2014 Archives

December

75 Years 75 Years 75 Years 75 Years

First Community Credit Union Celebrates 75 Years with 75 Random Acts of Kindness

2014 marks First Community Credit Union’s (FCCU) 75th year in business. The credit union was founded as a part of Farmers Union in 1939 with just 45 members. Today the financial cooperative has 32,000 members in 12 communities, making First Community the largest credit union in North Dakota.

In commemoration of their 75th Anniversary, the organization is giving back to the communities that they have served over the years. Employees and board members plan to do 75 random acts of kindness, one for each year they’ve been in business.

"At First Community, we take pride in serving others both within our credit union and within our community," said Steve Schmitz, President and CEO. "It’s been wonderful to see what the groups have come up with and rewarding to see the impact. We’ve seen recipients pay it forward and encourage others to do the same."

The 75 acts were broken down by branch or department; then the more than 150 employees and board members decided what they wanted to do in their own community. Just a few examples include: donating blood, playing bingo with residents at a senior living center, volunteering at the humane society, and delivering donuts to local elementary school teachers.

The operations department of ten people in Jamestown contacted social services to see if they had any needs. In the end, they will donate nearly 100 items to three local families, one in particular that had been displaced from their home with little possessions. The donated items ranged from clothes to toiletries and toys to food items.

“Although we weren’t able to meet with the family directly, the social worker was moved by the donations, knowing the difference it would make,” said Kayla Curtis, Member Relations Manager. “It was amazing to see how our department was able to pull together to help others in need. And we don’t want it to end there; we plan to continue to help this family after the holidays by furnishing a few items once they find a home.”

The acts of kindness will wrap up by the end of the year, just as First Community Credit Union’s 75th Anniversary is coming to a close.

During its 75 year history, First Community Credit Union has grown to be North Dakota’s largest Credit Union with $500 million in assets, employing 145 people in 12 different communities. As a credit union, FCCU is owned by its members, as opposed to banks, which are owned by a select group of stockholders. The Credit Union's profits are returned to the members in the form of better services, accounts, and favorable rates on savings and loans.

October

Crisis Center

College Scholarships Now Available

Do you know a graduating high school senior who is looking for scholarships to help pay for college? First Community Credit Union will again be offering multiple scholarships to members of the Credit Union.

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

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 by clicking here . The deadline to submit an application is March 20, 2015.

Crisis Center Crisis Center Crisis Center

First Community Credit Union Raises $2000 For Local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Crisis Centers

October 14, 2014

First Community Credit Union (FCCU) recently held supply drives and fundraised for local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Centers. All 15 branches collectively raised $2,000 and 1,200 items.

The items and funds collected were donated to the following local agencies: Abused Adult Resource Center in Bismarck, Rape & Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo, Kedish House in Ellendale, Safe Shelter in Jamestown, Abused Persons Outreach Center in Valley City and Three Rivers Crisis Center Shelter in Wahpeton.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault crisis centers serve a very important role in our communities,” said Janna Bergstedt, Marketing Manager. “We are proud to show our support for the organizations.”

First Community Credit Union to Participate in “Shop for Miracles” Oct. 16 in Support of Sanford Children’s Hospital

October 8, 2014

First Community Credit Union today announced its participation in Shop for Miracles, a one-day Credit Unions for Kids program raising funds for Sanford Children’s Hospital, the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital.

Each time members use their credit union-issued debit card on Thursday, October 16, First Community Credit Union will donate $0.25 to Sanford Children’s Hospital. Like all Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals donations, funds raised locally will stay in the community to support the hospital’s greatest needs, often including life-saving research, treatments equipment or charitable care.

“You can help make miracles! We’re excited to support our local hospital through this national fundraiser. Sanford Children’s Hospital helps kids every single day and even saves lives. This is one way we can support their efforts,” said marketing manager, Janna Bergstedt.

The Oct. 16 campaign coincides with International Credit Union Day® which celebrates the credit union difference and the work being accomplished around the world. FCCU invites its members and the entire community to an open house at their 15 branches where they’ll have refreshments, giveaways and door prizes.

About Credit Unions for Kids

Credit unions, fundraising under the Credit Unions for Kids brand, have partnered with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1996 and in that time have raised almost $130 million. Today, individual credit unions throughout the United States collaborate with chapters, leagues/associations and business partners to raise much-needed funds for 156 CMN Hospitals. Fundraising programs range from golf tournaments, runs, walks to wine auctions, online giving campaigns and paper balloon icon sales. In 2013, credit unions raised $10.2 million ranking the movement third among CMN Hospitals’ corporate partners in annual giving. Contributions help fund new facilities, research, patient services, equipment, special patient needs, charity care and health education programs benefitting 10 million children annually.

About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity's Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit's mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children's hospitals need community support, identify your member hospital and learn how you can Put Your Money Where the Miracles Are, at CMNHospitals.org and facebook.com/CMNHospitals .

finick

First Community Credit Union’s Stephanie Finck Awarded 2014 Professional of the Year for Cuna Operations, Sales & Service Council

October 1, 2014

(Jamestown, ND) – First Community Credit Union (FCCU) announces that Stephanie Finck, Vice President of Operations, was recently recognized as the CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council’s 2014 Professional of the Year. Stephanie recently traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to receive the award.

The CUNA Operations, Sales & Service Council (OpSS) Professional of the Year Award recognizes and honors the individual who exemplifies excellence in credit union operations.

This distinction, as Professional of the Year, is reserved exclusively for the credit union Operations, Sales & Service elite: who, in all aspects of their chosen profession consistently excel for the benefit of their employer, provide outstanding direction to credit union staff to provide excellent service to their members and are a leader of their credit union culture.

"In the ever-changing operations of financial institutions, it is important to continue to seek new solutions that benefit our membership. This may come in the form of improved service quality or a differentiating product but is always done with members needs being our highest priority" said Finck. She continues, "It is a real honor to be recognized at the national level for the efforts we have put forth here at FCCU."

Finck joined the Credit Union team in 1995 as a Member Service Representative in Napoleon and has held various positions including, Loan Processor, Loan Officer, Loan Processing Assistant Manager, and Operations Manager.

On behalf of everyone at FCCU, we want to thank Stephanie for her hard work and dedication to our credit union and its members.

September

FCCU Welcomes Northland Members

September 29, 2014

FCCU would like to welcome Northland members to our credit union. Late last year, membership approved the merger of Northland Educators Federal Credit Union with First Community. The process of transitioning accounts and procedures is nearly complete, allowing new opportunities for service and growth.

Northland Educators Federal Credit Union is located in Fargo, ND, across from North Dakota State University campus on 12th Ave N. Since its inception in 1938, the credit union has grown to over 2,600 members, serving students, faculty and staff of eleven area high schools, colleges and universities. With the merger, the Northland branch will now open their membership to all Fargo-Moorhead residents and beyond. Northland members, if you have any questions about your account or the merger, do not hesitate to give the credit union a call or stop in. Frequently Asked Questions

Gas Payout

September 24, 2014

First Community Credit Union announces that it will host a Gas Payout for 100 people at Cenex North in Wahpeton, on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 11am – 1pm. In addition to giving away free gas, the event will also celebrate the recent launch of Kasasa® products at First Community Credit Union.

Kasasa is the first and only collection of bank accounts that actually takes an interest in account holders by rewarding them for using their account with what benefits them most— earning high interest, cash back and automatic savings. First Community Credit Union is the first financial institution to bring free KASASA checking to North Dakota.

Join us Thursday to celebrate!

FCCU wants to put money back into consumers’ pockets by buying $20 of gas for the first 100 cars to visit Cenex North in Wahpeton (2019 9th St N). In addition to free gas, First Community Credit Union will also be passing out free giveaways and snacks to all in attendance.

Do you Kasasa?

Kasasa® is the first national brand of the most innovative checking accounts available today. First Community Credit Union has chosen to offer this industry-leading free checking account to give consumers access to better financial products, saving and making them money. For more information, visit .

August

First Community Credit Union To Hold Fundraisers For Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault Crisis Centers

August 27, 2014

During each quarter of 2014, First Community Credit Union (FCCU), will hold fundraisers for different worthy organizations. The charities are voted on by employees. Each quarter, FCCU will hold different events and promotions to support the charities in their own unique way.

The third quarter fundraising organization, as chosen by FCCU staff, is local Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Centers.

To support the local shelters, each branch will hold a supply drive for local staff, members and people of the community to donate items. Suggested items include paper products, such as paper towels, tissues, toilette paper; gift cards to gas stations or Wal-Mart; basic hygiene items such as body wash, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, sanitary napkins, deodorant, new underwear and socks; other items such as hair dryers and curling irons, children items such as diapers, new and gently used toys, books, blankets, and school items; and used cell phones that have been reset to factory settings.

The items and funds collected will be donated to the following local agencies: Abused Adult Resource Center in Bismarck, Rap & Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo, Kedish House in Ellendale, Safe Shelter in Jamestown, Abused Persons Outreach Center in Valley City and Three Rivers Crisis Center Shelter in Wahpeton.

We thank you in advance for your continued support of these worthy organizations.

FCCU Offers More Secure, EMV Technology for Cardholders

August 11, 2014

According to the US Federal Trade Commission, North Dakota has the third highest rate of credit card fraud per capita. In order to protect cardholders, First Community Credit Union (FCCU) is one of the first community institutions in the state to offer EMV (chip) technology for credit cards. The new technology increases security and decreases fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards.

This “smart card” has a microchip embedded in the credit card that is encrypted, providing stronger security. Unlike a magnetic stripe card, it is virtually impossible to create a counterfeit EMV card that can be used to conduct an EMV payment transaction successfully.

The process of using the card is different than the old magnetic stripe card.

First, swipe card

  • If the terminal is not chip card-enabled, the transaction will be processed the same as today's environment with the magnetic stripe.
  • If the terminal is chip card-enabled, the terminal will read the magnetic stripe and recognize it as a chip card.
  • The message on the terminal screen will read, "Please insert the chip card into the terminal."
  • If prompted by the terminal, insert your card.
  • The terminal will authenticate the chip card and keep it safely inside the terminal until transaction is finished
  • Authenticating every user prevents someone else from using it.

Second, remember your PIN

  • Terminals may use different formats to authenticate the card user. There are two methods that can be used to authenticate the cardholder. Those two methods are PIN and signature. A PIN is one method to verify the cardholder is the person doing the transaction. A signature is another method.

Third, remove your card

  • After receiving transaction receipt and before leaving, remember to remove card. Some terminals will beep as a reminder, but others won't.

“Diminished fraud is the main reason we’re transitioning to EMV cards,” said Stephanie Finck, Vice President of Operations for First Community Credit Union. “We want to be proactive in ensuring our members security and this is one way we can do just that.”

EMV is an acronym for its developers – Europay, MasterCard, Visa and is the chip technology that is prominent in Europe and other parts of the world. Chip technology is already prevalent outside the United States and financial institutions are preparing for a migration of chip readers at merchants domestically.

atm

First Community Credit Union Offers 24-Hour Atm

August 4, 2014

(Steele, ND) – First Community Credit Union is excited to announce they now have a 24-hour ATM in Steele.

Both members and non-members can stop by the branch entry way and use the ATM. FCCU is expanding its services in order to better serve the community of Steele. "This is a great asset to our Steele branch," said Branch Manager, April Anderson. She continues, "We've already seen heavy traffic in our entry way in the past month that it’s been up and running."

July

Gas Payout

July 24, 2014

First Community Credit Union announces that it will host a Gas Payout for 100 people at Red Carpet North, on Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 11am – 1pm. In addition to giving away free gas, the event will also celebrate the recent launch of Kasasa® products at First Community Credit Union.

Kasasa is the first and only collection of bank accounts that actually takes an interest in account holders by rewarding them for using their account with what benefits them most— earning high interest, cash back and automatic savings. First Community Credit Union is the first financial institution to bring free KASASA checking to North Dakota.

Join us Thursday to celebrate!

First Community Credit Union wants to put money back into consumers’ pockets by buying $20 of gas for the first 100 cars to visit Red Carpet North in Bismarck (2921 N 11th St.) during the event. In addition to free gas, First Community Credit Union will also be passing out free giveaways and snacks to all in attendance.

Do you Kasasa?

Kasasa® is the first national brand of the most innovative checking accounts available today. First Community Credit Union has chosen to offer this industry-leading free checking account to give consumers access to better financial products, saving and making them money. For more information, visit .

FCCU to Merge with NEFCU

July 14, 2014

The merger of Northland Educators Federal Credit Union into First Community Credit Union was recently approved. This merger allows new opportunities for growth and enhances the range of branch locations and services available to all members. Now the credit unions will begin to work together to join the two institutions as seamlessly as possible, over the next several months.

“First Community is committed to providing great service to our members and forming strong relationships within our communities, says Steve Schmitz, president of FCCU. He continues, “This merger is a great opportunity that will benefit both credit unions. We welcome both the staff and each member to our community; they will be a great addition.”

Northland Educators Federal Credit Union is located in Fargo, ND, across from the North Dakota State University campus on 12th Ave N. Since its inception in 1938, the credit union has grown to over 2,600 members, serving students, faculty and staff of eleven area high schools, colleges and universities. With the merger, the Northland branch will now open their membership to all Fargo-Moorhead residents and further.

Northland members, we will be using our website to communicate updates and changes throughout the transition. If you have any questions about your account or the merger, do not hesitate to give the credit union a call or stop in.

Frequently Asked Questions

June

Relay for Life

Relay for Life Fundraisers Raise $2,500

June 28, 2014

First Community Credit Union recently held fundraisers to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, totaling more than $2,500. FCCU has chosen a different organization each quarter to raise money and awareness for these organizations.

All of FCCU’s 15 branches collected proceeds from employees wearing jeans on designated days which were donated to Relay for Life, as well as the money from employee vacation raffles. Various branches also held a Mother’s Day bake sale to raise funds for Relay for Life.

The Fargo branch participated in the Cass County Relay for Life walk on June 27 and Jamestown participated in a Stutsman Country Relay for Life walk on June 28.

FCCU’s Jamestown branch will be holding the second annual "Golfing FORE a Cure" night glow ball golf tournament on Friday, August 1. The money raised from the golf tournament will be donated to the 2015 Relay for Life funds. If you’d like to participate in the golf tournament, please call Tanya at 701-253-5101.

FCCU has participated in Relay for Life for more than 12 years. In the last five years, the Credit Union has raised more than $50,000 for this worthy cause. FCCU’s third quarter fundraising will begin this month for local rape and abuse shelters. Stay tuned for more details. We thank you in advance for your continued support of these worthy organizations.

dora maxwell award winner

FCCU Awarded Dora Maxwell Award

June 6, 2014

The annual Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) Summit took place recently at the Sioux Falls Event Center in Sioux Falls, SD. Credit Unions from both North and South Dakota gathered together for this annual event. During the awards banquet held on June 6, First Community Credit Union received the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award.

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award is given based on community involvement. In 2013, First Community Credit Union participated in 26 Acts of Kindness. This was a 'Pay it Forward' initiative after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“We believe in the importance of giving back to our community, both individually and companywide,” said Steve Schmitz, President/CEO of FCCU. “It's an honor to win this award and we hope that through the 26 Acts of Kindness, we could inspire others to do their own acts of kindness.”

This unique project not only impacted a large number of random people but demonstrated extraordinary effort and commitment by First Community Credit Union.

May

scholarship winners

First Community Credit Union to Hold Grand Opening For New Branch

May 30, 2014

(Valley City, ND) — First Community Credit Union (FCCU) is proud to announce that their Valley City branch has moved to a new location. There was a great need for updates expansion in order to meet demands and the membership base in the Valley City area.

The new branch is located at 115 5th Ave NE, Valley City. The 4,400 square foot branch features six offices, a conference room, break room, and has a much more modern look and feel.

"A new branch has been discussed for many years and we’re excited for it to become a reality,"" said Dean Rohrich, Valley City Branch Manager. "The facility will allow us to better serve our existing members as well as attain new members."

A grand opening is planned for the week of June 23-27. 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 10:30am on Wednesday, June 25 with a free lunch to follow that is open to the community.

To help Valley City celebrate they are asking the public for photos of their past. If you have any photos of Valley City Farmers Union Federal Credit Union when it was located at 509 2nd St NW or the Valley City Farmers Union Federal Credit Union/ Valley City Co-op Credit Union when it was located at 941 2nd S NW, please contact the FCCU Valley City Branch at 701-845-4647.

scholarship winners

First Community Credit Union Awards Fifteen With Scholarships

May 6, 2014

First Community Credit Union’s Board of Directors has once again awarded scholarships to first year college students from its membership. This year, FCCU has donated $1 million into a scholarship foundation to provide additional scholarship dollars to graduating high school students.

We are honored to provide nine multi-year $1,000 scholarships to the following students to use toward their college academia: Stacy Opp of Bismarck, Katheryn Scheffert of Oakes, Karli Tompkins of Milnor, Katelyn Marotzke of Bismarck, Benjamin Schuler of Wishek, Logan Carpenter of Moffit, Tanner Clark of Valley City, Keaton Peterson of Oakes and Logan Kleinsasser of Jamestown.

In addition, we are honored to give six additional single-year $1,000 scholarships to: Jane Tang of Jamestown, Jessica Mastel of Wahpeton, Cole Ehrlin of Oakes, Wyatt Beethe of Fullerton, Brandon Wyum of Rutland, and Alexander Igl of Jamestown.

Over the past 18 years, FCCU has given out more than $100,000 in scholarships. 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 2014 First Community Credit Union Scholarship Foundation Program,” said Steve Schmitz, CEO of First Community Credit Union. “Best of luck to all our graduates this year!”

April

special olympics special olympics special olympics

First Community Credit Union Raises $2500 For Special Olympics Of North Dakota

April 21, 2014

First Community Credit Union (FCCU) recently held fundraisers to raise money for Special Olympics of North Dakota. FCCU has chosen a different organization for each quarter to raise money and awareness for these organizations.

All branches sold pizza corner pizzas to help raise money for this cause. In addition, proceeds collected from employees wearing jeans on Fridays were also donated to Special Olympics. Approximately $2500 was collectively raised across all of FCCU’s 15 branches and will be distributed evenly to each of the five divisions which FCCU has branches in—Bismarck, Jamestown, Valley City, Fargo and Wahpeton.

"It was a great opportunity to raise money for Special Olympics this quarter, said Janna Bergstedt, FCCU Marketing Manager. “We really enjoyed helping with the Jamestown Special Olympics Basketball Tournament in February and overall just supporting this program."

March

First Community Credit Union Commemorates 75 Years In Business

March 10, 2014

2014 marks First Community Credit Union’s (FCCU) 75th year in business. Then known as Jamestown Farmers Union Federal Credit Union, the credit union was founded in 1939 with just 45 members. Today the financial cooperative has grown to be the largest in North Dakota with 30,000 members in 12 communities.

In commemoration of their 75th Anniversary, there are several festivities planned for the week of March 17th through 21st. The 75th Annual Meeting of FCCU will be held on March 17, 2014 at the Jamestown Civic Center in Jamestown. The business meeting will be held from 5-5:30pm, prior to the celebration. A free meal will be served followed by entertainment by Bill Sorenson, a comedian/magician who’s also the co-host of the Medora Musical. Giveaways and prize drawings for the evening total more than $5,000, with the grand prize of $1,000 cash. Advance tickets or RSVP are requested by contact FCCU at 701-252-0360 or fccu@myfccu.com .

The celebration will continue the rest of the week at FCCU’s 15 branch locations with cake, refreshments, member gifts, door prizes and CD and loan specials.

“I want to offer a heart-felt thank you to our members for 75 years of support. Your dedication, loyalty, and trust have enabled us to get to where we are today, and we look forward to serving you into the future, thank you!” said Steve Schmitz, president of FCCU.