2013 Archives

December

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FCCU Member Returns after Magic Minute Shopping Spree

First Community Credit Union member, Briana Mindt, recently returned from the Windy City after winning a place at the starting line for the Credit Union Magic Minute. Briana joined nine other lucky sweepstakes winners from credit unions across the country to participate in the shopping thrill of a lifetime. On December 5, she and her fiancé, Nathan Klebe, had 60 seconds to load their oversized shopping cart with as much merchandise from the shelves of a warehouse stacked to the rafters with high-end goodies. Briana ended up with several high priced items including, Play Station 3, Play station 4, Xbox 360, Ipad, IPod, Ipad Mini, IPod Nano, 47 inch flat screen television, Mac Book Pro, Kindle Fire HD, and a printer. In addition, Briana got to design her own shoes from the Nike factory.

Briana qualified for the random drawing on October 31 by using First Community Credit Union’s debit card to make at least two purchases during the week of September 30.

“We’re thrilled one of our members was selected,” said Steve Schmitz, CEO/President of First Community Credit Union. “The Magic Minute sweepstakes has generated a lot of excitement from our cardholders and this is exactly the outcome we were hoping for. Naturally, we wish more of our members could be going to Chicago. We’re just really happy for Briana and First Community Credit Union.”

Over 100 credit unions that offer CURewards® loyalty rewards programs to their members enrolled to participate in the Credit Union Magic MinuteTM sweepstakes. Cardholders from participating credit unions then had to register for the sweepstakes and make at least two purchases with their credit union’s credit or debit rewards cards to have their names entered in the drawings for sweepstakes winners.

The sweepstakes winner’s package included a 3-day/2-night trip for two to Chicago, IL. with round-trip coach transportation to/from Chicago, hotel accommodations, meals and the actual Magic Minute dash event.

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New Scholarship Foundation Results in More Opportunities for Members Graduating High School

December 13, 2013

First Community Credit Union is embarking on a new program that supports their dedication to area communities by reinvesting in youth. FCCU has donated $1 million into a scholarship foundation to provide additional scholarship dollars to graduating high school students. The earnings from the foundation will go to fund scholarship opportunities, including multi-year scholarships for members of the Credit Union for years to come.

“First Community Credit Union is excited about this opportunity to give back to our communities and area youth,” says Steve Schmitz, President and CEO. He continues, “By providing funding for education, we can make a difference in the lives of those students, their future and the communities where we live and work.”

The credit union will award seven $4,000 scholarships and two $2,000 scholarships, which are $1,000 per year. There are nine scholarships available for the following schools in which FCCU has branch locations: Bismarck State College, Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Mayville State University, North Dakota State University, North Dakota State College of Science, University of Jamestown, University of Mary, and Valley City State University. In addition, a limited number of individual one-year scholarships will be available to any college, university, or trade school of the student’s choice at the value of $1,000.

Applications with full entry details are available at FCCU branches or online by clicking here . The deadline to submit an application is March 21, 2014.

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Grand Opening Held For New First Community Credit Union Branch

December 6, 2013

First Community Credit Union (FCCU) is proud to announce that their Fargo branch has moved to a new location. There was a great need for expansion in order to meet the growing membership base in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The new branch is located at 4521 19th Avenue South, Fargo, near Petro gas station. The 7,000 square foot branch features include drive-up lanes, conference rooms, a large lobby, an ATM and other state of the art features.

"We are very excited about our new building and the future of First Community in Fargo,” says Craig Grundstrom, Vice President of the Fargo market. “We look forward to better serving our members and showing the community the great services we have to offer."

A grand opening was held November 18 through November 22. The celebration consisted of loan and CD specials, door prizes, giveaways and refreshments all week. The Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at the new facility on Thursday, November 21 followed by a free lunch that was open to the community.

As the 2013 National Community Credit Union of the Year and the third largest Ag lending credit union in the country, First Community Credit Union continues to be an industry leader. Within the last month, FCCU became the first financial institution in North Dakota to launch the country’s most innovative financial products. Kasasa® is a new brand of free checking and savings accounts that rewards consumers for using their account with what interests them most—high interest, cash back and automatic savings, and doesn’t penalize consumers for not meeting the requirements.

"There is a reason First Community Credit Union was named Credit Union of the Year and we’re excited to share that success with the Fargo community,” said Steve Schmitz, CEO of First Community Credit Union. “We invite the community to join us during this exciting time as we celebrate our grand opening and the launch of Kasasa, the most competitive checking account in the area."

November

FCCU to Hold Grand Opening for New Fargo Branch

November 17, 2013

First Community Credit Union is proud to announce that their Fargo branch has moved to a new location. There was a great need for expansion in order to meet the growing membership base in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The new branch is located at 4521 19th Avenue South, Fargo, near Petro gas station. The 7,000 square foot branch features include drive-up lanes, conference rooms, a large waiting area, an ATM and other state of the art features.

“We are very excited about our new building and the future of First Community in Fargo,” says Craig Grundstrom, Branch Manager in Fargo. “We look forward to better serving our members and showing the community the great services we have to offer.”

A grand opening is planned for the week of November 18 through November 22. The celebration will consist of loan and CD specials, door prizes, giveaways and refreshments all week. The Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at the new facility at 11am on Thursday, November 21 with a free lunch to follow that is open to the community.

As the 2013 National Community Credit Union of the Year and the third largest Ag lending credit union in the country, First Community Credit Union continues to be an industry leader. Within the last month, FCCU became the first financial institution in North Dakota to launch the country’s most innovative financial products. Kasasa® is a new brand of free checking and savings accounts that rewards consumers for using their account with what interests them most—high interest, cash back and automatic savings, and doesn’t penalize consumers for not meeting the requirements.

“There is a reason First Community Credit Union was named Credit Union of the Year and we’re excited to share that success with the Fargo community,” said Steve Schmitz, CEO of First Community Credit Union. “We invite the community to join us during this exciting time as we celebrate our grand opening and the launch of Kasasa, the most competitive checking account in the area.”

August

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FCCU Receives Awards at CUAD Summit

August 2, 2013

The annual Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) Summit took place recently at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND. Credit Unions from both North and South Dakota gathered together for this annual event. During the awards banquet held on June 7, First Community Credit Union collected two awards including first place for the Five-Star Award and second place for the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award.

The Five-Star Award is given to an individual credit union which exhibits outstanding achievements in education, legislative activities, public relations/marketing, member contact, and community service. FCCU was selected over several other North and South Dakota Credit Unions.

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award is given based on community involvement. In 2012, First Community Credit Union partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Jamestown to lead a Kids Against Hunger project. Through this project, various fundraisers were held to raise more than $1,400 including donations. The money was used to pay for nutritious meals for starving kids throughout the United States and across the globe. First Community Credit Union staff and Kiwanis Club members not only raised money for the meals, but also helped pack 350,000 meals.

"It's an honor to win these awards and a great privilege to be recognized amongst our credit union peers," said Steve Schmitz, President/CEO of FCCU.

This unique project not only helped play an important role in saving the lives of children, but demonstrated extraordinary effort and commitment by First Community Credit Union.

July

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Relay for Life Fundraisers Collect: $12,500

July 5, 2013

First Community Credit Union (FCCU) recently held fundraisers to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, totaling more than $12,500. FCCU has chosen a different organization each quarter to raise money and awareness for these organizations.

All of FCCU’s 14 branches collected proceeds from employees wearing jeans on designated days which were donated to Relay for Life, as well as the money from raffle tickets sold at the branches to win an IPad and a Medora vacation package, donated by FCCU.

FCCU’s Jamestown branch held the first ever “Golfing FORE a Cure” night glow ball golf tournament. Over 125 people gathered together for the social and golf tournament. Approximately $5,000 was raised from the event for Relay for Life. The Jamestown branch also participated in the Stutsman County Relay for Life with the “Golfing FORE a Cure” glow theme. Participants wore bright glow shirts and glow necklaces to show their support. Fundraisers in Jamestown totaled $7,000.

The Napoleon branch participated in their local Relay for Life through various fundraisers, including candy and bake sales to raise $2,400. The Oakes branch also held fundraisers serving soup and sweets at their branch, raising over $2,000. The FCCU Wahpeton branch raised nearly $1,100 through raffle tickets, candy bar sales, and a tribute banner.

FCCU has participated in Relay for Life for more than 10 years. In the last five years, the Credit Union has raised more than $40,000 for this worthy cause.

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Valley City Breaks Ground for New Building

July 5, 2013

We broke ground for FCCU’s new Valley City building recently. Construction will continue through summer with plans to complete the building by the end of the year.

The new building will be 4,400 square feet with six offices, a conference room, break room, and a much more modern look and feel. It will be located on Main Street in Valley City east of Pizza Corner on the north side of the road.

“A new branch has been discussed for many years and we’re excited for it to become a reality. The facility will allow us to better serve our existing members as well as attain new members,” says Dean Rohrich, VC Branch Manager. “Of course we’ll miss a few quirks of the old branch, including malfunctioning heating and cooling systems, peeling paint in the bathrooms, and my cozy office with the fireplace nobody has ever used!”

Once the building is up and running, a grand opening will be held inviting members of FCCU and the community to celebrate the completion.

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FCCU Recognized as Top Ten Young Professional Workplaces

July 5, 2013

First Community Credit Union (FCCU) has been named one of the Top 10 Young Professional Workplaces in Bismarck-Mandan by the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network for a second year in a row.

Businesses are evaluated for employing young professionals under the age of 40 and also by their benefits, inclusion and professional development.

“We are excited and honored to receive this recognition for the second year in a row. FCCU has been a huge supporter of the YP Network and we see the value in having such an organization in our community. Several of FCCU employees are YP members and are very involved in networking and volunteering. Again, FCCU thanks the YPN for recognizing us and for all they do in our community” said Chad Schmidt, Bismarck Branch Manager.

Young Professionals Network focuses on proactively creating environments and programs that allow for building relationships between one another and within the community.

June

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Jamestown Hosted Glow Ball Golf Tournament

June 12, 2013

First Community Credit Union (FCCU) in Jamestown held the first ever “Golfing FORE a Cure”, a night glow ball golf tournament to raise funds for the Stutsman County Relay for Life. The tournament was held on Friday, May 31 at the Hillcrest Golf course.

Despite the wind and rain, over 125 people gathered together for the social and nine hole golf tournament. Approximately $5,000 was raised from the event for Relay for Life including sponsorships from Krebsbach Backhoe, Stutsman Harley Davidson, Hofmann Trucking, K& D Towing, S & R Truck Plaza, Hometown Property Management, R&B Motorsports, Valley Sales, the Buff Bar, and ORR Auctioneers.

At the end of the night, there was a three way tie for first place. Todd Krebsbach, Jasen Lorenz, Travis Lorenz and Dustin Guthmiller together made one winning team. Mark Attleson, Steve Attleson, Nick Johnston and Tate Johnston also were a winning team. The third winning team consisted of Chris Nenow, Troy Duven, Tom Gaffney and Dan Tollefson. Eighteen teams of golfers competed in the nine hole tournament.

This unique event was covered by KVRR Fox News. Click here to view the news.

Thank you to everyone who helped with this event, we couldn’t have done it without you!

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Deb Backer Celebrates 35 Years with FCCU

June 12, 2013

FCCU’s Deb Backer is being recognized for her 35 years of service to our Credit Union. She is a financial service officer in Jamestown. Deb joined FCCU June 1, 1978 as an Ag loan processor and later worked as a loan officer. She has spent her entire career at the Credit Union and is still going strong, stating that she doesn’t plan to retire any time soon.

Backer gives credit to her father for urging her to work at FCCU. “My dad said I should get a job with the Credit Union because of the support and help they gave to people in the community,“ said Backer. “I really like helping people, just like FCCU does” said Backer.

Over the course of 35 years, a lot can change. Backer says one of the biggest changes since her start is technology, more specifically how loans are processed. “We used to do everything by hand, and I mean everything,” she says. “I was the first person to type the first procedure manual on a typewriter!”

On behalf of everyone here at First Community Credit Union, thank you, Deb, for your hard work and dedication to our Credit Union.

May

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FCCU Awards Ten with College Scholarships

May 4, 2013

First Community Credit Union’s Board of Directors has once again awarded scholarships to first year college students from its membership. Over the past 17 years, FCCU has given out more than $100,000 in scholarships. Ten $1000 scholarships are given out each year to members that demonstrate outstanding academic and extra curricular involvement.

We are honored to provide the following students with scholarships toward their college academia: Dre Steinwehr of Hankinson, Philip Manley of Jamestown, Kelsey Weigel and Jessica Long of Kintyre, Morgan Weber, Rachel Sakry and Megan Prante all of Milnor, Alexandra Ptacek of Oakes, Destiny Winkler of Valley City, and Amy Bechtle of Wishek.

The Board of Directors recognizes the importance of young people getting a good education and wants to encourage young people to do their best. FCCU continues to do its part in providing incentives to help students reach their full potential. FCCU would like to extend our congratulations to the winners of the 2013 First Community Credit Union Scholarship Program. Best of luck to all our graduates this year!

April

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St. Jude Fundraisers a Success

April 16, 2013

FCCU held fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Employees chose a different organization each quarter to raise money and awareness for.

Valentine’s Day bake sales were held at the following branches: Bismarck, Jamestown, Milnor, Portland and Valley City. All of FCCU’s 14 branches sold pinups for $1. They also held book and movie drives for members and the community to bring in new children’s books, coloring books, crafts and DVDs for children staying at St. Jude’s as their stays are often for long periods of time. These items help to entertain the kids and help pass the time. Collectively, more than $1500 was raised and hundreds of items were donated to the drive; all for the children at St. Jude’s!

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today’s most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.

“For me to see parents & children not know if today is their last day together due to illness is heart wrenching. The FCCU St. Jude’s fundraiser was extra special as my 9 yr old Step Brother had been at St. Jude’s when he had leukemia. I’m very thankful that my girls are healthy and wanted to get them involved. So explained to them that we were going shopping and who we were shopping for, they loved it. These fundraiser items can put a smile on a child’s face – to let kids be kids and their parents to make the memories they will cherish forever. Sometimes we don’t realize how big the little things in life are until we look back and cherish what’s left…..which are…. Memories” said Darcy Block-Nelson, Teller Team Lead at FCCU.

March

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74th Annual Meeting Held

March 27, 2013

FCCU recently held their 74th Annual Meeting at the Farmer’s Union Conference Center in Jamestown. Nearly 200 people were in attendance.

Chair of the board, Kermit Larson, acknowledged the hardworking staff of our credit union for reaching the milestone of $400 million in assets and for being recognized as the Community Credit Union of the Year on a national level.

President and CEO, Steve Schmitz reported on the continued growth of the credit union. Assets are nearly $440 million, making FCCU the largest credit union in the state. Loans and deposits increased at 16% and 8% respectively, which resulted in a healthy asset growth of 14%. During 2012, FCCU continued to reinvest in our infrastructure by completing a new Napoleon facility, breaking ground on a new Fargo building, and purchasing land for a new Valley City office.

"2012 was an exciting year for First Community Credit Union,” says Steve Schmitz. He continues, “It was marked by strong growth, low delinquency and charge-offs and culminating in its selection as the National “Community Credit Union of the Year” by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).”

During the business meeting, two existing board members and one new member were voted onto the Board of Directors. Dayne Headland and Owen Olson continue to serve while Mark Watne joins the FCCU Board. They will serve three year terms. Mary Nelson decided not to seek re-election. FCCU would like to thank Nelson, board member since 2004, for her many years of service and dedication to our credit union.

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Annual Meeting Postponed to March 19

March 18, 2013

Due to weather conditions, the 74th Annual Meeting of First Community Credit Union originally scheduled for March 18, 2013, will be held on Tuesday, March 19 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Farmer’s Union Conference Center located at 1415 12th Avenue SE in Jamestown.

There are three positions on the Board of Directors that need to be filled. These are three year terms. Serving on the nominating committee are Dale Enerson, Julie Schmidt and Sharman Zachrison.

As members of our Credit Union, you have the privilege of voting for our Board of Directors. Voting ballots are available at your local credit union office from Wednesday, February 20th through the close of business on Friday, March 8th.

2013 Board Nominees

Below are the proposed bylaw changes that will be voted on by the membership at the FCCU Annual Meeting.

FCCU ByLaw Changes

Following the business meeting, a full buffet meal will be served. Meal tickets must be purchased in advance for $2 and can be picked up at any FCCU office prior to Friday, March 8th. We welcome you to attend the 74th Annual Meeting to meet your fellow credit union members and meet the people, both volunteers and staff, who serve you!

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FCCU Celebrates National Ag Day

March 18, 2013

FCCU is proud to help farm families succeed for over 70 years!

March 19th is National Ag Day and FCCU is proud to support our Ag community on this day meant to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. It’s organized by the Agriculture Council of America. Find out more on their site here: www.agday.org

You’re up before dawn, working long hours in all weather conditions. It’s your dedication day in and day out that supports your family, our communities, our state and the nation.

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And so on behalf of our Ag loan officers and all FCCU staff, we salute our Ag members on this day dedicated to you.

Thank you for all you do!

FCCU Ag Loan Officers

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February

ALERT: Debit Card Scam

February 13, 2013

SCAM ALERT: We have received several calls from members regarding a debit scam that has surfaced. Over the phone, an automated machine says that their debit card was suspended and that they need their account number to fix it.

PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND. This is a scam. Remember you should never give out personal information on phone calls such as this.

If you have any questions regarding this scam or others, please don’t hesitate to contact FCCU.

January

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FCCU Recognized Nationally as Community Credit Union of the Year

January 10, 2013

In October, FCCU received the Community Credit Union of the Year award from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), which represents 90% of all credit unions across the US. This award honors credit unions that consistently excel in the advancement of credit union ideals, are proactive in their community and meet the needs of their diverse members. The specific three areas judged were member impact, community impact and financial impact. FCCU was awarded first place in the category of credit unions with more than $250 million in total assets.

A contributing factor in winning this award was the strong financial state the credit union is experiencing. In June, FCCU hit a significant milestone by exceeding $400 million in total assets for the first time in the company’s history. The credit union has steadily grown since its founding nearly 75 years ago, but in the last 8 years, FCCU’s assets have nearly doubled; with $120 million of that growth occurring in the last three years. This growth has made FCCU the largest credit union in the state of North Dakota and the second largest in the Dakotas.

While nationally many other financial institutions are struggling due to factors such as the economy and regulatory restrictions, FCCU is thriving financially and has become an industry leader. According to Callahan & Associates, FCCU is in the top 10% in several financial categories, exceeding their peers on a national level. These high rankings include: income, earning, net worth, delinquency, charge offs, return on assets and loans to shares.

As a result of the growth and a commitment to better serve their membership, FCCU is reinvesting in their facilities. A new building in Fargo is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013 and land was purchased in Valley City for a new branch to be built. Just five years after the branch opening in a South Fargo strip mall, FCCU has outgrown the space and plans to expand to a new 7,000 square foot branch. It will be located south of the existing branch, near Petro gas station, and will include drive-up lanes, which the existing facility did not have. The Valley City branch was established in 1979. The new location will be east on Main Street and will enable FCCU to better serve existing and potential members.

“It’s an exciting time for our credit union. These accomplishments are a true testament of our hard-working employees and our loyal members. Knowing that our credit union is growing during a time when other financial institutions are struggling, makes you realize what a great credit union we have. We’re excited about the opportunity to grow our credit union in the many communities we serve,” said Steve Schmitz, CEO of First Community Credit Union.

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FCCU Holds Groundbreaking for New Fargo Branch

January 10, 2013

First Community Credit Union recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of new branch office in Fargo. The Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce along with FCCU employees gathered to recognize the growing membership base in the Fargo area and the need for a standalone branch that can serve that growing membership base. FCCU opened its first Fargo branch just five years ago and the growth has been exponential.

FCCU’s current branch is located in the 45th Street Marketplace. The new branch will be located just to the south of FCCU’s current branch location. The 7000 square foot building will include drive-up lanes, which the existing facility did not have as well as state of the art features to better serve their members.

“It was only a matter of time before we knew that our small branch wouldn’t suffice for our growing membership. The new branch will better serve our members and community. It was nice to see so many individuals from the Chamber come support our growth since we first opened our Fargo branch five years ago,” said Steve Schmitz, CEO of First Community Credit Union.