DFCU, KSI Celebrate Power of a Partnership

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24By Terry Rogers

One of the goals of Dover Federal Credit Union is to “identify and take ownership of your needs,” and one of the ways they are achieving this goal is by celebrating the “Power of a Partnership” with Kent-Sussex Industries. According to Deb Jewell, Director of Marketing at Dover Federal Credit Union, the program is a representation of how community partners can provide simple but valuable opportunities that empower people of all skillsets.

“Any business that serves our community, and is able to put the customer’s needs first, will provide respect and empowerment, which adds value and satisfaction to both the customer and the employee,” Ms. Jewell said. “KSI is a proven example of providing empowerment skills for all learning abilities. Dover Federal recognizes unique accommodations members may need in order to help an individual accomplish their financial business. We strive to make a positive difference in their financial life.” Ms. Jewell said that the credit union offers assistance such as providing written instructions to a hearing impaired customer or helping guide the hand of someone with a visual impairment to the correct location for a signature.

Ms. Jewell said that the Milford office of Dover Federal has always worked closely with KSI, an organization that provides employment opportunities for those with mental or physical impairments that may make it difficult for them to find positions elsewhere. Dover Federal provides participants of KSI with financial resources and opportunities as well as sponsoring events held by KSI and encouraging employee participation at those events.

“Our partnership has evolved and expanded,” Ms. Jewell said. “We make it a standard practice to treat all people with respect, regardless of their abilities. Just recent, Dover Federal received a compliment from a KSI staff member who personally witnessed the dignity and respect with which we treat members of their organization while they were waiting in line.

Ms. Jewell said that any company can participate in the Power of a Partnership by training and empowering their internal team members to recognize limitations and embrace abilities, while providing solutions. She said that Dover Federal continually strives to make it easy for people to do business with them with all team members, from tellers to member service staff to management, consistently working hard to recognize everyone’s level of understanding. She said that although the Power of a Partnership program has no official guidelines, she says that the belief that businesses can partner with local organizations to provide empowerment opportunities, should be something that is considered standard practice.

“We are thankful for all of our members and are more than willing to work our hardest to accommodate any member or visitor to any of our six branches,” Ms. Jewell said. “We are honored to serve KISI and provide support by treating their participants with dignity and respect, taking the necessary time to help complete a transaction rather than rudely rushing through it. Regardless of someone’s needs, we will partner with them to provide the best possible experience.”

It is the belief of Dover Federal Credit Union, Ms. Jewell said, that if more businesses partnered with the community and embraced the differences in abilities, the results would be empowering. She said that today’s fast-paced world can sometimes be difficult for those with mental or physical disabilities; by slowing down to take the time to help serve different abilities is a way for all of us to make a positive difference in the lives of others.