Jenny Vipperman currently serves as the chief lending officer of VyStar Credit Union and while she has worked extensively in credit union lending management, her diverse background includes a wealth of other experience. After Jenny graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in psychology, she spent several years working in the automotive sector. This auto industry experience helped launch her credit union career when she was hired by a local credit union to create an in-house dealer finance division. While managing a successful lending unit, Jenny continued her higher education, and in 2010, she earned an MBA from George Mason University. That led her to career growth in the credit union lending field. As VyStar Credit Union’s chief lending officer, Jenny has a passion for not-for-profit work. Her mission is not only to help credit unions stay relevant but also to ensure they embrace changes within the industry and remain well-positioned to make a positive impact on the lives of their members and local communities.
VyStar is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and has roots that trace back to 1952 when it was chartered by 12 members with a combined $60 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Originally named Jax Navy Federal Credit Union, the mission of the founding members was to offer a safe place for civil service and military personnel and their families to save and borrow money. Today, at over $9 billion in assets, VyStar remains committed to serving all military personnel. It now has 59 full-service branches and an extended field of membership that includes anyone who lives or works in the 49 contiguous counties of Central to North Florida and four counties in Southeast Georgia.
Under Jenny’s direction, VyStar takes a different approach to lending. Traditional lenders involve numerous manual interventions while making loan decisions, but VyStar sees lending as a science rather than an art. That is why the credit union partnered with Zest AI, which focuses on data-driven lending that results in more automated loan decisions. Through that partnership, VyStar, the first credit union to work with Zest AI, seeks efficiency and consistency in lending, in addition to having the ability to approve more members.
Rather than specializing, VyStar strives to be equally strong in all areas of business to diversify and best serve all members. “Over the past three years, the credit union has updated its commercial, mortgage, and collections platforms as well as all of its core systems in order to remain a tech-forward institution,” Jenny says. With the help of those updates, as well as superior member service, VyStar has been ranked as Northeast Florida’s top mortgage lender and auto dealer while also boasting a robust commercial and credit card portfolio.
Jenny has been with VyStar since July 2018. Her responsibilities include leading a robust team of consumer, mortgage, and commercial lending employees, managing the risk and profitability of the loan portfolio, and driving innovation in lending. That type of work requires focusing on each individual detail, and Jenny is proud of the work she and her team are able to produce. “Our team is data-driven, technology-focused and puts our members first by delivering non-commoditized products and services to create the best experience and value for our members,” Jenny says. Each team member works to help VyStar deliver on that shared vision.
One of VyStar’s organizational goals is to empower employees to give back to their local communities. Jenny has always had a passion for helping others and shares in that core philosophy. As an avid supporter of the credit union cooperative and nonprofit organizations, Jenny serves on the board of the National Credit Union Foundation, which is focused on providing financial wellness, education, and support for credit unions as well as offering them relief during natural disasters. Jenny additionally serves on the board of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In 2019, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society named Jenny Woman of the Year in Northeast Florida and appointed her to chair the 2020 Man and Woman of the Year Campaign.
Chief Lending Officer
VyStar Credit Union
76 South Laura Street
Facebook: www.facebook.com/VyStarCU ꟾ @VyStarCU