CUNA Research Center and Ensweiler Library Open at ACUM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2018
(Manchester, NH) – The CUNA Research Library at America’s Credit Union Museum was unveiled Wednesday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 
 
The new CUNA Research Center is a result of a $3.3 million campaign that completely renovated an unused building next to the Museum.   Credit Union National Association (CUNA) was the lead sponsor with a gift of $1 million.  Campaign funds will also be used for a second phase which will renovate the main Museum building; add new exhibits; and digitize documents so they can be made available to credit unions, credit union partners, and researchers across the county either physically or electronically.
 
At the ceremony, Michael L’Ecuyer, Chairman of the Museum and President/CEO of Bellwether Community Credit Union, thanked CUNA by saying, “Good trade associations are effective advocates for their constituents; great trade associations also develop and deliver relevant industry products and services to members.  Exceptional trade associations do all of the above and while looking for opportunities to transform their industry.  CUNA’s investment in the Museum was one of those opportunities.  For that we are forever thankful.”
 
Jim Nussle, President and CEO of CUNA said, “Sometimes you go to a Museum and all you care about is the past.  With the opening of the CUNA Research Center, it gives us the opportunity to talk about the future and to celebrate the innovative things credit unions are going to be able to do in the future.  CUNA is honored to be part of this.  We invite all credit unions to come to the CUNA Research Center to celebrate history and to get ready for an exciting future.”

The ceremony also featured a dedication of the Richard “Dick” L. Ensweiler Research Library.  Dick Ensweiler, long-time credit union leader and recently retired CEO of the Cornerstone Credit Union League, and his family were present for the event.   Dick remarked, “To see my name here is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  The spirit and energy I gave was because it was something I love.”

Chuck Fagan and Lois Kitsch Named as Directors of America’s Credit Union Museum

MANCHESTER, NH – America’s Credit Union Museum (ACUM) today announced the appointment of Chuck Fagan and Lois Kitsch to its Board of Directors.
 

“We are delighted to welcome Chuck and Lois to our board,” said Stephanie Smith, Executive Director of America’s Credit Union Museum.  “Chuck and Lois will add to the incredible leadership we already have represented on our board.  Chuck brings a valuable perspective of our industry from the vantage point of one of the largest CUSOs in the country.  Lois has lived and reinforced the values of credit unions for so many years.  Her passion and commitment to the credit union difference adds depth to our board as well.  I look forward to working with both Chuck and Lois.”

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Charles E. “Chuck” Fagan, III is President and CEO of PSCU, a credit union service organization that leverages the cooperative model to enable credit union growth and to provide an unparalleled member experience through service delivery, access to best-in-class payments solutions, partnerships with payments industry leaders and scale.  Prior to being named CEO of PSCU, Fagan was the CEO of Credit Union Executive’s Society (CUES).  “PSCU strives to serve as an advocate for the credit union industry as a whole, and one of the ways we have done this is as a long-time supporter of America’s Credit Union Museum. The Museum is truly unique in that it provides visitors with a dynamic, multi-dimensional experience that brings the credit union story of collaboration and cooperation to life,” said Fagan.  “I am proud to join the board on behalf of PSCU to help further the Museum’s mission to celebrate the legacy of credit unions over the past 100 years, as well as the important role credit unions play in the lives of members and communities across the country today.”

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Lois Kitsch is the co-founder of CU Difference, a consulting firm focused on helping credit unions optimize member experience, build member and staff capacity, and leverage community development.

She previously served as the National Program Director of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Development Education program.  “Celebrating our past is essential for all forward 

thinking credit union organizations.  The day-to-day credit union operations have changed dramatically since the inception of credit unions but our mission remains the same -  providing access to quality financial service to enhance member lives,” remarked Kitsch. “The Credit Union Museum provides us a glimpse into the early years of credit unions while remaining forward thinking and should be a credit union’s favorite partner.”

With the appointment of Fagan and Kitsch, America’s Credit Union Museum’s board consists of twelve members, including: Michael L'Ecuyer, President/CEO, Bellwether Community Credit Union, NH; Ronald H. Covey, Jr., President/CEO, St. Mary's Bank Credit Union, NH; Paul Gentile, President, Cooperative Credit Union Association, (MA, RI, NH, DE); Shawn Gilfedder, President/CEO, McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, NJ; Peter J. Lemire, Esq., Lemire Family Representative; Todd Mason, President/CEO, Maine Credit Union League/Synergent; Jim Nussle, President/CEO, Credit Union National Association; Bill Raker, President/CEO, Firefly CU, MN; Michael Ray, CEO, Hoya Federal Credit Union, DC; and Bob Trunzo, President/CEO, CUNA Mutual Group.

The Museum is finishing construction of the CUNA Research Center and Richard L. “Dick” Ensweiler Research Library.  A Grand Opening is being held June 27, 2018 at the Museum.  For additional information, visit https://www.acumuseum.org/grandopening/.   Tours of the Museum and Research Center are available during the CUNA America’s Credit Union Conference June 28-July 1.  For tour information contact the Museum at (603) 629-1553.

 

America's Credit Union Museum Looks To the Future with the CUNA Research Center

Here at the museum this month we are celebrating Founders' Day. On April 6, 1909, the first credit union charter was signed in the state of New Hampshire establishing St. Mary's Bank as the first credit union in America. In the first two parts of this blog, we have looked at what it took to found and create the museum as it stands now. Today, we look to the future of the credit union museum with the grand opening of the CUNA Research Center.

The CUNA Research Center and Dick Ensweiler Library is the result of the museum’s Legacy Campaign, a three-year capital campaign with a goal of raising $3.3 million to create a new industry research center, expand exhibit space and provide renovations to the existing building.

The physical and electronic industry research center will make credit union history more accessible, while the additional exhibit space and upgraded conference facilities will enable credit union professionals, legislators and citizens to experience firsthand the unique role credit unions play in the marketplace.

We are excited to take you on the next step of our journey. Don't miss this behind-the-scenes look at the renovation, and RSVP today to attend the grand opening in June.

How Gilberte Boivin Brought America's Credit Union Museum to Life

This month we are celebrating Founders' Day through a series of articles detailing the founding of the museum. In the first part, we talked about how the building came to be donated with the intent to make it the only repository of credit union history in America. Today, we're going to take a closer look at the woman who appeared at the closing of that transaction, Gilberte Boivin Amyot-Brosseau.

 Gilberte Boivin Amyot-Brosseau, daughter of the first credit union manager

Gilberte Boivin Amyot-Brosseau, daughter of the first credit union manager

Gilberte Boivin was the daughter of the first credit union manager, Attorney Joseph Boivin, and witnessed the birth of cooperative credit in America. When she appeared at the closing of the museum building, she became an invaluable resource in restoring the building to how it would have looked in 1908 when the first credit union opened.

Gilberte gave us two key insights that were critical to the restoration: the physical layout of the building and the operations of the first credit union.

Gilberte's description of the physical building allowed an accurate restoration to transpire. Most importantly, she said there were originally three floors to the building, but her brother, a dentist who had practiced in the building, had divided the upper floors into apartments, which had to be undone. Gilberte went on to detail every room of the main floor so when the walls between the front two rooms was demolished, the pocket doors she had said were there were discovered. The credit union was to have operated out of the front room of the home, but Gilberte indicated it was actually set up in the room to the left of the main entrance, which her father called his office even though he had a legal office in the Kennard Building on Elm Street in Manchester. Therefore, the room to the left of the front entrance was restored to the office Boivin had once kept there. And finally, the room beyond the dining room was Gilberte's room, the one she shared with her sister. It was here that the children's room of the museum was established in honor of Gilberte and her sister.

But it was in the details of the operations of the first credit union that Gilberte conveyed such important nuances. Such as the deacon's bench which now sits in the front entrance hallway. There was a bench in the original structure where credit union members would wait to see Attorney Boivin on credit union business. Again, it was said the front room of the house was given to Mosignor Hevey for use in his credit union, but it was, in fact, the room to the left of the entrance. Gilberte would reflect that at night, she could hear her father conducting business because her room was just on the other side of the wall.

These intimate details were luckily captured in a series of videos, and they are now available to us for reference and can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

To see how Gilberte's recollections were turned into a restoration, watch a museum come to life in this video.

The Beginnings of America's Credit Union Museum

In 1994, Ron Rioux, then President and CEO of St. Mary's Bank, the first credit union in America, considered an ornate, early 19th century apartment building at the top of the hill behind his office on MacGregor Street in Manchester, NH.

To anyone else, the building he considered would have looked just like any other dwelling on the West Side of Manchester. A stately edifice that had been subdivided into apartments. It's front was ordained in wide, sweeping balconies that would give its occupants a splendid view of Layfayette Park and the city beyond. It hugged the sidewalk as back when it was erected, there was no concern for motorized traffic. It sat close to its neighbor, a narrow alley running between the two, and it was any wonder how light penetrated the windows on that side of the building.

But the building at 420 Notre Dame Avenue was no ordinary building. In 1908, it had been home to Attorney Joseph Boivin and his family. Boivin practiced law on Elm Street in Manchester, the city's main thoroughfare, and he was a dedicated citizen in many respects having served on municipal committees and actively participating in his parish.

It was Attorney Boivin who was selected to manage America's first credit union when the parishioners of Ste. Marie's decided to form a cooperative credit institution in order to provide financial services they felt uncomfortable receiving on Elm Street due to language barriers. The parishioners of Ste. Marie's spoke French while the banks of Elm Street were riddled with English.

So it was that Attorney Boivin began the credit union right in his home at 420 Notre Dame.

 Joanne J. (1936-2006) andArmand R. (1935-2003) Lemire were proud of their heritage and dedicated to the preservation of history in Manchester.

Joanne J. (1936-2006) andArmand R. (1935-2003) Lemire were proud of their heritage and dedicated to the preservation of history in Manchester.

Mr. Rioux had the foresight to ask the occupants of 420 Notre Dame if they would sell their building as Mr. Rioux wished to preserve the history of America's credit union movement. But the occupants of 420 Notre Dame were not interested in selling.

They donated the building instead.

In 1994, Armand and Joanne Lemire donated their building at 420 Notre Dame to America's Credit Union Museum Foundation with the intent to see the building used as a museum to capture the history of cooperative credit in America and to educate the future of credit unions.

We asked our board member, Peter Lemire, Esq., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lemire for his reflections on the exchange:

Armand R. (1935-2003) and Joanne J. Lemire (1936-2006), parents of Michael, Dennis, David, Kevin, and Peter, purchased the buildings of 418-420 Notre Dame Avenue in Manchester, NH on January 10th, 1986.

Armand and Joanne were very proud of their French-Canadian heritage and grew up in Manchester, NH, on the West Side, and East Side (of the Merrimack River) respectively.

Both of my parents grew up speaking French as their first language in the household and only learned English as they reached Grammar school age.  

Early on in their early teenage years, both of my parents worked in the very textile mills where the immigrant members of La Caisse Populaire Ste. Marie labored to give their families a brighter future.

Among the mills where my parents worked were Pandora, Waumbec, and Manchester Knitting Mills. Armand became proficient in the mixing of dyestuffs for textiles and became a colorist/dyer.

As a result of their experience in the many years laboring in the mills, Armand and Joanne founded their own dyestuff and chemical company, Colonial Color and Chemical Company (solely for textiles) in the early 1980s and grew it into a very successful venture until the winds of manufacturing in America turned southward and abroad in the mid to late 1990s.

During the heyday of Colonial Color, they purchased the 418-420 Notre Dame property (along with the adjacent Amory Street building) on January 10th, 1986.

During their stewardship of the buildings, it housed the family business (Colonial Color), in addition to a beauty salon, and also was the residence of Armands' mother (Alberta) in her later years, as well as sons David and Michael.

Armand and Joanne were very proud of their French Canadian heritage, as well as their hometown of Manchester, and with a distinct knowledge of the historical significance of these buildings, decided to donate them unselfishly in the name of historical preservation and the legacy of the credit union movement in America on October 20th, 1994.

 The Lemire family at the closing in 1994.

The Lemire family at the closing in 1994.

Prior to their deaths, they were able to see the project come to completion with the grand opening of the museum in 2002.

They dedicated their benevolence to their parents as indicated on a placard located next to the main entrance. Their profound generosity and connection to the textile mills that gave rise to the nations first credit union, is a story that deserves to be told, remembered, and celebrated.  Armand and Joanne grew up in poverty and achieved their version of the American dream, and in the process, made the dream of America’s Credit Union Museum, a reality.

At the Closing

At the closing, an elderly woman came in with a younger woman in tow and asked if she may sit in on the transaction. As the closing was a public occurrence, they said of course. She sat quietly in the back until the transaction was processed and when it was all finished she came forward.

She identified herself as Gilberte Boivin, the daughter of the first credit union manager.

Next week, we'll discover the invaluable assistance Gilberte provided in the restoration of America's first credit union.

Celebrating the Founding of America's First Credit Union

On April 6, 1909, the first credit union charter was signed in the state of New Hampshire for St. Mary's Bank. Originally called Le Caisse Populaire, Ste-Marie, the credit union first opened in the building that now houses the museum.

In memory of this historic event, the museum will celebrate Founders' Day for the entire month of April. Through exclusive blog posts and social media updates, we will examine the founding of the credit union and the transformation of the building into the museum it is today. Stay tuned for an exciting month of insight into the birth of cooperative credit in America.

See It At the Museum

The original charter from April 6, 1909 can be viewed in Attorney Joseph Boivin's office on the first floor of the museum. See this and many more artifacts from America's first credit union at the museum.

An Interview with Stacey Walker, Esq., Board Director XCEL Federal Credit Union

Today we're capping off our celebration of Women's History Month with an interview with Stacey Walker, Esq., Board Director at XCEL Federal Credit Union. Walker truly exemplifies the credit union tenet of people helping people and perfectly completes our celebration of women in the credit union movement.

What has been your journey in cooperative credit?

 Stacey Walker receiving the CU Times Trailblazer Volunteer of the Year Award

Stacey Walker receiving the CU Times Trailblazer Volunteer of the Year Award

My journey in cooperative credit started when I was very young. I joined my credit union while in high school; it was the only financial institution that allowed me to have an account as a minor without requiring parental approval for deposits or withdrawals.  My first job was a summer intern at Smith Barney, and my second job was working in the Payroll Department of the Social Security Administration. Even as a minor, it was clear to me then that I needed a reliable financial institution where I could deposit my hard-earned money and handle my finances on my own. After several disappointing visits to many banks in my community, I was introduced to my credit union. While working for the federal government, I needed direct deposit and a coworker suggested the credit union downstairs. I inquired and opened an account the same day. After completing higher education years later, I decided to volunteer as a board member at my credit union. Prior to joining the board, I completed a nonprofit board training program by the United Way to learn about board responsibilities. Over a decade later, I am happy with my experience as a volunteer credit union board director.

Why credit unions? What makes you passionate for cooperative credit?

 Stacey Walker with her host family and staff of COOP-HERRERA during her welcome dinner while participating in a fellowship under WOCCU's International Credit Union Leadership Program

Stacey Walker with her host family and staff of COOP-HERRERA during her welcome dinner while participating in a fellowship under WOCCU's International Credit Union Leadership Program

I love the credit union movement because it transcends cultures and communities. We believe in people helping people, and we help all people. I have witnessed this near and far by being involved in the credit union movement. In Kenya, I participated in the Global Women's Leadership Network engagement program to discuss financial options for a rural female-led orphanage. In the Dominican Republic, I worked as a U.S. Department of State Professional Fellow and learned about the work of open bond community credit unions. In Hong Kong, I also presented at a World Council of Credit Unions Conference on student-run credit unions in America and how they help our youth. Likewise, my credit union has opened its doors to share with others about how we help members. XCEL Federal Credit Union has hosted local forums open to all credit union volunteers in New Jersey, and XCEL was the only US credit union to host a group of over 30 cooperative leaders from Brazil on their North American tour. Credit union volunteers and professionals welcome foreign and domestic counterparts with great passion, transparency, and hospitality.  My passion is nurtured then by likeminded individuals who also believe in the cooperative movement. Together we do great things for our communities across borders and even language barriers. 

What is going to be critical to the future of credit unions?

 Stacey Walker handing out candy at Busia Orphanage in Kenya during the Global Women's Leadership Network Engagement Program

Stacey Walker handing out candy at Busia Orphanage in Kenya during the Global Women's Leadership Network Engagement Program

Critical to our credit union future is our ability to compete with other traditional and non-traditional financial service providers, to connect with future generations as potential members, and to stay true to our purpose. Currently, there is a lot of discussion surrounding the first two points but the latter is equally important. Credit unions were created by people who could not easily obtain credit at an inexpensive cost. In essence, the earliest credit unions served primarily the unbanked and underbanked segments of our population. As credit unions grow and hit various benchmarks in this very competitive financial market, it is important for credit unions to not lose sight of our shared and humble foundation. I believe that distinction differentiates us and appeals to future generations. 

If you could give one piece of advice to a young credit union professional, what would it be?

To young credit union professionals (and volunteers too!), I would encourage them to network as much as possible. Credit union professionals are open to discussing ideas and best practices to solve problems. Using a variety of platforms, credit union professionals can network, gain professional development, and share information with others.  From the WhatsApp group for worldwide young credit union professionals to the National Youth Involvement Board listserv for credit union educators to a Young Professionals Network sponsored by your league to the Crashers program for professionals under age 35 that support attendance to various conferences, there are many ways for young professionals to network with others in this movement. Networking will open doors, introduce you to lifelong contacts, and enhance your credit union experience. 

Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.

 Stacey Walker with Jorge Eligio Mendez, Chairman of COOP_HERRERA

Stacey Walker with Jorge Eligio Mendez, Chairman of COOP_HERRERA

My family is from the beautiful island of Jamaica. One of the proudest moments of my credit union experience was being invited to participate as a mentor during the Caribbean Development Educators Program (CaribDE) in Jamaica. At CaribDE, I met other credit union professionals and volunteers while learning a lot about the history of the Caribbean movement. I also learned about Jamaican credit unions from my cousin who started working at a credit union in Manchester, Jamaica the same year I became a credit union volunteer. Over a decade later, we still are committed to our credit union involvement. We talk about credit unions, and we also talk about farming. Our grandfather was a farmer and that farm is still maintained by my family. Today, that farm provides fresh produce to many hotels throughout Jamaica. Incidentally, another proud moment was when I attended a Directors' Conference in Jamaica and discovered that the host hotel was serviced by my family's farm in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica. I love when my two worlds come together while serving as a credit union board director. 

Spotlight on Annie Vamper, a Legend of the Credit Union Movement

We're continuing our celebration of Women's History Month with a spotlight on Annie Vamper, one of the first African-American employees of the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions (today NCUA).

Vamper started her credit union career with the College City Elks Lodge FCU. During the 1960s, she organized, chartered, and trained staff of 12 neighborhood credit unions. She worked in credit union management in the 1970s, and then returned to work with the NCUA until 1983 as second in command of the Community Development Credit Union division. Her career in credit unions spanned over 30 years.

See It at the Museum: African-Americans in Credit Union History

Vamper holds a place of honor on our African-Americans in Credit Union History exhibit. Come learn more about Vamper and the role of African-Americans in the credit union movement.

An Interview with Paris Chevalier, Chief Marketing Officer at Xceed Financial Credit Union

 Paris Chevalier, Chief Marketing Officer of Xceed Financial Credit Union, making pancakes on Associate Appreciation Day.

Paris Chevalier, Chief Marketing Officer of Xceed Financial Credit Union, making pancakes on Associate Appreciation Day.

We are continuing our celebration of Women's History Month today by sitting down with Paris Chevalier, Chief Marketing Officer at Xceed Financial Credit Union.

What has been your journey in cooperative credit?

When I began my career in marketing, I really knew nothing about credit unions. I was working on the agency side on major corporate accounts, when the opportunity arose to do marketing at Kinecta Federal Credit Union. It was there, 15 years ago, that I first fell in love with the credit union movement’s philosophy of “people helping people” and met some amazing women – in particular, Teresa Freeborn who is now Xceed’s CEO, and Kathryn Davis who used to hold my current position. They brought me to Xceed Financial and have been awesome mentors to me.

Over the years, working my way up through the ranks to Chief Marketing Officer for Xceed, my passion and appreciation for financial cooperatives grew exponentially as I’ve come to understand how that distinguishes us from for-profit banks. Of course, I’ve also had a front row seat to witnessing how what we do can really transform a member’s life. More than anything else, that’s what gets me excited to come to work each day!

It’s also been really gratifying to have my role and responsibilities expand and grow. Our Board volunteers and my fellow executives at Xceed recognize that today’s competitive environment requires marketing and branding to permeate virtually every corner of the Credit Union, so in my position today, I oversee Business Development, Culture & Talent Development, and eStrategy, along with Marketing & Communications.

Why credit unions? What makes you passionate for cooperative credit?

 Chevalier hiking the hill at GAC with Teresa Freeborn, Xceed's CEO, and Representative Adam Schiff

Chevalier hiking the hill at GAC with Teresa Freeborn, Xceed's CEO, and Representative Adam Schiff

As a credit union owned and operated by our members, we truly are different from for-profit banks that are all about squeezing every nickel and dime out of their customers. It’s a totally different perspective when, instead of asking yourself “How much more can we charge for this?” like a bank would, you’re always trying to figure out “How can we add more value for members?” and “Is there any way we can make this more affordable for members?”

The research confirms that different mindset makes credit unions a better choice for consumers, but I don’t need studies to prove it – every day, I’m hearing stories about how our associates are helping members to achieve their financial goals, and really transform their financial lives. It’s no overstatement to say that a person’s financial habits affect absolutely everything in their life, so to me it’s more a question of how could I not be passionate for cooperative credit!

I’m also personally passionate about inclusion and diversity, in the workplace and society at-large. Certainly credit unions still as a group have a ways to go, but the “people helping people” mantra that is the cornerstone of the movement has put us light years ahead of others in the financial services space.

What is going to be critical to the future of credit unions?

No question about it: the future of credit unions turns on our ability to stay relevant to members in this fast-changing digital age. Beyond the big banks that have always worked to crush us, we have a multitude of new competitors now trying to nibble away at our core businesses. Many of those fintechs have a cachet with younger consumers, and we simply can’t afford to be-or be seen as-old-school, mom-and-pop shops anymore. Instead, the credit unions that survive will be the ones that find ways to combine the traditional values of credit unions with up-to-the-minute technology, products and services that make banking with us easy, convenient and frictionless. We absolutely can do it! In fact, we have a leg-up on the competition because many younger consumers are demanding social responsibility from those with whom they do business. Among our biggest challenges will be hiring and retaining the top talent we need, who can help us to challenge the status quo and keep us nimble, efficient and innovative.

 Chevalier with hands photocopied by children who attended Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Chevalier with hands photocopied by children who attended Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young credit union professional, what would it be?

Be authentic and forge your own path. I started my career in branding, and back then I expected to climb the same corporate ladder my agency peers were ascending. I never imagined working at a credit union, but I’m so grateful that I was open to the opportunity presented to me and fully embraced it. I now have a career that is incredibly rewarding, and I’m privileged to be working with credit union leaders across the country to enact positive change and to shape the future of our industry. None of this would have happened if I’d stayed on the beaten path!

Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.

A lot of people know I’m into music, but only a few know that I’m slightly obsessed with concerts. I’m actually a super-fan of Pearl Jam and will be traveling to Seattle, aka Grunge Ground Zero, to see them live. So, that’s one bucket list item that will be checked off!

An Interview with Lois Kitsch, CUDE, National Program Director at the National Credit Union Foundation

Today we continue our celebration of Women's History Month by sitting down with Lois Kitsch, CUDE, National Program Director at the National Credit Union Foundation. Known for her amazing work with the DE program at the Foundation, Lois will soon be retiring to start her next adventure, but we wanted to capture her story before she did.

 Lois Kitsch, CUDE, National Program Director, National Credit Union Foundation

Lois Kitsch, CUDE, National Program Director, National Credit Union Foundation

Why credit unions? What brought you to the credit union movement?

I started my career in finances at a local bank in the small rural community in North Dakota. After  about four or five years in the bank, a family member suggested I apply at the local credit union. At the time, this credit union had 300 members and less than a million dollars in assets. I was interested in a change so I applied and got the job. I had no idea what a credit union was or that my involvement in credit unions was about to change my life for good. This came about from participation in 1986 in the DE program. Once DE ignited my passion for helping people, I never looked back. 

Your influence on the DE program has been exponential. What is the one thing you hope each of your students takes away from the program to bring back to their every day life? 

DE is a six day immersion program into all things credit unions. This popular Foundation program is held four times per year in Madison, Wisconsin. I hope that every DE leaves excited about credit unions and committed to helping members build financial health. Each DE commits to a DE project either within their credit union or within their community. Powerful change is happening because DEs really believe in the power of building communities one person at a time. 

You have done so much to facilitate building financial capabilities through cooperatives around the world. Tell us about one such project that has always stuck with you and why.

I have had the opportunity to visit almost 60 countries and around 40 of them working with credit unions – so it is really hard to pick just one. In the Philippines our project (World Council of Credit Unions) transformed struggling credit unions into dynamic and progressive financial intuitions that served thousands of marginalized families. One of my favorite projects there was a micro-finance program run for women through credit unions. Within a five-year span some 25,000 women were participating by growing small business into profitable enterprises. I can also point to my time in Afghanistan where I was working for WOCCU to secure funding to run a project to build new credit unions. WOCCU went on to do amazing work in establishing financial cooperatives for a war torn country whoSE citizens were largely unbanked.  Today I am doing some interesting work in Africa which will provide expanded opportunities for women and youth in credit unions. 

When we think of the DE program, we think of you, but your career and life have been so much more than just DE. What one achievement, personal or professional, do you want people to reflect on now that you’re retiring?

DE has been a central part of my life for more than 30 years, and it has been a labor of love for so many people. While I am retiring from the Foundation, I do plan to continue working with credit unions with a well-known credit union professional, Mark Lynch.  A domestic program I am really proud of is the Foundation’s Life Simulation. Our program team including Mark and Andy Johnson built a life simulation focused on credit union members. This experiential learning program allows credit union professionals and others to walk in the shoes of members and live the day-to-day trials that members are facing.  This tool is perfect for staff training to build a united front around the benefit of serving members. It also shows that empathy for member stories is really good for the bottom line.

What challenges do you foresee ahead for cooperative credit? Is there anything that you would like to tell a young credit union professional to help him or her grapple those challenges ahead?

I think the future for credit unions is bright. The biggest threat to credit unions is internal. If we forget our mission and live only for profits, we will cease to be. Credit unions must recognize and value the business opportunity in living our mission. The Foundation is primed ready to help credit unions do just that. 

I seldom give advice, but after 38 years in credit unions, I would tell a young professional to find balance in their lives – that home and family are important. On the other hand, do not expect someone to give you opportunities – earn them through hard quality work. Find a mentor whom you trust to help you grow your professional path and enjoy every day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Fight for the big stuff and find your passion somewhere in the middle. 

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And for fun - tell us something about yourself that no one knows.

I am such an open book that I don’t have any secrets – So I will give you a perfect day – it starts in early morning enjoying  nature with people I love ( my favorite place on earth is the Masai Mara in Kenya) and ends with a glass of wine with friends and family as the sun sets.

Spotlight on Louise McCarren Herring, the Mother of Credit Unions

In celebration of Women's History Month, we will be profiling several women in the credit union movement who have made an impact, both past and present. Today we turn the spotlight on Louise McCarren Herring, named the mother of credit unions by the Ohio General Assembly in 1976.

In 1934, Herring was the youngest delegate to the Estes Park Conference, and from there, her credit union career flourished. She would go on to personally establish over 500 credit unions in the state of Ohio. She founded the Ohio Credit Union League and took on the role of its first managing director. Even more, she founded the National Deposit Guaranty Corporation and acted as its director.

In 1983, Herring was inducted into the national Cooperative Hall of Fame, but recognition of Herring's dedication to the credit union movement did not stop at her death in 1987. In 1998, the Ohio Credit Union League created the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was first given posthumously to Herring, and in 2003, CUNA created the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action.

See It At the Museum: The Louise McCarren Herring Exhibit

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As befitting her legacy in Ohio, you will find an exhibit honoring Louise Herring in our Hall of States. Come learn more about Herring and the credit union movement in Ohio.

Spotlight on the African-American Credit Union Coalition

We capping off our celebration of Black History month by sitting down with Renee Sattiewhite, Executive Director of the African-American Credit Union Coalition to find out more about the organization.

For those who are not familiar with the AACUC, tell us about the organization’s mission and how it works to achieve it.

AACUC’s mission and diversity statement are the core of what the organization strives to achieve in the credit union space. Our mission is to increase diversity within the credit union community through advocacy and professional development.

Here is our Statement on Diversity:

The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) recognizes the differences and distinctions of each individual, group, or organization that are represented in society and within the credit union movement.  In alignment with the AACUC’s history and goals, we define diversity in our mission to express the inclusion, advocacy, and support of African-Americans throughout the credit union community and at large.   Notwithstanding, the AACUC welcomes the membership of all individuals, groups and organizations in furtherance of its mission to strengthen the global credit union movement. 

AACUC accomplishes this through collaborating with members on the Advocacy Committee, other trade organizations such as the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions, World Council of Credit Unions CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group.

Our Mentorship Committee, the Reaching Toward the Future Internship Program and are annual conference are great avenues to provide professional development opportunities. Members of our Board of Directors and Leadership speak at different conferences throughout the year along with participating on panels sharing their various experiences and “how to’s” in moving up the corporate ladder.

Credit unions are facing many challenges from advancing technology to a shifting workforce as baby boomers retire and the next generation comes up to the plate. How can AACUC help credit unions and credit union professionals meet these changing demands in the movement?

AACUC strives to be a conduit and a connector to our credit unions, vetting companies that offer technological solutions and helping our members to have choices in their solutions providers.  Our annual conference has workshops that help credit union professionals learn about best practices of products and services that are geared to baby boomers and next generations.  We call that WIN-WIN-WIN.  1) Our member credit unions WIN because they can make informed decisions regarding appropriate products and services to meet the needs of their credit unions; 2) Vendors WIN because they can offer solutions to our members; and 3) AACUC WINs because we are able to assist our members and bring value to  membership and our vendor partners.

What does the future look like for the AACUC?

Transformational change – more streamlined focus on professional development and mentorship through groups like Young Professionals, the future leaders of the organization, as well as placing more emphasis on continuing collaborations and spreading the word about diversity in credit unions.

AACUC will expand upon professional development at their annual meeting, which will be held in Atlanta this August. During the conference, they will also host a Financial Reality Fair for the seventh year in a row. With volunteer support, 80-100 students participate in the fair, which is an outreach opportunity geared toward teaching financial basics and introducing credit unions to kids in the community.

Continuing to collaborate is important for spreading the word about diversity and gaining recognition as a trusted entity. Partnerships with key stakeholders in the credit union movement that were mentioned earlier.

“Through name alone, AACUC has gained much recognition and aspires to be the go-to for African Americans within credit unions,” said Sheilah Montgomery, Co-Founder and first President. She admits, “That “no man is an island, so we want to continue to be more collaborative, to be a part of that whole skyscraper of organizations.”

Spotlight on Jeffrey S. Benson, CPA, MBA, President/CEO of CASE Credit Union

February is Black History month, and we are excited to celebrate the rich history of African-Americans in the cooperative credit movement in America. But history is happening now, and this month we will be spotlighting African-American professionals currently making a difference in the credit union industry.

 Jeffrey S. Benson, CPA, MBA, President/CEO of CASE Credit Union

Jeffrey S. Benson, CPA, MBA, President/CEO of CASE Credit Union

Today we're speaking with Jeffrey S. Benson, CPA, MBA, President/CEO of CASE Credit Union

What has been your journey in cooperative credit?

My journey began when I was in college and worked part-time for a bank. As I was studying accounting, I felt it was natural for me to work in the financial services arena. Upon graduation, I was employed by a public accounting firm, Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) and placed in the financial services group auditing banks and savings & loans. I was recruited out of the firm to work for a large savings & loan as an Audit Manager. Then I stumbled across an employment ad from a credit union in need of and Internal Auditor. While I had a credit union account through a family member, I really didn’t know the differences between that and a bank. The fact of working for something that involved everyone affiliated working together for a common goal intrigued and excited me and nearly 30 years later, I am the President/CEO of a credit union!

Why credit union?  What makes you passionate for cooperative credit?

The motto of “People helping people” is what makes me the most passionate about my credit union affiliation. Credit unions are so member focused and will always go the extra mile to ensure every member has everything they need to be financially successful. In addition, the service that is provided is so far superior to any other type of financial institution because everyone is a member and has ownership rights. We have a common goal that binds us together as one and we want to be treated with the respect and dignity an owner deserves.  Most credit union members proudly refer to the credit union as “My Credit Union”!

What is going to be critical to the future of credit unions?

That we keep a collaborative spirit and avoid taxation. 

If you could give on piece of advice to a young credit union professional, what would it be?

Appreciate the fact that you are fortunate enough to work for such an awesome movement and learn everything you can, as quickly as you can, to progress and make a difference in a members’ life!

Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.

I love to rollerskate!

Spotlight on Timothy Anderson, MBA, President and CEO of Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union

February is Black History month, and we are excited to celebrate the rich history of African-Americans in the cooperative credit movement in America. But history is happening now, and this month we will be spotlighting African-American professionals currently making a difference in the credit union industry.

Today we're sitting down with Timothy Anderson, MBA, the President and CEO of Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union.

 Timothy Anderson, MBA, President and CEO of Government Printing Office FCU

Timothy Anderson, MBA, President and CEO of Government Printing Office FCU

What has been your journey in cooperative credit?

My journey started out in the banking world. I began my career as a bank teller in 1979, and when I left 20 years later I was Vice President of Operations. I worked for a savings and loan, a savings bank and two large national banks. I moved over to the credit union industry in 2000.   Once I did, I realized it was the best move I ever made. I had heard a lot about the credit union difference, but until you live it, it doesn’t resonate. It’s one of the reasons I continually advocate for credit unions to do a better job of telling our story and highlighting the difference between banks and credit unions. 

Coming into the credit union world really opened my eyes.  The entire philosophy of giving back to our member owners, as opposed to padding the pockets of shareholders, makes all the difference. I was so excited about credit unions when I started that I wanted to learn and absorb as much as I could.  I joined the management team at the United States Senate Federal Credit Union (USSFCU) in 2000, then went on to become COO at the Treasury Department Federal Credit Union and American Spirit Federal Credit Union in Delaware.  When I left USSFCU I was asked to run for a board position. I was elected to that board, and the board at the Transportation Federal Credit Union in 2003, and still serve on both today.  Acquiring experience as a volunteer provided a unique outlook. I was on a mission. I was smitten by the credit union way and wanted to gain all I could. Ultimately when I was hired as CEO at the Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union (GPOFCU) in 2011, the panel of interviewers noted my volunteer experience as a significant benefit.  Having volunteer and management experience has been invaluable, and has given me a perspective many CEOs don’t have. 

Why credit unions? What makes you passionate for cooperative credit? 

Plain and simple, credit unions do it better. I love financial services, but more importantly, I love helping people. Credit unions are concerned about people. This passion for me is intrinsic. I am a PK (Pastor’s Kid). My dad was a pastor of a Pentecostal church, so I grew up in an environment that fostered the people helping people philosophy. This upbringing shaped my views. For me, the cooperative movement is easy; it’s a lifestyle.  It’s who I am. In the Bible, Jesus always had compassion for the least of them. The concept is to look after and be concerned about the well-being of your neighbor and fellow citizen. Credit unions mirror that philosophy. Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes, I am. 

Moreover, the idea of inclusiveness drives our cooperative model. We provide financial services to everyone, not just a privileged few. Credit unions open their doors to those banks turn away.  We want everyone to prosper financially. We focus on the member and their financial well-being. Financial literacy is a key component of our model. Imparting core financial values, enables a member to become financially savvy. My passion for cooperatives is to help others become good stewards over their finances. There is an old adage that says, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever. Cooperatives empower people. That’s the legacy of the credit union movement. 

What is going to be critical to the future of credit unions?

 Timothy Anderson, MBA, President and CEO of Government Printing Office FCU

The credit union system is strong. Unfortunately, credit unions are dwindling in numbers as a result of mergers and acquisitions. I think mergers and consolidations will continue, however, the industry will remain robust. It’s increasingly difficult for the smaller credit unions to compete. The smaller credit unions don’t have economies of scale, and as a consequence many are forced to merge. The future of credit unions will depend on expanding technological advances, increasing delivery channels and taking advantage of our intellectual capital. Intellectual capital is a key component for continued success. This intangible value is important and must be cultivated. We must hire and retain good talent for long term sustainability.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young credit union professional, what would it be?

Never stop learning and moving forward. The industry needs our young professionals to fill key leadership roles. Many of today’s CEOs are baby boomers and retiring. Young professional are well positioned to be the leaders to keep the work moving forward. My advice is, allow yourself to be mentored and developed. The credit union movement was built on the backs of some awesome leaders. Learn from them. Then use your talents to expand the work already done. There is a lot to learn about leading. We can all learn from those who went before us. On the other hand, however, we have to be careful not to try and mold the young professionals to do things as we have done them. They are bright and talented, and we need to let them flow. Let them innovate and become effective leaders. I often think of advice championed by Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. He said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people and let them tell us what to do.” In the credit union community, we have smart young professionals. Mentor them, but then let them flourish.  

Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.

Hmmmm. . . .ok, this year, I have been married to my childhood sweetheart for 39 years, and we have two awesome children and nine equally wonderful grandchildren.  And yes, they are all credit union members.    

I am also a finance and economics professor at my alma mater, the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC). I love finance. As compelled as I am to help people at my credit union, I am just as passionate about education. To me, it all starts with having the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to acclimate to an environment where you can be successful. 

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I am an avid golfer. I love the game with a passion. If I could play golf seven days a week, I probably would. It’s a gentlemen’s game, and it teaches many life disciplines. 

Lastly, I had the high honor to be a keynote speaker over a year ago at the African Confederation of Co-operative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) annual conference, in Rwanda, Africa. There were approximately 40 countries represented. Cooperative financial institutions are global. People continuing to help people.

Spotlight on Sharon Odom, CPA, CEO of 1st Choice Credit Union

February is Black History month, and we are excited to celebrate the rich history of African-Americans in the cooperative credit movement in America. But history is happening now, and this month we will be spotlighting African-American professionals currently making a difference in the credit union industry.

 Sharon R. Odom, CPA was the first African-American Vice President of Delta Employees Credit Union.

Sharon R. Odom, CPA was the first African-American Vice President of Delta Employees Credit Union.

Today we're sitting down with Sharon Odom, CPA, the CEO of 1st Choice Credit Union

What has been your journey in cooperative credit?

My journey into Credit Union land started with working as a Banker in Boston, MA, in the role of AVP of Budgeting and Financial Reporting. It was a pure accounting role, that I accepted to transition away from working for CPA firms in roles that required constant travel. The banking role in Boston spurred my interest in financial services. A few years later I faced another cross road. My husband’s job relocated us to Atlanta where I started working for Delta Air Lines in a management role in the Finance Department. After a couple years in that role, I became frustrated with the lack of advancement opportunities. I went back to school to earn an MBA to make myself more competitive for a leadership role at Delta. A co-worker told me about Delta Employees Credit Union (DECU), the credit union for Delta Air Lines. I decided to accept a lateral position there as a Financial analyst/Project Manager because I was told the environment was very positive and friendly and that I could advance easier at the Credit Union. I accepted that credit union role on November 2, 2002, and I graduated with my MBA on December 1, 2002.  Accepting that role was the right decision for me.

At DECU I worked directly with a forward-thinking Executive who believed the credit union should expand beyond exclusively serving Delta Air Lines to serving metro Atlanta.  I worked very hard as his financial analyst to provide the financial data and research that was needed to justify market expansion to include metro Atlanta in their field of membership.  I prepared market research on the Atlanta market and on products to guide product development.  I also worked as the project manager to implement the products needed for competitiveness in the Atlanta market.  I also measured the performance of those new products in the market.  It was an exciting opportunity for me, and it enabled me to learn the “back office” side of Credit Unions and how to create an effective strategy. The Delta Employees Credit Union became Delta Community Credit Union and was transformed before my eyes, from 8 branches to 23, from 200 employees to nearly 1,000, from 150,000 members to over 400,000, from a $1 Billion CU to a $5B CU.  My career advanced from Financial Analyst, to Manager of the Analytics and Strategy team to VP of Strategic Planning and Performance. I was their first African-American Vice President.   I was responsible for the formulation of Corporate Strategy (leading a team of analysts) and the execution of the Strategy (leading a team of Project Managers) and Performance management (oversight for Governance Reporting and all enterprise projects).   The “VP of Strategic Planning and Performance” role at Delta Community Credit Union lead to my current role of CEO at 1st Choice Credit Union (1CCU).  I could never have dreamed that original Financial Analyst role at the then Delta Employees Credit Union would lead to the CEO role I hold today at 1st Choice Credit Union.  However, when I look back over my journey, it is clear to me now that every role leading to this one prepared me to become a CEO. 

Why credit unions? What makes you passionate for cooperative credit?

As the CEO of a much smaller organization, I bring big Credit Union ideas and make them happen on a smaller scale for a membership base that really values our support. I believe that opportunities are not always equally distributed. I’ve learned that my members have not always had access to the financial opportunities available to others. I’m very gratified to provide financial education and financial inclusion that helps credit union members afford life and enables them to manage their finances more effectively.

What is going to be critical to the future of credit unions?

Remaining relevant is critical to the success of credit unions. Metro Atlanta has over 5,000 financial institution branches in addition to many “online only” banks. That means consumers have many choices in their consideration set of where to bank. Credit Union must be positioned with a targeted message, a compelling brand, exceptional customer service, and an attractive value proposition that that will resonate within their market. Credit Unions must figure out how to do that efficiently and effectively. And we must continue to tell the story of how we’re different and why that matters.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young credit union professional, what would it be?

Young credit union professionals must commit to life time learning and a strong work ethic.   It’s important to stay abreast of current trends and thought leadership.  The market place is always evolving so it’s important to adapt with the market so that your organization is aware of the changing demand and that your organization is also aware of the value you bring to it as a life time learner and hard worker.

Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.

Three things:

1)     I want to earn a PHD one day.

2)     I want to write a book one day.

3)     I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.  I believe that prayer not only changes things, but it also changes people. When I pray it is still my responsibility to do the work on the things within my power; prayer is not an excuse for inaction. Prayer says I trust God to work on the things that are not within my power as I work on everything else.

A Look at the First Credit Union Manager, Joseph Boivin

 Attorney and Mrs. Boivin. Attorney Boivin was always seated in photos because he lost a leg to childhood polio.

Attorney and Mrs. Boivin. Attorney Boivin was always seated in photos because he lost a leg to childhood polio.

Joseph Boivin was born in Coaticook, Quebec, Canada in 1866. He contracted polio as a child and lost a leg to the illness, but this did not stop this ambitious civil servant. Boivin emigrated to Manchester, New Hampshire in 1883 and studied law at in the offices of Burnham, Brown, Jones and Warren. He was admitted to the bar and became a practicing lawyer in the city of Manchester.

Boivin's passion for his community did not stop at his law offices. He would serve as a school board member, commissioner of the Water Department, professor of French at neighboring St. Anselm College, and Boivin, an avid music lover and singer, sang regularly with the choir of St. Marie's Church.

So when Monsignor Pierre Hevey of St. Marie's Church sought to establish the first credit union for his parishioners, Boivin was the obvious choice as first credit union manager.

Boivin would volunteer his evenings and weekends to assist his fellow parishioners when Le Caisse Populaire, St. Marie was founded  on November 24, 1908. His wife, Emma, would assist him by cataloging the records of deposits and also receiving deposits from the passing school children would come to the door on their way to school to contribute to their own credit union savings accounts.

See It At the Museum

Careful attention was paid to restoring Attorney Boivin's office here at the museum. Today you can sit in the very chair Attorney Boivin would have used when assisting the first credit union members. You, too, can sit in this chair and experience the depth of history in the cooperative credit movement in America.

How Monsignor Hevey Aided His Parishioners and Started a Movement

We are often asked how it was the credit union movement in America began in a small mill town in New England. Quite frankly, the situation was ripe for cooperative credit.

 Monsignor Pierre Hevey

Monsignor Pierre Hevey

Manchester, New Hampshire in the early 1900s held a strong Franco-American population. A majority of this population worked in the booming mills along the Merrimack River, which split the city of Manchester in two halves. At the end of a long day in the mills, these Franco-American workers would climb the hills on the west side of the river to their homes. At one time, the west side was even termed Little Canada.

These mill workers would often pass St. Marie's Parish, a Catholic church tended by Monsignor Pierre Hevey. Many of the mill workers attended mass regularly at St. Marie's, and so it was that Monsignor Hevey became aware of the mill workers financial straits.

The mighty Merrimack that divided the city also drew cultural divides. The banks along Elm Street on the east side of the river were often staffed with employees who only spoke English, while the Franco-American mill workers often only spoke French, creating a language barrier and an issue of trust with the banks.

Monsignor Hevey knew there must be an answer to his parishioners plight. In his many travels, he had witnessed cooperative credithe wrote to Alphonse Desjardins to help him establish cooperative credit in Manchester, New Hampshire.

See It At the Museum

The original letter Monsignor Hevey wrote to Alphonse Desjardins, inviting him to Manchester to speak to the parishioners of St. Marie's on the possibility of establishing cooperative credit. This letter is on loan to the museum from Le Maison Desjardins in Levis, Quebec.

2018 CU 4 Reality Fairs Sponsored By New Hampshire Credit Unions

2018 CU 4 Reality Fairs Sponsored byNew Hampshire Credit Unions

Date                         School/Organization                                      Sponsoring Credit Union

January 23, 2018     Timberlane Regional Middle School               Service Credit Union

February 23, 2018   Keene Middle School                                      Service Credit Union

March 14, 2018       Bedford & Monadnock High Schools             Service Credit Union

March 21, 2018      McLaughlin Middle School       Bellwether Community CU & St. Mary's Bank

March 28, 2018      Parkside Middle School              Bellwether Community CU & St. Mary's Bank

April 16, 2018         Londonderry Middle School                Service Credit Union & St. Mary's Bank

April 19, 2018         Gorham/Berlin Middle Schools               Service & Northeast Credit Unions

May 16, 2018          Boynton/Bristol Middle Schools                       Service Credit Union

May 17, 2018         Woodbury Salem Middle School                       Service Credit Union

May 21, 2018         Mega Fair @ Pinkerton               Bellwether Community CU & St. Mary's Bank

May 22, 2018         Mega Fair @ Pinkerton                         Service Credit Union & St. Mary's Bank

May 30, 2018         Timberlane Regional Middle School                 Service Credit Union

June 7, 2018           Hampton Academy Middle School                   Service Credit Union

June 8, 2018           Portsmouth Middle School                               Service Credit Union

May 10 & 11, 2018  Mega Fair @ NHTI                                       NH Federal Credit Union

12 Days of Service: Align Credit Union

Today we continue the celebration of 12 Days of Service with Align Credit Union in Lowell, Massachusetts.

 Align Credit Union employees from left to right:  Member Service Representative Felicia Anderson, and Tellers, Caroline Vejar-Mason, and Aidan Desbouvrie.

Align Credit Union employees from left to right:  Member Service Representative Felicia Anderson, and Tellers, Caroline Vejar-Mason, and Aidan Desbouvrie.

 

Founded in 1922, since 1922. Align Credit Union began as the Northern Massachusetts Telephone Workers Credit Union (NMTW), dedicated to serving area phone company employees and their families. Today Align Credit Union carries on the tradition of service by supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. 

12 Days of Service: Struthers Federal Credit Union

We continue our celebration of the 12 Days of Service with Struthers Federal Credit Union in Struthers, Ohio.

 The Veteran's Memorial for which Struthers Federal Credit Union raised funds.

The Veteran's Memorial for which Struthers Federal Credit Union raised funds.

From their roots serving the employees of the Struthers School District, Struthers Credit Union continues the tradition of service through their Member Appreciation Shred Event, hosted this year on July 8. Struthers Credit Union provided the popular Shred Truck, a mobile, secure shredding service, free to its members and accepted monetary donations at the event. Struthers Credit Union raised $305 for the Struthers Veteran's Memorial. This is a true example of credit unions serving not only their members but their communities.