In a time when it appears that merger mania is the norm in the credit union industry, it seems unlikely that a large credit union would help a small credit union prosper. But, it's true - such partnerships exist!
Shown left to right: Steve Webb, Executive Vice President Neighbors FCU; Jeff Conrad, CEO/President Pelican State CU;
Kathi Gill, CEO/President Neighbors FCU; Primrose Harrell, Board President SHPE FCU; and Pauline Holden, Manager SHPE FCU.
As an Economic Development Specialist (EDS) with OSCUI I get the opportunity to find credit unions grant opportunities and free resources. In one particular case however, there were no grant dollars available to assist a small credit union for school teachers. The credit union, SHPE Federal Credit Union (SHPE), is located in rural Greensburg, Louisiana; it has approximately $2.4 million in assets. The credit union facility was built with the anticipation of a drive-through window - the concrete was poured, the overhang was in place - but there were no funds left for the costly cash drawer.
As part of the strategic planning session with SHPE's board, I suggested that completing the drive-through be one of its goals. The board members agreed. Two credit unions in the Baton Rouge area, approximately 50 miles south of Greensburg, were willing to help. Plus, each credit union provided a little "lagniappe," a Louisiana saying meaning, "a little something extra!" The generosity of President Jeff Conrad of Pelican State Credit Union ($201 million in assets) and President Kathi Gill of Neighbors Federal Credit Union ($603 million in assets) made for an early Christmas wonder for SHPE. SHPE's Manager Pauline Holden said, "Santa has indeed come to our small credit union." SHPE now had the funds, and additional office furnishings, to complete its facility as originally designed.
Officials of all three credit unions along with NCUA EDS Michelle Lacombe (fourth from left) on the site of the future drive-through facility.