Our CEO Celebrates His 40th Year!

February 16, 2014

40 Years is a lifetime for some people, let alone a rarely achieved milestone for continuous employment with one company.  However Larry Bordi of NET Federal Credit Union of Scranton PA will tell you that 40 years working for the credit union has gone by fairly quickly.  Larry joined NET Federal Credit Union in September of 1973, when it was known under its former name of Scranton Belco FCU (about 2,000 members strong) – primarily serving Bell Telephone and AT&T employees of Scranton, and the surrounding communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Upon graduating from Mansfield University, Larry began his career in the Loan Department.  Larry was one of 4 employees in a credit union that was approximately $2 Million in asset size;  so on any given day he would be the Loan Officer, Teller or Member Service Representative, whatever it took to serve the Member!

Over the next 12 years Larry lent a personal touch in serving NET by helping their members during hard times throughout the 70’s, having several “George Bailey” moments which meant making loans to members who wouldn’t qualify under todays increased compliance standards.  Sometimes it was merely a handshake, or simply a promise – Larry was happy to help his members.  However, it’s those moments in time that members and employees remember Larry for, and they kept telling their friends and family to come to a credit union for service with a personal touch.

Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, Larry remembers cooperation among local credit unions to be very strong and a key component to survival as they worked together to navigate a volatile interest rate environment, high unemployment, and stagnant economic growth.  In 1982, Larry was promoted to Assistant Manager, and in 1985 to the position of Manager – NET was $10 Million in asset size, with $7.5 Million in loans, and 12 employees.  By 1989, Larry was promoted to the position of President/CEO, while NET’s asset size doubled to $20 Million.  Growth of the credit union didn’t stop there, NET doubled again to $40 Million by 1993, to $80 Million by 2000, and past $160 Million by 2010!

During the time from when he was promoted to Manager and through the new millennium, Larry hired, or acquired via mergers, over 35 additional staff members as the credit union grew quickly.  A second branch was acquired through a merger as well.  In 2005, NET hired its first Accountant – up until then, Larry was performing the duties as President/CEO, CFO, CIO, and COO of a $120 Million credit union, which speaks volumes about his work ethic, diligence, and love for the credit union.  When asked “why did you wait so long to hire an accountant”, Larry’s reply was humble – “because the auditors said that I was doing too much”.

His employees will tell you that they simply love Larry – he is a kind gentleman who genuinely enjoys the company of his employees.  Every week he buys his employees doughnuts and bagels for their morning snack, ice cream on hot summer days, and surprise lunches during bad weather in the wintertime.  However, it’s not just the food or kind words that Larry is known for.  Rita Riley has been working for Larry for almost 30 years – she stated that she will always remember how Larry helped her through the most difficult 2 years of her life during her husband’s illness and passing. Larry would allow her to have a more flexible schedule, miss a few more days of work here and there, all to allow Rita to spend more time with her husband.  Larry didn’t blink an eye; He just said “I’ll work with you as long as it takes.” Other employees pitched in to help Rita with her work, including Larry – today we call that “leadership”, but Larry would simply tell you that “it was the right thing to do.”

Rita is currently 80 years old and still works at NET.  Why, you may ask?  Because Rita considers Larry and NET part of her family, and has dedicated herself to both of them.  Larry’s leadership over the years has created a pleasant caring environment, which has manifested itself into a theme followed by his employees, “Do the right thing for the member, be honest in what you do, and stay busy every day and good things will happen.”  It’s probably why the average tenure of employees at NET is about 20 years.

Larry’s original office was right by the front door, and alongside the teller line of the credit union.  For years members would constantly stop in and see Larry just to chat – Larry made many friends over the years, and saw those friends have children, and those children have their own children, and most became members of the credit union because their parents, grandparents, employees, or friends told them about somebody who may have helped them during a time where their family was struggling or in good times when a family would be purchasing their first home.  Although Larry’s office is now located in their new Corporate Center, it is the memories of working in NET’s Oak Street office in Scranton that always brings a smile to his face, because he knew that NET made a difference in member’s lives.

Larry followed in his Dad’s footstep in the Credit Union Movement – Mr. Paul Bordi was the CEO of FCPI Employees FCU.  There were many evenings when Larry helped his Father “balance the books” at FCPI, typically after putting in a 10 hour work day at NET.  However, this really wasn’t work for both Larry and his father, but a great opportunity for father and son to spend some quality time doing something together.  His father’s credit union eventually merged with another credit union, and after his father passed, the new credit union, CMC-FCPI, started an annual golf tournament in honor of Paul Bordi.  Impressive when you think about it – two men, father and son, loved and honored by their respective credit unions just doesn’t happen by accident, but by being honest, having dedication for doing the right thing for their members and employees, and understanding that one credit union should help another.

Currently, NET is well over $170 Million in assets, with almost 20,000 members, efficiently run with high capital and low expense ratios.  When asked about highlights of his career, Larry simply just shakes his head and says “It’s all been really good.” Larry likes knowing that he was able to help people over the years by giving them services that they wanted and needed.  He likes that NET has grown using sound fundamentals of making good loans at lower rates, being able to offer higher deposit rates, and not having to become dependent on excessively feeing members to support its operation.  And he has enjoyed working together with other credit unions in the area – “People helping people have made my time well spent (in the credit union industry).”

Those who know Larry would say that he is a humble man who has worked diligently over his career, and simply enjoys coming to work every day.  He takes great pride knowing that he has made a difference in the lives of those around him – Larry would call that “the credit union way.”

Larry and his wife Rose have four children and reside in Olyphant.  Larry enjoys a round of golf, takes great pride in being a lefty, has a love for baseball and roots for the Phillies, and continues to show up for work at 7:20am, every day, as he has for 40 years.

George Bailey would be proud to meet Larry.