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CUs in the News: November 2021

A Monthly Roundup of #TheCUDifference Across WI

CUs in the News Nov 2021
Dec 16, 2021
By Sammy Dennis
  • The CU Difference

Whether it's giving back, responding to COVID-19, awarding scholarships, or fostering financial literacy (and so much more), here's how Wisconsin's credit unions supported their members and communities in November. 

Giving Back

Royal Credit Union Launches Annual Toy Drive with The Salvation Army
Royal Credit Union is announcing the launch of its “Giving Never Melts Away” toy drive for the month of November. The annual toy drive, which began over 15 years ago, is done in partnership with The Salvation Army. (Royal Credit Union, 11/1)

Red Kettle Campaign is Underway
The Salvation Army of Manitowoc County officially kicked off their Red Kettle Campaign last Friday (November 5th) at several locations throughout Manitowoc and Two Rivers to help those in need throughout the County. (Shoreline Credit Union, 11/9)

Park City Credit Union Plants Perennials at Relocated Tower
Park City Credit Union continued efforts to support the community by planting perennials around the T.B. Scott Tower on the River Bend Trail. This project is a part of the Park City Cares initiative, a program designed to benefit the community through random acts of kindness. (Park City Credit Union, 11/11)

Registration Opens for Rock The Riverfront Featuring The Charity Classic 2022
 Registration is open for the RCU Foundation Rock the Riverfront featuring the Charity Classic. The event will be held in-person on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park and includes a 10K and 2 mile run/walk, ½ and ¼ mile youth races, family games, and food trucks.  The Charity Classic is celebrating 28 years of running and walking to support organizations that make a difference in the communities that Royal Credit Union serves. (Royal Credit Union, 11/11)

At Stoughton Public Library, CareerScape Counseling Guides Young Adults in Career Journeys
Melanie Galdes is on a mission to help more young adults in Stoughton land “livable, sustainable jobs” with career potential. Galdes is program coordinator for CareerScape Counseling, which provides career-readiness training and counseling for young adults (18-24) in Dane County. (UW Credit Union, 11/16)

TruStone Financial Donates Nearly 2,660 Pounds of Food and $4,000 to Local Food Shelves, Second Harvest Heartland and the Shalom Center
TruStone Financial Credit Union used its participation in CU Forward Day, a day of volunteering celebrated by Midwest credit unions, to support people facing hunger with more than 14,200 meals. (TruStone Financial Credit Union, 11/18)

CoVantage Cares Matching Funds for Giving Tuesday
CoVantage Credit Union is making Giving Tuesday last for two weeks to make sure the receiving organizations they have chosen this year can make the most of their fundraising and matching efforts. This is their sixth year conducting the program and their matching amount has steadily increased year by year. This year they are matching up to $175,000. (CoVantage Credit Union, 11/30)

WESTconsin Donates $25,000 to Will's Playground
Alex, Lori, Marie and Wesley from our New Richmond office presented Teresa and Will with a $25,000 donation to Will's Playground! This project is working to build a universal playground that allows children of all abilities to play together, thus improving the play experience for everyone. Adults who have disabilities will also benefit from this playground in that they will be able to play alongside their child. WESTconsin is proud to support our local communities. Learn more about this project at (WESTconsin Credit Union, 11/24)

Holiday Events at Racine Zoo
#GivingZOOday, in partnership with #GivingTuesday, is on Tuesday, Nov. 30! Support essential daily and veterinary animal care and conservation education with a tax-deductible donation that will have 3 TIMES THE IMPACT because of our generous sponsors RUUD Family Foundation and Educators Credit Union that will be matching every donated dollar up to $5,000!  (Educators Credit Union, 11/27)

Chick-Fil-A and Unison Credit Union Match
For every original chicken sandwich bought, $1 will be going back to The Salvation Army Unison Credit Union Match Day ($2,500). (Unison Credit Union, 11/30)

How You Can Help the Victims of the Waukesha Christmas Parade Crash
Landmark Credit Union is raising money for the Waukesha Community Foundation. Donations can be made at branches or online. (Landmark Credit Union, 11/25)

Supporting Financial Literacy

Entrepreneurs Learn New Skills During Startup Chippewa Valley Week
Business owners have an opportunity to learn, or brush up on, entrepreneurial skills. From November 15 until November 19, Startup Chippewa Valley Week is being held, the region's largest entrepreneurship event. (Royal Credit Union, 11/15)

Don't Leave Money on the Table: File the FASFA
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and if you’re going home to spend time with family, it’s a great opportunity to discuss financial aid. (UW Credit Union, 11/16)

"Unleashing Your Brilliance:" Madison Nonprofit Catalyzes Next Generation of CEOs
Madison-based Summit Credit Union also worked with the nonprofit to create a financial literacy curriculum for undergraduate students. (Summit Credit Union, 11/28)

Webinar: Money, Visions, and Goals
What you think about your money matters. This Money, Visions, and Goals webinar, presented free by our Wisconsin Strong partner, Summit Credit Union, will help you better understand how you can use money to reach your financial goals. You will work through taking abstract visions and creating concrete goals with step-by-step plans to help you truly own your money. (Summit Credit Union, 11/30)

Fostering Excellence 

Fox Cities Chamber: 2021 Fox Cities Future 15 Young Professionals Unveiled
 Pulse Young Professionals Network, a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, has announced the 15 individuals from across the Fox Cities region who will be honored Dec. 9 as the 2021 class of Fox Cities Future 15 Young Professionals. (Community First Credit Union, 11/5)

And the Winner of the 2021 CUES Exceptional Leader Award Is...
The winner of the 2021 CUES Exceptional Leader Award has been named. CUES has presented the award to Jennifer McHugh of Royal Credit Union. The award is given annually to a credit union industry professional who has “rendered exceptional service and made outstanding contributions to strengthen their credit union and the industry.” (Royal Credit Union, 11/9)

UWCU Announces Pay Increase; Extra Pay for Bilingual Employees
UW Credit Union is reporting it has increased its Foundation Wage to $17 from $16, marking a 35% wage increase since 2015. The increase will directly benefit nearly 160 employees – close to 20% of UW Credit Union’s workforce, the credit union said. (UW Credit Union, 11/14)

Encouraging Young Professionals to Serve on Boards for Credit Union Growth
“For young professionals themselves, it’s a great experience. There is a whole list of things you learn by being a board member,” Sakesh reflected. “From a credit union perspective, it is so important that they attract younger folks to the board because they’re the ones that set the direction for the organization. (Madison Credit Union, 11/19)

Providing Innovative Solutions

Artificial Intelligence Provides Real Service at Royal Credit Union
So, a 30-something contact center staffer hired at Royal Credit Union ($3.8B, Eau Claire, WI) in the thick of the pandemic has been growing in her job as she quickly becomes a key part of the Wisconsin credit union’s prowess at responding to member needs quickly and efficiently. She’s a University of Minnesota graduate with two kids, a husband, a cat, a golden doodle, and a yen for online shopping for designer bags. But she’s not real. (Royal Credit Union, 11/`)

Remote Tellers, Restaurant-Style Pagers: Branch Design in the COVID Era
At Landmark Credit Union in Brookfield, Wisconsin, waiting for a teller feels much like waiting for a table at a restaurant. To enable social distancing at the three new branches the $5.8 billion-asset credit union built this year, Landmark is trying to do away with teller lines. Instead, it hands out the same pagers that many chain restaurants use to alert patrons when a table is ready. Members can also make an appointment online, where they can see bankers' availability for key services like loan closings and account openings. (Landmark Credit Union, 11/12)

Summit CU Pays $2.7-Million Patronage Dividend to Members
Summit Credit Union said it has paid a patronage dividend of $2.7 million to its members. Called “Cash Boomerang,” the credit union said the giveback is based on its success and on an individual’s use of Summit checking, savings and borrowing services between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021.(Summit Credit Union, 11/16)

Overdraft & NSF Fees Continue Dropping at CUs
To “support more equitable banking and increase giveback dollars” for members, the Wausau, Wis.-based Connexus Credit Union said it slashed its overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees this week by 86%. (Connexus Credit Union, 11/17)

Creating Community

Hudson Hot Air Affair Brings S'More Fun to 2021
Hudson Hot Air Affair announces its 2022 event theme of “S’Mores and More, Balloons Galore” for its 33rd annual celebration on Feb. 4-6, 2022. Known as the premier hot air balloon rally and winter festival in the Midwest, this fun, family-friendly community event is presented by WESTconsin Credit Union and supported by hundreds of sponsors, partners and volunteers. (WESTconsin Credit Union, 11/2)

Fox Cities Chamber: Future Neenah to Host a Very Neenah Christmas
The Community First Credit Union Rudolph Run leads this evening of fun. Families run or walk down Wisconsin Avenue from Shattuck Park toward the Community Christmas Tree in Gateway Park. (Community First Credit Union, 11/8)

Future 15 Honorees Remain Humble as They Receive their Awards
15 men and women who have worked hard to make Manitowoc County a better place were honored last night at Knox’s Silver Valley. (Shoreline Credit Union, 11/12)

Milwaukee's Holiday Lights Festival Kicks Off This Week!
Downtown Milwaukee will be illuminated starting Thursday with more than 500,000 lights and dozens of animated displays during the 23rd annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival. (Educators Credit Union, 11/15)

Don't Spare the Gumdrops: Gingerbread Extravaganza is Coming
Get out the tube of icing and gumdrops. It’s time once again for gingerbread house architects to start the sweet building process as the Community Action Gingerbread Extravaganza is right around the corner. (Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Educators Credit Union, First Community Credit Union, 11/21)

38th Annual Community First Credit Union Santa Scamper
Participants run in the 38th Annual Community First Credit Union Santa Scamper before the 50th Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, in Appleton, Wis. (Community First Credit Union, 11/29)

VIDEO: Fox Communities Credit Union Talks Shopping Local
(Fox Communities Credit Union, 11/24)

Jefferson Chamber Announces Holiday Parade of Lights Lineup
The Jefferson community is gearing up for the holidays, and kicking things off is the 25th Annual Holiday Parade of Lights. The parade is hosted by the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and presented by Generac Power Systems. (County-City Credit Union, 11/24)

Investing in Communities

Summit Credit Union Opens a New Location in Wauwatosa on Bluemound Road
Wauwatosa residents have a new banking option. Summit Credit Union has opened its first full-service location in Wauwatosa at 7600 W. Bluemound Road. This is the 12th Milwaukee area location for the credit union. (Summit Credit Union, 11/18) 

About The Author

Sammy Dennis is the Director of Communications for The Wisconsin Credit Union League. Interested in having your credit union's news considered? Contact me!