As caretaker of a Federal Credit Union like Polam, Mark Chrzanowski helps to make positive change in people’s lives. Mark has held the position of CEO of Polam FCU for eight years. His hobbies include trap shooting and spending time with his family. “Part of the attraction of trap shooting is the mechanics and physics involved; this makes the sport fascinating.” We talked with Mark about his favorite travel destination. “Hong Kong has been the most interesting place I’ve travelled. From the people, to the sounds, to the architecture, food and culture; it is all exotic and amazing.” Next, we discussed professional guidelines for success.
Mark Chrzanowski shared some insightful business insights and advice from his career as a CEO “The most important thing to remember is not to get caught up in the details or minutia. At the end of the day this is just noise. Step back and look at the bigger picture. Take a look at what’s important not only for the institution itself and the people who work with you, but also consider the people that you are trying to serve and what’s important to them.” Mark shared with us a few more words of professional guidance.
“Overbuying on a house or car to keep up with the Jones’ can quickly put you into a financial crisis. Focus on the quality of your life that you want to have, instead of the quantity of the things that you have.”
When asked to reveal an important lesson that he has learned over the past year, Mark said that “There is no one new lesson, rather a series of reinforcements to the many lessons that I’ve learned over the years. Therefore, trust in what you know and all that you have learned. Finally, don’t forget that there is always a silver lining to everything, so keep an eye out for it.”
Mark also had some great advice for consumers. “Be prepared. Understand your true goals. Overbuying on a house or car to keep up with the Jones’ can quickly put you into a financial crisis. Focus on the quality of your life that you want to have, instead of the quantity of the things that you have. When you are looking for a loan, consider first what it is that you really need and what is truly important in your life. When you walk into a bank, keep these priorities in mind.” The discussion of what is important in life led to a conversation about Mark’s great enthusiasm for the culinary arts.
Mark Chrzanowski has the recipe to run Polam FCU, so it is only natural that Mark is also a master chef. “Cooking is my Zen, cooking is my therapy. It is an expressive outlet for me to share with my friends. I don’t like to make mild food that just lays on the plate whispering ‘Please eat me.’ I love to create spicy dishes that are going to let you know that they are there.”
Finally we asked Mark to describe the Polam Federal Credit Union difference from the regular banks. Mark said, “Having worked at many different size banks, from independent banks, to big banks to my many years now at a credit union, I have learned that there is a huge contrast between the different institutions. The key difference with credit unions is that we look at each member as an individual, not as just number or as potential profit centers. People have individual needs and each person deserves individual respect. We treat each member with care and strive to develop lifelong relationships through respect and treating members as our own extended family. As a company, we are still responsible to our shareholders. Here at Polam FCU our shareholders just so happen to be our members.”
We invite you to learn more about Polam Federal Credit Union by visiting one of our branches or contacting us online at www.polamfcu.com.