A natural-born problem solver, Michael Shuman never expected this innate quality to lead to a career in finance.
Shuman graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a liberal arts degree and earned his MBA from Suffolk University. The academic lessons and professional proficiencies he acquired led him to the now defunct Home Owners Savings Bank, where he became a mortgage originator following his graduation from UMass. “I had no idea at the time that lending would become my professional life, but it has,” he said.
In 2002, 10 years after Home Owners failed, Shuman’s career led to Medical Area Federal Credit Union, where he spent a decade helping to grow the loan portfolio from $25 million to just under $60 million. In September 2013, he joined Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union and, once again, resolved a decline in the loan portfolio after initiating a series of member-friendly strategic initiatives. Before he arrived at Merrimack Valley, the portfolio had reached its nadir at $228 million, but had began to slide. “By the end of this August, the portfolio grew to $268.2 million, an increase that exceeded 12 percent from the time I started at Merrimack Valley FCU,” he noted.
Additionally, Shuman adjusted the credit union’s policies to reflect the changing economic environment. Recognizing that the housing market had begun to stabilize, he grew the home equity and lines of credit at the credit union. “And new this year, we initiated a private student loan option, which has been very popular with our members,” he said.
When Shuman first joined the credit union, a “light went off.” He believes that credit unions offer the most humane approach to financial services.
“We look for resources to help our members,” he said. “We offer options, such as consumer credit counseling. We go out of our way to help and are always trying to get to ‘yes’ to help members reach their goals.”
Not only has Shuman invested himself wholeheartedly in his career, he also engages in community efforts at the two main charities sponsored by Merrimack Valley: Emmaus House, which provides transitional housing for the homeless, and the YMCA of Merrimack Valley. “I have been just a part of fundraising and awareness efforts,” he said. “Personally, I support UMass at every opportunity. Even more, my nephew is impacted by Primary Immunity Deficiency and I have been involved with the Jeffrey Modell Foundation to help find a cure.”
Shuman has been married to his nominator Andrea for nearly 23 years and has three nephews and two nieces that he adores. When he’s not relaxing with a good book or exercising at the gym, he and his wife like to travel. As for his career, he cited the biggest challenge, as well as the biggest accomplishment, as the ability to establish and implement successful strategies to grow loans, no matter the economic environment.