ELMExpress Newsletter - Fall 2017

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

A Note from Jon Veenis

This month, our team at ELM is celebrating our 23rd year of providing products and services to the

student loan industry. In addition to celebrating this milestone, we are proud to announce that ELM has been named one of the Top 50 Best Small Workplaces for 2017 by FORTUNE magazine! As noted in our last newsletter, based on the results of our 2016 team member survey, we were certified as a “Great Place to Work,” which made ELM eligible to be considered for FORTUNE magazine’s 2017 list of Best Small and Medium Workplaces. More details about this latest honor are included within this newsletter.

Also this month, we have re- leased several enhancements to ELMOne’s reporting functions. Within this release, we have expanded the number of reports that can be customized, used as templates, shared and scheduled. In addition, we are introducing a brand new re- port, the NDN Reconciliation Report, to assist you with reconciling disbursements and returns processed through the ELM National Disbursement Network. The “Enhancement Corner” of this newsletter provides more information about this release.

Did you begin your career in financial aid as a work- study student? One such financial aid professional, Danny Chiu, did so in the fall of 2008. He is now the Assistant Director of Loans at Boston University, and earlier this year, Boston University implemented ELM for processing private loans. As Danny was directly involved with implementing ELM, he shares his experiences with Boston University’s transition to ELM and how ELM has greatly improved their private loan process.

November is also the month in which we distribute our annual survey to our school customers. In this edition of the newsletter, we share some of the overwhelmingly positive comments and feedback that we have received. Many thanks to all of you who have responded. We place great value on your comments, feedback and suggestions as we work to continue our mission of providing the highest quality products and services in this our 23rd year.

Jon Veenis Chief Executive Officer

Jon Veenis has more than 37 years of financial services experience. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and President of ELM. Prior to joining ELM, Jon spent 30 years at Wells Fargo Bank, most recently serving as President of its Education Financial Services division. He also held other senior management roles at Wells Fargo. Jon served on the ELM Resources Board of Directors from 1996-2007 and from 2009 to the present (including a term as Chairman from 1999 to 2000). His other professional affiliations have also included Chair of the Education Funding Committee for the Consumer Bankers Association and as a board member of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP). He is current- ly serving as a board member on the National Student Clearinghouse Board of Directors. He holds a B.S. from South Dakota State University and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast School of Banking.

ELM Resources Named a “Best Small Workplace” by Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE Magazine!

In late 2016, ELM engaged the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct an anonymous survey of our team members. As described on the Great Place to Work website (www.greatplacetowork.com), their Trust Index© survey was used to assess our organization, “including the honesty and quality of communication by managers, degree of support for employees' personal and professional lives and the authenticity of relationships with col- leagues.” The survey was conducted in November 2016, and we were pleased to be certified as a Great Work- place by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® effective December 13, 2016.

Based on our being certified as a “Great Place to Work,” we were also eligible to be considered for Great Place to Work and FORTUNE magazine’s 2017 list of Best Small and Medium Workplaces. We are extremely pleased and honored to announce that ELM Resources has been named one of the Top 50 Best Small Workplaces for 2017!

“We are very proud of this honor and thank each of our individual team members for their support of ELM, their trust in our leadership team, and their commitment to continuing to make ELM better each day,” said Jon Veenis, Chief Executive Officer and President of ELM Resources. “In everything we do, we focus on providing exceptional customer service, maintaining open communication, cultivating teamwork, leading with integrity, and continually looking for ways we can improve and grow. We are so pleased to have this external validation that our team members enjoy coming to work, care about one another, and believe that they make a difference.”

More details regarding ELM’s survey results and work environment, along with a copy of the full list of the Top 50 Small Workplaces and ELM’s profile on Fortune.com can be found by following the links below:

The Annual ELM School Survey Results are In!

2017 School Satisfaction Survey:

Earlier this fall, we distributed our annual School Satisfaction Survey to our new and current school customers. We were so pleased with the results that we thought we would share some of the high- lights with you here.

ELM users continue to remain highly satisfied, rating overall satisfactions with ELM’s performance at 96%, marking 7 years in a row that we have achieved a score in the mid-90’s. Additionally our cus- tomers would also “Highly Recommend” ELM’s products and services with a continued rating of 90+%. ELM’s Systems and Operations continue to remain stable at 99.999% uptime. The continued enhancements with ELMOne continue to drive growth and customer satisfaction.

We also appreciate the open feedback many provided within the comments sections and look forward to speaking with you further.

Thank You! 

We offer our sincere thanks for responding to our surveys and for your support of ELM. Your feed- back is very important to us as the ELM team strives to provide the highest class of service to all of our customers. If you have comments or suggestions, we welcome them at any time.

We Want to Hear from You!

Your feedback is very important to us as we strive to provide the highest class of service to all of our ELM customers. It’s exactly for this reason that we want to make sure you know that your feedback is welcomed at any time during the year; not just as part of our annual surveys.

  • Would you like to share the details of a customer service experience you received from one of ELM’s team members?

  • Do you have a comment or suggestion that you would like to share regarding ELM’s current products/services?

  • Do you have a recommendation for a new ELM product or service?

  • Do you have other comments or suggestions that you would like to share with ELM?

If so, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact our National Service Center at: nsc@elmresources.com, (866) 524-8198 or via web chat.

Boston University Implements ELM! A Conversation with Danny Chiu

Q. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you started in financial aid, including the number of years you have been working in the industry?

A. My name is Danny Chiu, and I am the assistant director of loans at Boston University. I started off in

financial aid as a work-study student in Fall 2008. I liked financial aid enough that I transitioned to a full-time position after I graduated. I started off in the customer service side and eventually moved to the student loans side of financial aid. I have been in financial aid for 5 years (technically, 9 years if we count the 4 years as a work- study student).

Q. How many students are currently enrolled at Boston University and how many are currently receiving some type of financial aid?

A. Boston University is home to 33,617 students: 16,598 undergraduates, 14,150 graduates, and 2,478 non-degree seeking students.* The majority of our students receive some form of federal, state, institutional, or private financial aid. *(https://www.bu.edu/oir/files /2017/07/G3b-Fact- Sheet- FY2017.pdf).

Q. Boston University recently decided to implement ELM for private loan processing. What attracted you to ELM and what were your reasons for choosing ELM? Does ELM solve any issues you have with private loan processing?

A. We were attracted to ELM, because we wanted a one-stop service for our private loan certifications. Before ELM, we would have to log on to each lender’s certification website to process loan applications. We had to memorize a lot of passwords. Fortunately, with ELM, we only need to remember one password. The power to make adjustments to a loan on one website is a great improvement as well. In the past, we would have to go through different channels to make adjustments to the loans (some lenders needed phone calls, while others needed e-mail requests, etc.).

Q. Your implementation with ELM is complete. How was the overall ELM implementation experience?

A. The implementation with ELM went very smoothly. Kirk from ELM’s National Service Center was a great resource and assisted in the smooth transition. There was definitely a learning curve, but the website was very intuitive and easy to learn. The online resources that are available on the website also helped tremendously. In addition, the support staff was readily available for any questions either by chat, email, or phone.

Q. You worked with customer service to implement ELM and to receive ELM training. Was the training experience what you had anticipated? How was your experience with ELM’s customer service staff?

A. The training experience was what I had anticipated. We were given a walkthrough of the website via a videoconference. There were plenty of opportunities during the presentation to ask questions. Being able to view the trainings visually made it much easier to learn the new certification process. I’ve mostly used the chat service, but all the customer service staff that I have chat- ted with were very friendly and eager to assist me with any questions I may have. The response time is al- ways very quick!

Enhancement Corner

A recent release to ELMOne Reports expands the number of reports that can be customized, saved as templates, shared and scheduled! In addition, we have created a completely new report, the NDN Reconciliation Report, which can assist with reconciling your disbursements and returns processed through the ELM National Disbursement Network.

The four customizable reports are:

  • Certification Report

  • Disbursement Report

  • NDN Reconciliation Report – new!

  • Change Transaction Report

These reports offer the following functionality:

  • The ability to choose custom filters and sorting of data

  • The ability to select specific columns of data to be included

  • Report Templates can be saved and shared with other users

  • Report Scheduling allows users to set their report templates up to run on a schedule

  • Enhanced Report Details allows the user to review the report parameters and the report headers will pro- vide details on the filters and parameters selected

ELMOne User Manual and Training Videos

Need answers to questions regarding certifications, reporting, ELMSelect or other ELMOne related functions? You may always reach out to ELM’s National Service Center, but within ELMOne, we provide a robust suite of help and training materials including many “how to” videos.

To access the User Manual and Training Videos, click on the “Need Help” icon located at the top right hand side of any screen within ELMOne. You will then be directed to the “ELMOne Help & Training” page.

ELM Spotlight

Chris Aloi—Lead, Quality Assurance

Chris Aloi is one of ELM’s newest Quality Assurance Leads with a QA career spanning close to 19 years. Most recently he worked in eCommerce as a QA manager for Thompson Cigar Company of Tampa. In 2013, Chris was part of a team at PharMerica that was nominated for the Information Security Executive Award (ISE) of North America. Chris and his wife love spending time outdoors, enjoy watching Broadway Theater and traveling internationally.

Curtis Lewis - National Service Center Analyst

Curtis Lewis is a National Service Center Analyst. In this position he provides support and training to ELM school and lender users. Curtis joins ELM from MetLife where he provided day-to-day ad- ministration and management of National Account clients. In this position, he responded to client requests, acted as liaison between client and internal areas, and contributed to project status and stra- tegic planning meetings. In his free time, Curtis attends football games and cheerleading events with his wife and two children. He is also passionate about cooking and specializes in West-Indian cuisine.

Meg Mandakis – Lead, Application Developer

Meg Mandakis is a Lead Application Developer and is part of the database team that is responsible for maintaining and developing oracle and SQL server database and code. Meg recently joined ELM from American Express where she worked as a Lead Oracle Developer/Release Engineer. In this position, she was responsible for production deployments and more recently, she was part of a team that was responsible for maintaining existing systems. In her free time she enjoys running and scrapbooking.

Hart Penn—Senior Application Developer

As a Senior Application Developer for ELM, Hart is one of several team members responsible for the middle tier enhancements/defect remediation to the ELMOne website and the NDN application. Hart graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on software programming. Hart’s career spans 30 plus years working with a variety of technology companies including, Tandem Computers, Verizon Data Services, AOL, Citigroup and JPMorgan. Hart enjoys keeping current with technology and dabbling with electronics so much that when gas prices soared in 2008, he converted a regular internal- combustion-engine vehicle to an electric vehicle. Hart also enjoys staying healthy with exercise, eating well and listening to smooth jazz.

ELM Resources was founded in 1994 and is the only not-for-profit mutual benefit corporation serving the student loan industry today, including universities, colleges and lenders. ELM provides a common, non-proprietary and open data exchange and disbursement system that seamlessly links the diverse computing platforms of schools and lenders through its industry leading products, ELMNet and ELM NDN. ELM also offers a lender comparison solution, ELMSelect, for schools that pro- vides their own custom page to display a recommended lender list, offers students the ability to com- pare and select the loan that best fits their needs, and provides students with financial literacy information through its new optional “Financial Fundamentals” tool. Over 1,800 campuses use ELM Resources to send and receive loan data for alternative loans with the lender of their choice.


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