Published : Monday, December 11, 2017 | 3:46 PM
Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union’s new CEO James Chang has a 20-year resume transforming local branches in the credit union industry from Seattle to Los Angeles; with a passion for creating a small business charm while working towards big business goals.
Chang quickly climbed the ranks in just three short years since joining PSFCU in 2014 as a branch manager, where he set out to hire the best talent, connect with members on a personal level, and give back to the community.
“The big thing for me is that we want to really connect with our members. We want to make sure that we differentiate ourselves and we do that by focusing on helping the underserved and really getting to know our members,” said Chang.
Chang is a Los Angeles native where he has lived off and on since moving from his birthplace of South Korea at the age of 4. Working in the financial industry was not his original path. Having graduated with a degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara and briefly working at the Port of Long Beach post college, Chang decided that was not the career for him.
“I fell into working for a financial institution through a referral from a friend,” said Chang.
That referral has since turned into over 20 fruitful years leaving his management mark on credit unions along the west coast. Chang began his career moving from Lending Supervisor to Branch Manager during his initial ten years of service.
Aching for a change of scenery and a different pace of life, Chang packed up his family and moved to Seattle in 2007 where he spent eight years working for another progressive Credit Union as a regional manager. “That was a progressive credit union where I learned a great deal,” said Chang.
A California boy at heart, Chang decided it was time to settle back home in the Los Angeles area and figured out his next move in 2014.
“We loved the outdoors and green environment in Seattle. However, we missed our family and decided to move back,” said Chang. Chang discovered Pasadena Federal Service Credit Union during his transition and was a perfect match. “Working for a smaller credit union appealed to me and because I thought I can make a greater impact. This came to be true,” said Chang.
Chang quickly advanced from a manager, to executive vice president and now the chief executive officer in just three years.
“Since I’ve been on board, we were able to bring onboard top talent and that made a big difference in our credit union,” said Chang who mentioned
PSFCU strengthened its ability to do necessary branding outreach.
For Chang, the sky’s the limit.
“We have a potential membership of a million people,” said Chang who is determined to tap into that market. Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union has grown significantly in recent years. It’s expanded its service charter to the greater San Gabriel Valley with additional branches in Vernon and Covina, provides financial literacy presentations throughout, and has launched a highly successful student internship program with Pasadena High School and John Muir High School.
The credit union has just opened a local branch inside John Muir High School to employ students to give them real world experience while broadening its marketing reach, particularly to the younger generation.
“Our focus in the coming years is doing more volunteer work in the communities, really helping out the community, and really being a partner. If you want the local personalized service, this is the credit union for you,” said Chang.
For more information visit PSFCU at 670 North Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena, call (877) 297-4707 or visit their website http://mypsfcu.org/. With 2 additional branches in Vernon and Covina, you can also stay in touch with them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mypsfcu and Twitter: @PasadenaServFCU