Cooperative Principles

We are a cooperative.  We are your credit union.

Credit unions are cooperatives which means they are owned by their members.  Cooperatives whether they be financial institutions, electrical cooperatives or food cooperatives, all share the same seven principles.

Principle #1
Voluntary and Open Membership
We are a voluntary organization, open to all people able to use our services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

Principle #2
Democratic Member Control
We are a democratic organization controlled by our members – those who buy the goods or use our services – who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.  The members elect a Board of Directors to call the shots.  We aren’t in this to get rich, but to help you reach financial freedom.

Principle #3
Members’ Economic Participation

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of our credit union.  Your success is our success.  The more people who participate, the more the credit union can give back in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings yields, fewer fees and more products.   Just like karma, what goes around comes right back around.

Principle #4
Autonomy and Independence
We are autonomous, a self-help organization controlled by our members.   We are not owned by shareholders.  That makes each member the boss.

Principle #5
Education, Training and Information
We provide education and training for our members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their credit union.  Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of credit unions.  We are actively involved in helping members get ahead and financial education.  Have a few minutes?  We are happy to share your credit score, tips to improve credit, budgeting or preparing for retirement.

Principle #6
Cooperation among Cooperatives

We network together to provide more ATMs than the world’s largest banks.  We also share 6,000 branches across the country that you can use.  In fact, we even share operational resources so that we can keep costs down.   We serve our members most effectively and strengthen the credit union movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

Principle #7
Concern for the Community
Credit Union folks everywhere participate and volunteer in all sorts of local charities — it’s just part of our DNA.  We live and work in the South Bay and we participate in community events.

About our Board of Directors and how to participate

Board of Directors
Our all-volunteer Board of Directors is made of members who lend their managerial and financial expertise to help guide the direction and mission of the credit union. Most adult members in good standing may run for election for a three-year term on the board of directors. At least one of the seats typically come up for election each year.

Meet our current Board Members or read below how you can become a candidate, vote, or just get more information about our board.

What does a Board Member do?
Board members are responsible for setting policies, approving budgets, and helping to direct the key strategies for the credit union. They evaluate operations and maintain financial performance standards for the credit union. They are also responsible for appointing the credit union’s President/CEO, who reports directly to the Board. Board positions are voluntary and unpaid; however, expenses related to Board business are paid for by the credit union.

Who can be a board member?
Candidates must be members in good standing and have served as a volunteer on the Supervisory Committee, Asset Liability Management Committee or as an Associate Director; be at least 18 years of age; be willing to agree to a criminal background check and a credit check, and be bondable.

What does it take to be a Board Member?Principle 2
Candidates should possess the personal qualities that are needed to enable them to serve the Credit Union well. They should be honest, unselfish and act for the good of the Credit Union’s members. They should be interested in the Credit Union and sufficiently generous to give their own time and skills to the affairs of the Credit Union. They must have the ability to understand and must be able to think for themselves.

How long does each Board Member serve?
The terms are for three years. Board members typically devote a minimum of approximately 6 – 8 hours per month to credit union business, including attending monthly Board meetings at our headquarters in Redondo Beach. Additional time may be spent gathering information and training. Courses of study are available to Board members to help them learn more about the operation of a financial institution.

What are the benefits of being a Board Member?
You’ll be a representative voice for your fellow members, and have a direct say in the overall direction of the credit union. You gain knowledge and experience about the running of a financial institution, strategic planning, and the credit union movement. Board members may also attend conferences and seminars on credit union topics in various locations throughout the country. It is a great way to become part of a unique organization that affects the financial lives of thousands of members.

What is the Supervisory Committee?

Your Supervisory Committee is an oversight committee comprised of three volunteers who are each elected to three-year terms by the general membership. The Committee’s responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring board and management activities
  • Providing for financial statement audits
  • Conducting annual member account verification
  • Verifying compliance with policies, procedures, rules, and regulations
  • Monitoring the internal control environment
Committee members fulfill these responsibilities by:
  • Periodically meeting with the internal auditor
  • Meeting periodically with regulatory examiners and financial statement auditors
  • Reviewing management reports
  • Attending periodic training seminars
Please contact us if you have questions, comments or concerns about your account or the credit union’s operations, you should first contact the credit union directly via e-mail at However, in the unlikely event that you are not satisfied with the response, you can appeal the matter to the Supervisory Committee which will conduct an additional, independent review. Supervisory Committee correspondence ONLY should be mailed to the following address: The Supervisory Committee, South Bay Credit Union, 312 N Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.

How to Apply to Volunteer

Apply for a volunteer position

We believe that every volunteer helps to make South Bay Credit Union a quality institution for our members and community. Applications to be considered for the Annual Meeting are due by February 28th; however, we accept applications anytime. Please complete the application and we will contact you shortly.

Meet Our Volunteers

South Bay Credit Union is guided by an all-member, volunteer Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee elected by the membership. These non-paid volunteers govern Credit Union policy and a professional Management team oversees daily operations.


Board of Directors
Chris Otey Chairman
Susan Darcy Vice-Chairman
Chuck Garland Secretary
Jerry Gaines Director
Viki Copeland Director
Tom Light Director
Tarek Shaer Director
Lenny Vallone Associate
Stephen Sullivan Associate


Supervisory Committee
Dan Inskeep Chairman
Perry Lynn Secretary
John Stewart Member