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Faheem Masood, President & Chief Executive Officer

As he begins his tenure as the next President and Chief Executive Officer of ESL Federal Credit Union, Faheem Masood took a few moments to share his thoughts about our past, present, and future as well as perspective about his new role.

You have been with ESL for nearly twenty five years. What’s that been like?

So much has happened! When I started at ESL in 1991, we were still very much linked to Kodak as Eastman Savings & Loan. Once that changed, we began to chart our own course. We opened our first community branch in Irondequoit in 1995 and since then expanded access to include 20 branch locations, 40+ ATM locations, a locally based Contact Center, online banking, and mobile banking.

We introduced ESL Investment Services, LLC, in 1997 to serve our members' long-term investment and risk management needs. And in 2010, we launched Business and Commercial Banking, bringing the same level of customer service to businesses within our community that personal banking members and investment and insurance clients have enjoyed for years. In between those two lines of business, we also introduced the ESL Charitable Foundation as the philanthropic arm of our organization.

These are all examples of how ESL has evolved since the early 1990s to meet the needs of a changing market.

What do you see as the organization’s greatest strengths?

First, it is the commitment we make to provide a truly superior customer experience. For us, this is not just a slogan, it really comes from within. ESL invests significantly in listening to customers to understand what they want and need. We design our work, products, services, and their delivery to best meet those needs.

Equally important is our commitment to our employees. We always want our employees to experience ESL as a great place to work. When employees feel valued and good about what they do, they are in a much better position to deliver great customer experiences.

Lastly, our strength in business planning and execution ensures that we are aligned and moving collectively in the same direction to successfully deliver the experiences I mentioned.

Is being local a differentiator for ESL?

Being local does make a difference. We understand this community and are completely devoted to it. Our focus is not diffused across multiple markets so we know that we have to be effective here to be successful. If a policy or rule is not working, we can quickly and easily engage to make adjustments. We live with the decisions we make and have the advantage of seeing how they play out.

We face our customers every day; when I walk into a branch to visit with employees or customers, I feel accountable, not just because they are ESL members or customers, but also because they are members of my own community. I think everyone at ESL feels that same sense of accountability.

What’s next for ESL?

Ultimately, it comes down to executing to achieve our vision of being the premier community banking services provider in a manner that leads both customers and employees to "love" their relationship with ESL.

We think there is still a lot of room for growth across all our lines of business. We’ll continue to build greater awareness of our wealth management services so we can help those with complex needs as well as individuals just starting their planning for retirement and other life events. Business Banking has had a great start with plenty of room to grow. And, as the needs of individuals and their families in this community evolve, there is still more we can do to meet those needs, even after nearly a hundred years of providing personal banking services.

And your thoughts about becoming CEO?

I’ve been here for nearly twenty five years, and I truly feel that the strong team and plan ESL has in place provide a good path for our future. The transition in leadership provides no reason to change that course. ESL will continue to grow and adapt across all lines of business to meet the changing needs of our market. We’ll do that by remaining true to who we are and who we have been. We will continue to deliver great experiences and honor the commitment we have made to our customers, employees, partners, and community.