When Helber was hired as CEO of Tropical Financial in 2010, the credit union was running a deficit and being financially challenged by delinquent loans. In just two years, Tropical Financial again has an income surplus and has restored its net-worth ratio – a cushion against losses.
The “Professional of the Year” award recognizes a credit union professional in Alabama or Florida who advances the credit union movement in his or her state and the nation. The winner is recognized for efforts made to help credit unions grow and prosper.
Helber has also helped usher in innovations at Tropical Financial. During his tenure, the credit union introduced a mobile banking service, image enabled ATM machines, a new credit card program, and expanded its mortgage offerings. Most recently Tropical Financial redesigned its checking account packages, lowering their cost. When the public lashed back at banks for charging for debit cards, Tropical Financial immediately began a program to pay members $5 for using their debit card that was supported by advertising and public relations campaigns.
Helber has also been an advocate for the credit union movement. He has defended the non-profit status of credit unions against attacks from the banking industry, been active in political action committee initiatives and been an industry leader. He’s served on the Board of the National Automated Clearing House Association and The Tampa Chapter of the American Red Cross. He’s also been involved with the National Credit Union Foundation and currently serves on the Board of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions.