The Best Credit Unions to Work For with assets over $1B

They're some of the biggest credit unions in the country, and they're using their resources to ensure that working there is a positive experience for staffers at all levels of the organization.

From professional-development days to building for Habitat for Humanity, yoga in a Big Ten football stadium and even axe-throwing competitions, these CUs are all about maximizing the value of work, play and community service.

Eighteen credit unions with assets of $1 billion or more made the Best Credit Unions to Work For list. Overall, there are 50 credit unions in the ranking.

Here are some highlights of the CUs on this year's list that fall into this asset category.

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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Consumers Credit Union
Kalamazoo, Mich.
Assets: $1.5 billion
Overall rank: 1
Asset category rank: 1
President and CEO: Kit Snyder

• The credit union helps employees improve their skills through in-house training, including four levels of leadership development.
• To promote wellness, the credit union has onsite walking trails.
• The credit union celebrates workers by recognizing “years of service” with awards and annual events, such as professional development day and a networking party.

Pictured above: At Consumers Credit Union’s professional development day this year, employees, including Riley O’Keefe, took time out from learning to give back to the community. Staff assembled care packages, including hand-colored cards, for the Happy Hope Factory. The packages were delivered to patients staying at children’s hospitals throughout Michigan.
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South Carolina Federal Credit Union
North Charleston, S.C.
Assets: $2.1 billion
Overall rank: 6
Asset category rank: 2
President and CEO: Scott Woods

• The credit union’s president recognizes top performers across all levels of retail sales and service at the annual President’s Club Awards ceremony. Prizes include weekend destination getaways.
• The credit union’s 15Five software allows employees from across the state to engage with one another and show public, virtual appreciation via the high five tool.
• Though this year’s spirit week occurred during the pandemic, employees still had fun dressing up for twin day, prom day and decade day.

Pictured: South Carolina Federal Credit Union’s employees attend this year’s President’s Club Awards ceremony.
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America's First Federal Credit Union
Birmingham, Ala.
Assets: $1.9 billion
Overall rank: 7
Asset category rank: 3
President and CEO: Bill Connor

• The credit union’s “comment card of the month” program features an employee who has received positive remarks on a member service survey, and is included on social media and an employee newsletter.
• For doing an exceptional job, employees get to spin a prize wheel during the monthly managers meeting. Prizes include a gift card and a day off.
• America’s First goes all out for Halloween each year. Departments and branches decorate their areas according to a specific theme as part of a competition.

Pictured: Graduates of America’s First Federal Credit Union’s SUCCESS program hold hats representing what they found most meaningful from their experience while participating in the professional development initiative.
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Fairwinds Credit Union
Orlando, Fla.
Assets: $3.2 billion
Overall rank: 8
Asset category rank: 4
President and CEO: Larry Tobin

• Fairwinds contributes $700 per year to full-time employees' health savings accounts.
• Staffers who do an outstanding job are nominated for and inducted into the President’s Club and Executive Club. President’s Club winners go on a cruise to the Bahamas with the CEO and Executive Club honorees attend a VIP celebration at Disney World.
• Managers are encouraged to provide their staff members with performance bonuses ranging from $100 to $5,000 for exceptional work. In 2019, $283,575 was awarded to employees.

Pictured: Fairwinds Credit Union employee Missy Bonhoff had her much-anticipated trip to Hawaii cancelled due to COVID-19, so her coworkers bring Hawaii to her. From top left: Brandon Mullen, branch manager; Jordan Bower, lead MSR; Shannon Ward, MSR; Bonhoff; Ana Candelaria, assistant branch manager; Alia Douaidary, MSR; Sunita Rodriguez, MSR; and Wilda Graudiel, loan officer.
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Coastal Federal Credit Union
Raleigh, N.C.
Assets: $3.7 billion
Overall rank: 14
Asset category rank: 5
President and CEO: Chuck Purvis

• The credit union celebrates employees’ years of service with formal awards and gifts.
• The institution provides credit for an internal store where workers can purchase Coastal-branded clothing and accessories.
• A ping pong table stationed in the lunch room allows employees to relax and have fun.

Pictured: Coastal Credit Union employees help build a house through Habitat for Humanity.
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Veridian Credit Union
Waterloo, Iowa
Assets: $4.8 billion
Overall rank: 15
Asset category rank: 6
President and CEO: Renee Christoffer

• The credit union gives employees bonuses at five-year intervals to thank them for their hard work.
• The credit union provides reimbursement for expenses related to adopting a child. Eligible full-time employee may receive up to $5,000 per child for qualified expenses, and part-time workers can get up to $2,500.
• Infertility treatment is covered under the credit union’s health care plan, which is offered to both full-time and part-time employees.

Pictured: Employees from the credit union’s personnel and recruitment team deliver gift bags to a local hospital to celebrate International Credit Union Day. Each year, Veridian gives each branch and department a small budget to conduct random acts of kindness to mark the occasion.
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America First Credit Union
Riverdale, Utah
Assets: $13.4 billion
Overall rank: 19
Asset category rank: 7
President and CEO: John Lund

• The credit union sponsors Picnic in the Parkway, which features a barbeque and lawn games.
• Workers and their families can attend one of the four activities hosted through the “annual employee summer social.”
• The Care-A-Lot Fund allows employees to donate money to support coworkers who are facing a catastrophic event.

Pictured: America First Federal Credit Union employees wait to help raise donations for the Souper Bowl of Caring in partnership with KUTV. This event supports the Utah Food Bank.
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American Heritage Federal Credit Union
Assets: $3 billion
Overall rank: 20
Asset category rank: 8
President and CEO: Bruce Foulke

• The credit union’s employee recognition program honors workers who show exemplary performance, teamwork and dedication. Nominees are selected by their peers.
• At the annual employee appreciation day, the management team hosts a day of fun, games and food. Each event is themed and management and workers come dressed in costume or jeans and sneakers.
• The credit union hosts an annual Christmas in July celebration where employees wear holiday attire at work.

Pictured: During a heritage-themed employee appreciation day, the management team dresses in attire representing various cultures and backgrounds. The event included games and food from different countries.
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Arkansas Federal Credit Union
Jacksonville, Ark.
Assets: $1.5 billion
Overall rank: 21
Asset category rank: 9
President and CEO: Rodney Showmar

• When employees go above and beyond to serve members, the credit union’s executive team shares success stories with the entire company.
• The credit unions sponsors “bracket challenges” where employees get to vote on their favorite things, such as fast food restaurants, movies and binge-worthy television.
• The credit union seeks feedback from workers through employee-engagement surveys and town hall meetings. This ensures that every staff member has a voice regardless of their title.

Pictured: Several Arkansas Federal Credit Union division leaders showcase their axe throwing skills during a team-building outing.
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Altura Credit Union
Riverside, Calif.
Assets: $1.8 billion
Overall rank: 25
Asset category rank: 10
CEO: Jennifer Binkley

• Staff members can take advantage of Altura’s employee assistance loan program meant to help with financial hardships. The loans have no interest and no credit qualifications, and the first payment isn’t due for 90 days.
• The credit union offers an onsite wellness program and access to a health and wellness coach.
• To help bolster morale, managers are given $10 per worker each quarter to plan a fun activity.

Pictured: Employees drop off popcorn to show their appreciation for workers at a local hospital.
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Nusenda Credit Union
Albuquerque. N.M.
Assets: $2.9 billion
Overall rank: 28
Asset category rank: 11
President and CEO: Joe Christian

• To help with professional development, employees can participate in onsite training classes and attend national speaker events.
• The credit union offers various employee discounts on items and services, such as gym memberships, Verizon wireless services and Garmin devices.
• The credit union renamed Columbus Day as Community Day, and employees can participate in events that help their community in a number of ways.

Pictured: During Nusenda Credit Union Community Day, teams support Rio Grande Community Farm, a two-acre community garden offering educational programming and support of sustainable agricultural initiatives. Employees helped with planting, produce sorting and ground maintenance.
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Ascend Credit Union
Tullahoma, Tenn.
Assets: $2.9 billion
Overall rank: 30
Asset category rank: 12
President and CEO: Caren Gabriel

• Ascend hosts an annual picnic for employees and their families. The event is carnival themed and includes food booths, a petting zoo, bingo, cash door prizes and train rides.
• Each November, employees host a food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, which works as a central distribution center for donations. Last year, enough food was collected to help support 27 different agencies across the mid-state.
• Employees get can reimbursed for entry fees to races through the Running to Ascend program.

Pictured: Employees participate in a companywide Halloween costume contest, which raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Costumed for a Cure program. The 2019 contest winners were from the legal department, and the group portrayed The Addams Family.
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Cyprus Federal Credit Union
West Jordan, Utah
Assets: $1.3 billion
Overall rank: 32
Asset category rank: 13
CEO: Todd Adamson

• Employees select the activities played in Cyprus’s corporate Olympic games, such as bowling, poker and softball.
• The credit union offers an employee assistance program that provides legal, financial and insurance resources.
• The CEO hosts a monthly birthday lunch where employees are invited to dine with the executive team to celebrate their birthdays.

Pictured: Cyprus workers get ready to serve dinner to families at the Ronald McDonald House.
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University of Michigan Credit Union
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Assets: $1.1 billion
Overall rank: 35
Asset category rank: 14
President and CEO: Tiffany Ford

• Employees get a paid day off for their birthday.
• The credit union started an internal Facebook group page so employees could socialize remotely with each other during the pandemic.
• Workers receive 40 hours of paid parental leave for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child.

Pictured: Employees participate in a yoga class at Michigan Stadium, home of the university's football team.
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Apple Federal Credit Union
Fairfax, Va.
Assets: $3.4 billion
Overall rank: 36
Asset category rank: 15
President and CEO: Andrew Grimm

• Apple’s management hosts an annual appreciation breakfast for all employees. Executives serve the breakfast at the credit union’s headquarters, and the meal is catered at all 21 branches.
• Employees who achieve employment milestones, which are recognized in five-year increments, are honored during a breakfast at a local hotel. The CEO and other senior leaders give a gift to show their appreciation.
• Every month, individuals are recognized for exemplifying the credit union’s core values through the Apple Way Award. Each department sends nominations to the executive team, and winners receive a bonus and are recognized on the institution’s intranet.

Pictured: Apple Federal Credit Unions employees show their appreciation by bringing food to frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Verve, a Credit Union
Oshkosh, Wis.
Assets: $1.4 billion
Overall rank: 38
Asset category rank: 16
President and CEO: Kevin Ralofsky

• Managers are given an appreciation budget so they can decide how to recognize their team members.
• The credit union encourages wellness by providing relaxation rooms at some locations and bikes so employees can take a quick ride.
• During the pandemic, the credit union introduced a payroll-advance loan of $1,000 to help employees whose households may have lost a second income. The loan can be repaid over two years.

Pictured: President and CEO Kevin Ralofsky delivers an overview of Verve’s servant leadership culture at an onboarding event for a new Chicago regional team in February.
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Michigan First Credit Union
Lathrup Village, Mich.
Assets: $1.2 billion
Overall rank: 40
Asset category rank: 17
President and CEO: Michael Poulos

• Tellers who make no transaction errors for an entire year are honored with the Flawless Fab Annual Award.
• An onsite cafeteria provides fresh meals at a subsidized cost to employees.
• Staffers are recognized for a job well done during morning team huddles.

Pictured: In February, employees make donations to the March of Dimes during a team learning day.
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Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union
Chadds Ford, Pa.
Assets: $1.4 billion
Overall rank: 50
Asset category rank: 18
President and CEO: Michael Magnavita

• During the pandemic, if employees didn’t have access to the internet while working from home, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union provided a hot spot.
• Employees can take up to two weeks of paid family leave.
• The credit union continued to pay employees for full-time work even if their hours were cut because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pictured: Employees from the member service center are honored as the “2019 department of the year” during the credit union’s annual day of celebration and team building.