Several Michigan credit unions are marking golden anniversaries in the first quarter of 2005. Celebrating 50 years of service to their members in January are Citizens CU (KA), Holland Central CU (MN), Tri Cities CU (MN) and White Products Emp. FCU (GR), while a golden anniversary arrives in February at U.P. State CU (UP). In March, 50-year anniversaries arrive for Limestone FCU (UP), Muskegon County School Emp. CU (MN), T&I CU (OC), Torch Lake FCU (UP) and Valley State Emp. CU (MM).
New credit union chief executive officers include Robin Frucci at Lansing Automakers FCU (LN), Martin Smith at Dort FCU (FL) and Pete Lambropoulos at Southeast Oakland Community CU (OC).
Credit Union ONE (OC) employees co-sponsored a “Toys for Tots” gift drive with area Marines. Employees from various departments also participated in an “Adopt a Family” program. Each department provided gifts such as toys, clothing, food and household items to a select family in the Ferndale area.
MidWest Financial CU and UMHS Financial (HV) recently donated $880 to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and HelpSource in Ann Arbor. The funds are the result of ongoing programs through which new members can make a $5 contribution. Donations for 2004 totaled $2,075 for each organization. “It’s such a privilege to be serving the community in this fashion,” said Marketing Vice President Sheri Miles. “With these donations, everyone who chooses to be part of this credit union is also choosing to do something very positive for their community as well.”
Community Choice CU (MW) announced its 2005 Credit Union at School Scholarship Program. Six non-renewable scholarships will be awarded, four $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors and two $1,000 scholarships to actively enrolled continuing education students. Member recipients will be selected based on their grade point average, a written essay, three letters of recommendation and an interview by the scholarship committee. “We are proud to continue to support the bright futures of our members and the pursuit of their choices through the financial assistance of their education,” said Strategic Marketing Vice President Scott Williams.
EECU (JA) employees raised $1,875 in its Dollars for Denim campaign. In exchange for a $2 donation, employees are allowed to wear jeans with the money going to local charities. Donations were made to the Jackson Humane Society, Community Respite Center, Birthline, Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse, The Red Cross, The AwareShelter, The Interfaith Shelter and Manor Foundation Angel Tree.
Metro Shores CU (DR) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new main office in downtown Trenton. The new branch is 5,500 square feet and features three drive-thru lanes. “The internal layout is designed to let members know that the staff is not off limits and that they can come in and see someone when they want,” said President/CEO Jeannie Potter.
Research FCU (OC) used funds raised through its Holiday Dress Down days to adopt a family. Employees pay $20 to wear either logo wear or holiday themed attire for the entire month of December. This year the credit union also participated in the Macomb Family Independence Agencies Duffle Bag program. More than 50 duffle bags stuffed with personal care items were provided to children and teens that are placed in foster care with few of their personal items from their homes.
Thekra Romaya of Research FCU (OC) was named the 2004 Chamber Ambassador of The Year by the Sterling Heights Chamber of Commerce. The prestigious award is given annually to an individual who exceeds all expectations of volunteerism as an ambassador of the chamber.
Communicating Arts CU (ME) raised $1,209 through member donations for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Kellogg Community FCU (BC) held its grand opening of the new connection branch located inside the Felpausch Food Center on Highland Avenue in Lakeview. The credit union’s fifth branch is now open to serve new and existing members with new accounts, loans and teller services.
Michigan State University FCU (LN) raised $12,000 for the Michigan State University Child and Family Services-Capital Area and the Auburn Hills Firefighter’s Helping Hands organization. Giving trees were placed in each of the credit union’s offices withtags listing requested gifts. Members selected a tag, shopped for and purchased the items listed, brought the gift back to the credit union and received a teddy bear in a colorful sweater. “Many of our members look for ways to help others during the holidays. We make it easy by bringing worthwhile organizations to them,” said Marketing Vice President Joyce Banish.
MidWest Financial (HV) and Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School in Ann Arbor signed a partnership agreement to open a student-run credit union branch at the school. In addition, volunteers from the credit union will teach the Junior Achievement program to all of the classes at King Elementary. “When the credit union approached us about this program, I asked them to present the idea to the students,” said Principal Dr. Ben. Edmundson. “A select number of 5th graders listened to the idea, presented it to the rest of the school, and together we decided it was a good fit for us. The students are really excited about it.”
Oakland Catholic CU (OC) officially changed its name to Michigan Catholic CU effective Jan. 1.
Community Financial CU (MW) opened its 21st student-run credit union at Hillside Middle School in Northville. “The goal of our partnership is to help students and families learn to manage their money before they enter adulthood,” said Community Financial Education Partnership Coordinator Beth Troost. The student credit union program teaches students sound financial management skills and the importance of saving money. The partnership also includes classroom presentations on financially related topics.
Mowtown First FCU (ME) hosted a free Christmas party at the Phoenix Community Center for children in lowincome households. Some 375 children were given toys from the USMC Toys for Tots program. In addition to games, food and a visit from Santa, a drawing was held and three children won brand new bikes.
Ronald Lang has been named vice president of finance at Telcom CU (MW). A certified public accountant and former CEO at Chaco CU in Hamilton, Ohio, Lang has more than 15 years of credit union experience and 27 years in the financial services industry. “We are very fortunate to have someone of the caliber of Ron Lang fill this important senior management position.” said President/ CEO Tom Reagan.
Family First Credit Union (MM) celebrated the re-opening of its Saginaw branch located at 1011 N. Michigan, at the corner of Holland. “After six months of intense construction and a cost of over three-quarter of a million dollars, we finally have a jewel nesting on the corner of Michigan and Holland in the city of Saginaw,” said CEO/General Manager Sally Kohlhoff. “Our remodeled office features an open floor plan, bright lighting, and an atrium style ceiling with plenty of windows. We opened the building up to our members and they are amazed at the transformation — we’ve gone from an old doctor’s office to a beautiful financial institution.”