January 23, 2012

Cover Story

The Utah Jazz

When Larry H. Miller bought the Utah Jazz in 1985, his intention was to give ...Read More

Featured Articles

A Change of Heart

A Seller’s Market


Industry Outlook
Travel and Tourism Industry Outlook

Legal Briefs
Is the Billable Hour Dead?

Kris Mecham

Business Trends
Face to Face

Juggling Acts

Cover Story
CEO of the Year

To Your Credit

Lessons Learned
Hitting the Target

Money Talk
Setting Up Your Own Shop

Kelly Saunders

Special Section
Out of the Office


Kris Mecham

Plowing Forward With Experience

Janine S. Creager

January 23, 2012

Kris Mecham is driven in more ways than one. Whether in his role as president and CEO of Deseret First Credit Union (DFCU), or on the golf course with his sons, Mecham is committed to whatever is required of him. “One of the things that golfers like to do is hit the driver off the tee,” says Mecham. But, he adds, in business as well as in golf, “It’s not how far they drive the ball, it’s how few strokes it takes you to get to the hole. At the end of the day, we’re the ones who provide the best service.” Although Mecham travels the region with DFCU, and across the country in his additional role as chairman of the board of directors of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), he still considers himself just a farm boy from Idaho. “I learned that sometimes, patience is far more valuable in achieving the desired result rather than being first,” he says, recalling his own anxiousness at seeing a neighbor’s field plowed before their own. “Many times my father would say, ‘You cannot rush the time of the field’ and would have me hold off a few days. Later, I learned there were many pitfalls ranging from creating more clods in an effort to groom the soil to exposing young plants to frost damage by planting too early.” This well-learned lesson, among many others, has stayed with Mecham throughout his life and career. At age 22, Mecham entered the credit union industry as a junior in college, when he was hired as the manager of the Atomic Workers (now Westmark) Credit Union in Blackfoot, Idaho. When graduation came, there was no place else he wanted to be. “The credit union business has been my entire career,” he says. “I saw my job as a means to the end [initially, but when I graduated], that’s when I committed full time to this industry.” But what was it about the credit union business that appealed to him at such an early age? “I would say that it was the personal connection to the members that was the biggest conversion for me to this industry,” he says. “I was in that branch for three years. I could have called over 60 percent of those [members] by name. My staff could have called all by name.” Even though the numbers are much larger, that sense of connecting to credit union members is still at the forefront of Mecham’s leadership. “We have always been member-oriented and focusing on member needs,” he explains. “When things got tough, they would come to their credit union seeking information. Our credibility has increased. We have never changed who we are and what we’ve done, nor will we.” Which takes him right back to his roots. Although times, circumstances and resources may change, those early lessons of creativity and imagination, in making do with what you have, and insuring a long-term resolution rather than a quick “bailing-wire” repair, have always paid off in the end. “My heart will always be a farm boy,” says Mecham who visits the family farm every other month. “I’m just a Pingree farm boy [caught up in the big city life]. I don’t take myself too seriously, and I think that’s what grounds me.”
Utah Business Social
UB Events View All
Best Companies to Work For 2015Utah Business Event
Dec 10, 2015
Utah Business magazine is thrilled to announce the 2015 Best Companies to Work for Event! This y...
Community Events View All
Empowering Self and Others: Become and Awakener
Dec 1, 2015
Uncover the secrets of empowerment. Whether you are a parent, a teacher or a Coach, you’ll find ...
Secrets to Financing your Business
Dec 1, 2015
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/december-1st-secrets-to-financing-your-business-tickets-19...

info@utahbusiness.com  |  90 South 400 West, Ste 650 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101   |  (801) 568-0114

Advertise with Utah Business

Submit an Event

* indicates required information
* Event Name:
Price (general):
Website (if applicable):
Coordinator's Name:
Coordinator's Email:
Coordinator's Phone:
Venue Name:
Venue Address:
Venue City:
Venue Zip:
Event Capacity:
* Event Description: