Thank you Lake Trust — there’s still hope for this relationship and for those of us in the 1099 economy

(The following note arrived in my in box last evening.  I greatly appreciated receiving it and thought it only right to share after my post last week.)

Dear Maura,

I wanted to be sure to follow up with you after our conversation on Tuesday.

First, please allow me to again share how truly sorry I am for the recent experience you had at our Lake Trust Detroit branch.  As a cooperative, we exist solely to serve the needs of our membership. And momentarily, we lost sight of that.  With certainty, I want you to know your feedback has been heard, and I’d like to share with you what we’re doing to address it.

But before I do, I’d like you to know that I feel very grateful for our conversation. I learned a lot about your experience as an independent consultant and have already begun to talk with my colleagues about how we can serve you and other members of the 1099 community better.  And, I want you to know, they have all made commitments to do so.

  • As you know, about 20 months ago Lake Trust was formed as the result of two organizations coming together. Shortly thereafter, we established a set of core values for our combined credit union.  We wanted to create a culture by design, as opposed to a culture by default.  Those core values – Trust, Teamwork, Adaptability, Learning, and Making a Difference – are the foundation of who we are and what we believe. We know the desired results will not just happen because we’ve written some words on paper, but rather by living up to them, through each and every experience we create, both internally with each other and externally with our membership.I’m very proud of our efforts so far, but knowing that we didn’t uphold these values during your recent interaction, coupled with the possible loss of respect that you had for our organization, is truly saddening and obviously regretful.
  • We’ll be further educating our teams about the needs of independent consultants and the impact of their work on their finances.  As you and I discussed, our members own the credit union, so above all else they should get superior service. Additionally, because we’re a cooperative and our members entrust their money to us, we have to be sure we’re protecting it.  For this reason, we’ve created some guidelines to help manage that risk. But we should listen to each experience and weigh it on its own merit. We are taking this opportunity to revisit those exceptions at many levels.
  • We want to get more involved.  Our Detroit team, our Marketing Outreach representative Amanda Stark, and our Business Services Officer Steve Wizgird have made eager commitments to make a difference. This winter, they’ve collected mittens for those in need and hired several Co-op students for enrichment purposes. For years, we’ve served Detroit Edison employees, whom we’ve come to know very well. Outside our building though, we have some work to do. We feel very strongly about our relationship with the Detroit community and our roots there. I’d like to assure you we’re involved across the state and care greatly about the communities that our members, and we ourselves, live and work in. I’m proud to share that we’ve invested $68 million in local business loans. We’ve also donated hundreds of hours of volunteer time and over $100,000 to community organizations this year.

Your experience has created a new level of awareness for us. And, again, I’d like to thank you for your feedback.  I think it’s only right to apologize again and thank you for your patience and for taking the time to help us to understand your needs and also the needs of others in our community.

I look forward to working with you in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, if you’d like to talk more.

Thank you so much,

Danielle Brehmer


Danielle Brehmer | Vice President | Marketing

Lake Trust Credit Union | 7927 Nemco Way, Suite #100 | Brighton, MI 48116


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