Credit unions frequently pop up on “best of” lists in communities across the U.S. They receive awards for a host of different attributes. Despite their diversity of awards, they all share a common theme—exceptional service to members, employees, and their communities.
This is our first annual compilation of award-winning credit unions. We hope this will grow in years to come in our print edition and on our website.
★ Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, Tampa, Fla. Employees at Grow Financial Federal give it high marks for corporate direction, working conditions, career opportunities, quality of decision making, managers, pay, and benefits. Employees enjoy a friendly atmosphere and a commitment to family, growth, and general excellence. Employees also say senior management listens to them and promotes diversity. (Named one of the best places to work by Tampa Bay Times)
★ Rogue Federal Credit Union, Medford, Ore. Rogue Credit Union has been recognized for excellence in its work environment, management, communication, decision making, career development, learning, benefits, and compensation. (Ranked No. 14 in the large employers category of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, presented by Oregon Business Magazine)
★ Redwood Credit Union, San Francisco, Calif. Redwood Credit Union has been honored as one of the best places to work in its community for seven consecutive years. The credit union is one of only eight local companies to receive the recognition every year since the award's inception. (North Bay Business Journal)
★ Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Phoenix. Desert Schools Federal is heavily involved in philanthropic activities throughout Arizona. Nearly half of the credit union’s employees were involved in nearly 130 community projects in 2011 and volunteered 2,902 hours. Last year, the credit union coordinated fund-raising efforts with employees, vendors, and partners to give back more than $770,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, the United Way, and community grants. (Awarded by Toastmasters International for community service and leadership)
★ Pelican State Credit Union, Baton Rouge, La. Pelican State has been recognized for leadership and excellence for its efforts in making its community a better place to live and work. It’s heavily involved in the community and sponsors numerous community events. (Named “Business of the Year” in the medium-size category by the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce)
★ Workers’ Credit Union, Fitchburg, Mass. This credit union has been recognized in its community for participating in a work-based learning program. The credit union’s information technology department offers four-week internships to high- school students. The free education and training program allows eligible youth to learn skills, earn high-school diplomas or GEDs, and find and keep good jobs. (Named Business Partner of the Year by Shriver Job Corps)
★ Redwood Credit Union, San Francisco, Calif. Redwood Credit Union is one of the best in service throughout its region. It’s been rated a great company to do business with (North Bay Business Journal), the best credit union (Press Democrat), the best local financial institution (Petaluma People’s Choice Awards), and the best in customer care (Sonoma Valley Sun) in the area.
★ Spokane (Wash.) Teachers Credit Union. Membership at this credit union has increased 50% from September 2011 to April 2012 and a branding campaign translated into membership growth of 8% last year, pushing the credit union above the 100,000-member mark. The credit union’s branding campaign paid off significantly during Bank Transfer Day last year. (A Crystal Performance Award winner from Raddon Financial Group)
★ Credit Union of Texas, Dallas. This credit union made itself attractive to families and future members with perks offered to children under age 12, older students, and their families. The perks include prepaid credit-card options to help teens spend wisely, kids’ savings accounts, and student checking accounts. (Named “Best for Families” by Dallas Child magazine)
★ Maps Credit Union, Salem, Ore. Maps gained notice for its Buy Local program. The goal of the program was to increase the credit union’s relationships with local businesses, drive additional traffic to existing businesses, and engage the community with the idea of buying local. The program led to a 10% increase in participating businesses in 2011, a 95% renewal rate for 2012, and increased website traffic on the Buy Local page. It infused approximately $2,500 into the local business community. (A CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Best Practices Award winner)
★ Truliant Federal Credit Union, Winston-Salem, N.C. This credit union distinguished itself with training in entrepreneurship. Through its Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL) program, the credit union provides participants with networking opportunities, small-business education, financial literacy, and counseling to build participants’ financial strength and business skills. A total of 126 people have graduated from the REAL program, with eight individuals opening new businesses and 22 people planning to open businesses within the next five years. (A CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Best Practices Award winner)
★ Fort Worth Community Credit Union, Bedford, Texas. Fort Worth Community turned heads by creating a virtual spokeswoman named “Gabby.” Through social media tools including Facebook, Twitter, a blog, Pinterest, and a website (www.GetYourWorthOn.com), Gabby engaged and interacted with a target audience of women ages 28 to 55. The campaign was designed to develop relationships that would lead to membership growth and increased product/service usage. It resulted in 8.4% membership growth in less than 10 months and a 17.1% increase in loan growth over the previous year.
(A CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Best Practices Award winner)
★ Arizona State Credit Union, Phoenix. The credit union’s “I Don’t Bank, I Credit Union” home and auto campaign earned high praise. The campaign was introduced to raise awareness of local financial cooperatives. The campaign proved so successful that it became the theme of the credit union’s television commercials, which aired in northern Arizona. (A recipient of multiple Hermes Creative Awards)
★ American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Pa. American Heritage Federal showed creativity, innovation, relevance, and superb execution in its 2011 marketing campaign “American Heritage: Helping You Achieve Your American Dream.” The branding campaign was made up of television and radio media as well as print and website publications. (A CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Diamond Award winner)