The most successful credit unions make long term commitments to be part of their community in helping small businesses succeed. Erie Federal Credit Union exemplifies this effort. In this episode, Mark talks with Nathan Crouch and Katrina Drake to pick their brain on how they manage close community relationships, have a strong work-life balance, and succeed at their credit union.


  • [02:37] Katrina and Nate share some background on the Erie marketplace 
  • [04:35] Nathan and Katrina share about their banking experience
  • [08:20] What’s it like being part of the community and how that feeds through to your job
  • [12:21] How to negotiate with borrowers that you or a colleague has a close relationship with 
  • [15:07] The importance of staying connected to business members rather than just making a loan
  • [19:12[ How to deal with a difficult or forgetful borrower in keeping up with after the loan 
  • [22:40] How to keep work, community and personal life separate in a smaller market setting


  • Erie Credit Union connects to their communities and serves at that ground level by helping people rebuild their personal credit. They also have employees go to local schools to teach financial literacy. 
  • The key to developing a healthy relationship with members is that give and take and needs to be centered around proper expectations. For instance, you may refer to a new loan as going to be expensive as a way to set expectations up front. 
  • Stay close with your borrowers after the fact by requesting financial information, tracking insurance, and even checking property taxes. This is how to keep a heartbeat on your borrowers and it helps mitigate any potential issues down the road with them.


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Nathan Crouch and Katrina Drake are longtime Erie residents who are dedicated to making sure their neighbors receive the financing they need through Erie Federal Credit Union.

Mark Ritter is the CEO of MBFS and an expert in credit unions and business lending. His primary role at MBFS is overseeing the strategy of helping credit unions assist members with business needs and consulting with credit unions on planning the delivery of services to their membership.

Mark Ritter Website

Mark Ritter on LinkedIn


“Consistency but simplicity is the key. It just makes life so much easier, along with checklists, to-do lists, examples, and templates.”

Katrina Drake

“I always like to tell my team that nobody’s ever been promoted for a witty social media post, but tens of thousands of people have been fired for such things.”

Mark Ritter