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Chad Meadows, VyStar’s Executive Vice President/Chief Operations Officer, has worked at VyStar since 2018 and has become a devoted leader in the organization. His innovative, engaging and strategic leadership style ensures that members, employees and community partners are able to engage with and benefit from VyStar. Chad always looks at the big picture — not only at VyStar, but also with the entire credit union industry. He understands that this is a fast-moving industry, and he pushes himself and his team toward continued learning, growth and development.
Under Chad’s leadership, and in collaboration with the entire VyStar Senior Team, the credit union has worked to build an environment where employees feel empowered to make decisions throughout the organization. This leadership style creates a culture of change, where every employee is encouraged to seek out opportunities to make the business more efficient and to create the best member experience possible. This leads to better products, services, processes and results.
A positive culture stems from leadership, so Chad believes strongly in creating a culture where employees are focused on having an enjoyable work environment where they can enjoy the meaningful work they do on a daily basis. VyStar employees not only have the opportunity to make an impact through their day-to-day responsibilities, but also in their community.
Externally, VyStar plays a large role in giving back to its communities, and Chad makes sure that it stays true to its commitment to doing good. He said, “Each year, we donate millions of dollars to hundreds of nonprofit organizations. Every organization plays an important role in our community and we are proud to support them not only through donations, but also through volunteerism, board participation, marketing support and more.”
In addition to community nonprofits, VyStar works to support local small businesses by creating business products that offer all the tools that small businesses need to start and grow their businesses with support provided by the business banking team. This provides lower fees and charges than most other business banking providers. Chad's top priority as a leader is making sure VyStar members continue to be successful and thrive in order to service their communities.
VyStar’s involvement in the community has been a large part of its overall growth. The credit union’s growth allows it to give more to the community and enables more people to bank better. Under Chad’s leadership, the credit union has grown significantly in Central Florida. VyStar now has more than a dozen branches across the region, including three new locations opening there in the last year with additional branches opening in The Villages, Melbourne and Lake Mary by the end of 2022. Additionally, just this summer, VyStar entered into the Georgia market with its first branch in Thomasville.
Another project Chad has led and been extremely involved with is the development of the VyStar Insurance Agency. This ensures that VyStar members have access to excellent insurance coverage. In 2021, VyStar Insurance Agency grew by acquiring two insurance agencies. The team serves all of Florida and Georgia and VyStar’s experts work with over 75 carriers to save members an average of $400 per year on home and auto insurance.
Chad has been particularly passionate about leading VyStar’s efforts to revitalize downtown Jacksonville, where the credit union remains headquartered. VyStar moved its headquarters to this area in 2018, and in doing so, they have renovated the VyStar Tower, adjacent building and breezeway. In 2021, they began construction on a new parking garage that will bring additional parking to VyStar employees working at headquarters and to others that live, work and play in Downtown Jacksonville. The parking garage will also support the area with retail space and new businesses. In addition, new restaurants such as Bread & Board and Estrella Cocina help build a vibrant downtown destination. Lastly, VyStar sponsors local events such as Jax River Jams, a free, outdoor concert series, which brings entertainment to people in the hometown community.
Throughout his time as a leader at VyStar, Chad has proved to be a champion and advocate for VyStar’s employees, members and communities. He has a vision for the organization’s promising future, and he plans to utilize his strategic ability to provide better banking products and superior customer service to help members achieve their financial goals. IE
EVP and COO
VyStar Credit Union
VyStar Credit Union, founded over 70 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, is one of the largest credit unions in the country, with over 830,000 members. The organization is known for its employees' outstanding service, providing its members with superior products and services and giving back to its communities spanning from Central Florida to Southern Georgia.