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Executive Profile , Joseph Schroeder

Joseph Schroeder’s identical twin brother always knew what he wanted to be.

“I hadn’t figured it out yet. We’re identical, but we have different skill sets,” said Schroeder, the president and chief executive officer of San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union.

Having dabbled in broadcasting and journalism, the basketball and volleyball player had a knack for marketing and communications.

By age 30, Schroeder had coached men’s college volleyball, had held a director and a vice president position at two credit unions, and had started a family in Pomona.

When a headhunter sought him out for a CEO position at Point Loma Credit Union, the then 35-year-old didn’t hesitate to accept.

Now head of SDMCU, Schroeder says he hopes he’s here to stay.

Stomaching an hour and 10 minute commute, Schroeder’s commitment to his work and his family is firm.

In the heat of fierce competition, he’s trying to narrow his market segment to government-related employees, instead of trying to be everything to everyone.

“San Diego may be the hardest competitive market for credit unions of any major city. If you’re going to work here, you better be ready to work hard and be strategically bright,” Schroeder said.


BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: Pick a market and don’t try to be all things to everyone.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Watch, analyze, act.

Guiding principles: Sharpen your ax before you chop wood.

Yardstick of success: Member satisfaction.

Goal yet to be achieved: 15 percent growth for three years in a row.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Pushed hard for merging ATM networks.

Worst business decision: Didn’t purchase stock in Star ATM network.

Toughest business decision: Career decisions.

Biggest missed opportunity: Real estate.

Mentors: My father and John Wooden (the retired UCLA basketball coach).

Word that describes you: Committed.


TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: Support from the board of directors.

What you like least about your job: The commute.

Pet peeves: Negative people.

Most important lesson learned: A sense of humor and hard work will take you a long way.

Person most interested in meeting: (Investor) Warren Buffet.

Three greatest passions: Family, golf, friends.

First choice for a new career: Education or coaching.


PREDILECTIONS

Favorite quote: “That dog don’t hunt.”

Most influential book: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” by Ken Kesey.

Favorite status symbol: My wife I married up.

Favorite restaurant: The Palette in San Diego.

Favorite place for business meetings: Maui.

Favorite vacation spot: Mammoth.

Favorite way to spend time: Golfing with family and friends.

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