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Kathy Garner Marks 5-Year Milestone as Catalyst Corporate CEO
Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:40 AM

Kathy Garner

A lot can happen in five years. No one knows that better than Catalyst Corporate President and CEO Kathy Garner. This month marks Garner’s fifth anniversary at the company’s helm, and she’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

“It’s gone by really fast,” said Garner. “Helping credit unions with payment services, back-office support, and balance sheet management services for the last five years has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Neither she nor the company would be where they are today without support from those around her, Garner noted. “Collaboration is critical to our business model. None of us are big enough to do everything on our own.”

Garner believes achieving much of Catalyst Corporate's mission requires alliances. “Building value takes collaboration,” she said. “Working together yields significant benefits for credit unions and their members.”

One of these collaborative efforts came to fruition over the last year, as Catalyst Corporate and Alloya Corporate rolled out the TranzCapture products. “TranzCapture, a next-generation suite of remote deposit services, not only provides streamlined functionality with a host of convenient new features but also enables the two corporates to manage service costs and improvements,” said Garner. “And our partnership with Alloya only enhances this mission; no one else is doing this.”

Another successful collaborative effort, Garner said, has been Catalyst Corporate’s loan participation program. “We’ve been able to help redistribute nearly $1.5 billion in liquidity among credit unions in an economic climate where the ability to do so is vital.”

Catalyst Corporate’s collaborative efforts don’t end there. Garner relies heavily on feedback from her senior management team, staff, and members.

“When decisions need to be made, I want to look at things from all sides,” she said. “I want a lot of input, and I rely on my team for that input—they’re smarter than I am! Everybody needs to feel like they can tell me the good and the bad because I value the expertise they bring to the table.”

In the five years Garner has served as CEO, she’s never feared walking into a credit union because, she said, Catalyst Corporate’s members are so positive. “Our members appreciate that we’re innovative with services, systems, and processes. They feel comfortable giving me feedback on ways to improve our services, and they always deliver it in a constructive manner.” Garner adds, “I’m always willing to make changes to improve.”

Some changes may come sooner rather than later. Garner noted the increase in industry regulations and cybersecurity requirements. “Requirements for product delivery and infrastructure have changed the way we do business,” she said. 

Many of these regulations were put into place 7-8 years ago during and after the recession. Corporates need to work together with the NCUA to "right-size" these requirements to better reflect today’s market, she said.

In the next few years, Garner expects Catalyst Corporate to continue providing value to credit unions, to stay innovative, and to look for new partnership opportunities. “It’s not enough to just develop products,” she said. “I want to develop them with credit unions. I want to continue to seek feedback and collaborate with other corporates. Moving forward, efficiency is key.”

Catalyst Corporate is an endorsed five-star business partner of Credit Union Resources, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Union Resources.