Unite for Good as a Credit Union Member


Guest Blogger: Bob Marquette, President & CEO, Members 1st FCU

Since 1948, credit unions from around the world have come together to celebrate International Credit Union Day and the credit union difference. More than 196 million members of credit unions in 100 countries worldwide benefit from credit union services, and the number of members grows every day. By comparison, we serve over 247,000 members across the globe.

On October 17, 2013, we are joining in this world-wide celebration and invite you to visit your local branch that day to receive a token of our appreciation. Celebrating the history of the credit union movement with that of our own is something we do every day. Any credit union history lesson will tell you that credit unions were built on the cornerstone of cooperation. People pooled financial resources together to help those who needed it.

As you are aware, unlike many other types of financial institutions, we are not in business to make a profit. Credit unions all over the world are a united front focused on you, the member-owners, with an unwavering belief in the “people helping people” philosophy upon which we were built.

We started our Credit Union in 1950 with 9 members and a desk in a hallway. When I first started here in 1986 as a Mortgage Department Manager, I remember our having only seven branches and the services we offered included Personal Service Loans/unsecured lines of credit, ATM cards, and other basic financial products (checking accounts, CDs, etc.). Since being promoted to President and CEO in 1997, we have added 45 new branches and a full range of financial products and services for both consumers and businesses. We employ over 800 people and are one of the top 50 fastest growing companies in Southcentral Pennsylvania. We’ve grown in response to the needs of the community, our members, our volunteers and staff. We are fortunate to be able to seek out new market areas successfully. We’re here to make your lives and Southcentral Pennsylvania a better place.

While there’s the business side to Members 1st, we also have a cooperative spirit that goes beyond what’s contained within the walls of our branches and administrative headquarters. It extends far into the communities in which we exist and serve. Each of our associates is required to be involved with a minimum of two community or charitable events each year. They participate in everything from parades, fairs, and community clean ups and nights out to business expos, distributing food, and financial education initiatives at local high schools to name just a few. Individuals in our business development positions attend countless events each week not only representing our credit union but also networking to get to know other business and community leaders to better understand their needs and those of the community and plan ways to engage in mutually beneficial partnerships for all.

In 2012 alone, our associates participated in more than 234 community and charitable events and provided 4,767 volunteer hours for the benefit of our local community. We also participated in a total of 245 chamber of commerce events. Members 1st and our associates raised and contributed over $494,183 to charitable, civic and credit union industry organizations. In the first half of 2013, our associates have participated in 121 events, giving 2,593 volunteer hours to the local communities. We’ve contributed over $262,000 to many local charities and community organizations to date.

As you can see, we don’t just build buildings; we build solid relationships – with members, with businesses, with community organizations, with government officials, to name a few. In the spirit of “Uniting for Good,” this year’s International Credit Union Day theme, we promise to do all we can to support the communities where we have branches and to help you get the financial products and services you need. Together, let’s unite for good and make Members 1st and our local communities the best they can be. Thank you for being a member. We truly appreciate your business and your trust in us.

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