Kane is the President and CEO of Clarksville, Tenessee’s, Fortera Credit Union, which operates ten branch locations throughout western Kentucky and middle Tennessee to manage more than half a billion dollars in assets.
Originally serving as the President and CEO of Fort Campbell Credit Union from 2005-2007, Kane returned to the credit union to resume his role in 2012, maintaining his position throughout the 2016 rebranding as Fortera Credit Union. It was the credit union’s dedication to its membership that drew him back, and it’s that very same commitment that keeps Kane passionate about his role in the finance industry. “We operate under the type of structure that truly provides an opportunity to put experience and passion to work and reinvest in the community,” Kane says. “I get to lead a team of people who really understand what it means to serve our community, and we give our employees 40 hours of paid volunteer time each year to give back to the communities we serve,” he explains. “Whether through our United Way partnership or another chosen charitable organization, this benefit allows our employees to fully embrace our core value: ‘We Serve.’”