The Best Credit Unions to Work For under $200M in assets

This has been a difficult year for credit unions and those at the smallest end of the asset spectrum face even greater challenges.

But the credit unions with under $200 million in assets that made this year’s Best Credit Unions to Work For ranking were able to rise to the occasion. Overall seven of the 50 institutions on 2020’s list fit into this category.

Read on for how these credit unions help support their employees and provide a fun work environment.

Note: The asset size for each institution listed is as of June 30, according to data from the National Credit Union Administration. All credit unions are referred to by their chartered name as listed by NCUA.

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InFirst Federal Credit Union
Alexandria, Va.
Assets: $186 million
Overall rank: 2
Asset category rank: 1
President and CEO: Martha Wye

• Employees participated in “virtual spirit week,” which included fun activities such as wearing Hawaiian attire on Monday and taking a picture with a pet on Thursday.
• Staff are provided two computer monitors and a stand up desk.
• Upon being hired, all new employees are offered a mentor to help them learn, develop and grow.

Pictured: InFirst Federal Credit Union’s President and CEO Martha Wye hosts a celebration for the grand re-opening of a branch.
Southwest Financial Best CUs 2020
Southwest Financial Federal Credit Union
Dallas
Assets: $76 million
Overall rank: 17
Asset category rank: 2
CEO: Melanie Kennedy

• To help reduce stress, management hires a massage therapist every quarter to provide free massages to staff.
• Employees enjoy fun contests, such as a pumpkin decorating competition and an ugly Christmas sweater contest.
• During the pandemic, management is reimbursing employees’ cell phone and internet expenses.

Pictured: CEO Melanie Kennedy (center) presents a check to the North Texas Food Bank. The credit union donated both canned goods and money to the organization.
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Landings Credit Union
Tempe, Ariz.
Assets: $197 million
Overall rank: 24
Asset category rank: 3
CEO: Brian Lee

• Landings covers deductibles so employees have no out of pocket healthcare costs.
• Employees enjoy “credit union Olympic” games and Connect 4 tournaments.
• The institution hosts fun holiday activities, including cookie and gift exchanges and an ugly sweater competition.

Pictured: Employees sort through groceries bought from Costco. To help staff during the pandemic, the credit union completed a Costco order so workers didn’t have to venture out to shop and gave everyone $50 toward their purchase.
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Pioneer West Virginia Federal Credit Union
Charleston, W.Va.
Assets: $196 million
Overall rank: 43
Asset category rank: 4
CEO: Dan McGowan

• Employees receive $2,000 from the institution for their health reimbursement account.
• Pioneer offers six weeks of maternity leave.
• The credit union brings a pharmacy on-site to administer to different vaccines, including for the flu, shingles and tetanus.

Pictured: Pioneer West Virginia FCU’s South Charleston branch team pictured before and during COVID-19.
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Ascent Credit Union
Ogden, Utah
Assets: $144 million
Overall rank: 46
Asset category rank: 5
CEO: Brock Mortensen

• Managers actively coach employees by conducting individual meetings to identify successes and areas for improvement, and plan for the future.
• Management cooks a holiday breakfast for employees, and the event also includes gift giveaways and games.
• Employees can praise their coworkers and make suggestions to management through the monthly “internal service survey.”

Pictured: During a community service project, employees tie the edges of blankets, which were donated to the Lantern House, a homeless shelter in Ogden, Utah.
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Parkside Credit Union
Westland, Mich.
Assets: $150 million
Overall rank: 47
Asset category rank: 6
President and CEO: Janet Thompson

• Staff members are offered cross training with other departments to help them earn potential promotions. Training includes lectures, classroom work and hands-on experience.
• A training is held each year on Columbus Day and includes team building and great food.
• Employees get the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as paid holidays.

Pictured: Employees participate in a $10,000 Christmas giveaway, for which Parkside was the core sponsor, completed in conjunction with a radio station.
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Access Community Credit Union
Amarillo, Texas
Assets: $141 million
Overall rank: 49
Asset category rank: 7
President and CEO: John Hays

• The “community first” committee helps to regularly get employees involved with volunteering around its hometown of Amarillo, Texas.
• Employees enjoy lunch on Monday and Fridays provided by Access Community.
• The credit union offers a benefit called a “serious illness and maternity bank,” which gives employees eight hours every month of paid time off, up to 1,040 hours. Workers can use this time for maternity leave, surgery or if they are out sick for more than five days.

Pictured: “Community first” committee members and staff buy furniture for the new Ronald McDonald House in Amarillo.
This article originally appeared in Credit Union Journal.
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