Chief Strategy Officer
First Commonwealth Credit Union
Chief strategy officer at First Commonwealth since March, John Melcher was previously chief people officer at the credit union.
“With the exception of six years in pharmaceutical services, I’ve spent my entire career in financial services,” Melcher said. “My degree is in business administration, so banking was a logical place for me to launch my career. I stayed … because I enjoy helping others achieve their financial objectives and helping organizations succeed through their people. Working at First Commonwealth FCU is a perfect match for me as our mission, empowering the pursuit of financial happiness, aligns with my passion.”
The ways in which members/customers want to engage with their financial institutions has evolved “and we have to meet them where they are – with some wanting to utilize brick and mortar while others want a completely digital experience. Cryptocurrencies and other methods of moving funds (are) becoming more important … . Fintechs, ESG, regulations, blockchain technologies and a shrinking labor pool will continue to drive change across the financial services industry.”
Most challenging is keeping up with the legislative/regulatory landscape, which “requires an investment of time to ensure the organization remains on solid ground and in compliance,” he said. Most rewarding is “leveraging new technologies/channels and progressive products and services to … members (including those in underbanked/underserved markets) whose needs/expectations have changed … and will continue to change at an even faster pace going forward.”
Melcher said his most significant mentor was a former boss who frequently said, “Build your community and you will build your bank.” “This notion still rings true for me today as I believe successful organizations and their people have an obligation to give back and support the needs within their communities,” he said, “which in turn results in a virtuous cycle of sorts where that commitment to the community comes back to the organization many times over.”
This profile is part of Lehigh Valley Business' Banking & Finance Power 30 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at lvb.com or in our digital edition.