By Sue Moore
“The driving force at KALSEE Credit Union is unequaled service to our 22,000 members,” says Matt Lahman, from Schoolcraft, the new CEO taking the helm from Rudy Callen of Vicksburg. “We know our members by name. Our top priority is to help people. Making loans where we qualify people not just on what the computer tells us about them, but by looking them in the eye and knowing their needs. “We are old-school lenders.”
KALSEE is a nonprofit credit union with a different focus than banks, Lahman emphasizes. “We re-invest our deposits, charge low fees and pay interest. We want to help people with their financial decisions. For instance, our new credit counseling unit can help people repair their debt with some re-organizing.”
Lahman has been chief operating officer of KALSEE for the past six years after a career in banking in Kalamazoo, then with Consumers Credit Union from 2005 to 2010. The family moved to Schoolcraft in 2004. Their son Nathan is now a freshman at KVCC and daughter Emily is a junior at Vicksburg High School. Wife Kim works in human resources at ECCU Credit Union. Lahman was raised in Centreville, where his father was the high school principal. He played basketball under the tutelage of Coach Dick Schultz, then went on to play at Kalamazoo College while receiving his bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics. He currently serves on the board of the KVCC Foundation. He also volunteers as coordinator for KALSEE’s sponsorship of Gryphon Place’s annual Suicide Prevention Walk, on the golf outing committee for Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and with the Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes Melzer Pantry.
“The mission of credit unions matches with my core values,” Lahman says. “It is about integrity, team work, and a real caring for our members. It’s important to me to help the people I live with every day through the efforts of the credit union.”