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

Want to be the best? Then learn from the best.

With unemployment low, proven executives and promising new blood have lots of opportunities. Attracting and retaining the top talent in this increasingly competitive environment will take more than just a good salary and a competitive benefits program. To successfully recruit, develop and keep great employees means offering them opportunities to grow both professionally and personally, tools that help them maintain a healthy work-life balance – and even have some on-the-job fun.

Credit Union Journal's Best Credit Unions To Work For rankings give you the opportunity to learn from some of the most innovative credit unions out there. From enhanced family medical leave options, paid time off for volunteering in the community, special recognition programs that go beyond a plaque and a handshake and more, these credit unions have found creative ways to make people want to do their best work.

Read on to learn how the top credit unions with over $1 billion in assets are attracting and retaining top employees, and check back tomorrow to see the full ranking of all 50 CUs on this year's list!

CEO Scott Woods celebrates with South Carolina Federal Credit Union's Service and Support Managers after learning that the credit union’s performance-management model would shift to one of continuous feedback, rather than formal, semi-annual performance reviews
South Carolina Federal Credit Union
Location: North Charleston, S.C.
Assets: $1.7 billion
Overall rank: 2
Asset category rank: 1
Reasons employees like to work here:
· 401(k) contributions are matched up to 10 percent
· The credit union contributes up to $1,500 per year to employees' HSAs
· Career development, including coaching, mentoring, seminars and internal promotions

Pictured above: CEO Scott Woods celebrates with South Carolina Federal’s Service and Support Managers after learning that the credit union’s performance management model would shift to one of continuous feedback, rather than formal, semi-annual performance reviews.
Fairwinds CU leaders celebrating a combined 100 years of service. From left to right: Larry Tobin (president/CEO), Kathy Chonody (CFO) and Phil Tischer (COO).
Fairwinds Credit Union
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Assets: $2.2 billion
Overall rank: 8
Asset category rank: 2
Reasons employees like to work here:
· The credit union sponsors summer events for employees’ families such as picnics, an afternoon at the movies, trips to see Major League Soccer’s Orlando City team and more
· On crew member appreciation days staff are allowed to wear jeans and get a special treat of their choice
· The credit union promotes a family environment for all employees

Pictured above: Fairwinds CU leaders celebrating a combined 100 years of service. From left to right: Larry Tobin (President/CEO), Kathy Chonody (CFO) and Phil Tischer (COO).
Veridian Credit Union's chief officers pictured at the credit union’s 2018 Annual Meeting. From left to right: Chief Financial Officer Keith Mesch, Chief Administration Officer Renee Christoffer, President and CEO Monte Berg and Chief Operations Officer Doug Gilbertson.
Veridian Credit Union
Location: Waterloo, Iowa
Assets: $3.9 billion
Overall rank: 9
Asset category rank: 3
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Management will have food and snacks catered in during large-scale projects and other various busy times throughout the year
· Dress-up days: Employees are allowed to wear costumes for Halloween, wear their favorite college team apparel on College Colors Day and participate in Ugly Sweater Day around the holidays
· Staff are allowed 12 hours of paid volunteer time per year. This gives employees the chance to spend part of their workdays giving back to the community in various ways.

Veridian’s chief officers pictured at the credit union’s 2018 Annual Meeting. From left to right: Chief Financial Officer Keith Mesch, Chief Administration Officer Renee Christoffer, President and CEO Monte Berg and Chief Operations Officer Doug Gilbertson.
Altura Credit Union's senior staff and employees pose for a group picture.
Altura Credit Union
Location: Riverside, Calif.
Assets: $1.3 billion
Overall rank: 11
Asset category rank: 4
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Free on-site fitness classes are held at the corporate office three nights per week
· Free Spanish-language training
· Full-time and part-time employees become eligible for the annual sick leave payout provided their accrued and unused sick time hours fall above the 160-hour cap.

Pictured above: Altura CU senior staff and employees pose for a group picture.
Coastal Federal Credit Union CEO Chuck Purvis addresses employees during an all-staff town hall meeting in early 2018.
Coastal Credit Union
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Assets: $3 billion
Overall rank: 12
Asset category rank: 5
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Recognizing staff through events, engagement activities, communication and flexible work environments
· Coastal is focused on keeping employees and their families healthy and happy by providing activities and information on wellness
· Employees who provide excellent service are eligible for the gain share bonus program

Pictured above: Coastal CEO Chuck Purvis addresses employees at an all-staff town hall meeting in early 2018.
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Nusenda Credit Union
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Assets: $2.2 billion
Overall rank: 17
Asset category rank: 6
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Staff can take part in the CU’s Wellness Celebration/Fair, which includes demos, massages, foods and prizes. Top participants of the wellness program are recognized with gift cards and wellness items
· The credit union-sponsored year-end celebration includes dinner and features a “game show” hosted by the leadership team. Prizes include a spa package, Segway, Play Station 4, TV, vacation package (hotel and airfare) and all employees receive their yearly bonus
· Employees can enjoy lunch with a senior leader to learn about their philosophy and leadership journey.

Pictured above: Nusenda’s “Community Day” is held in every October and provides employees the opportunity to volunteer with one of the CU’s community partners. Pictured are employees supporting New Mexico Wilderness Alliance where they built a retaining wall, restored a rock house, picked up 620 pounds of trash and surveyed picnic areas for record-keeping and future maintenance at two popular trails located in Albuquerque.
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Michigan State University Federal Credit Union
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Assets: $4 billion
Overall rank: 19
Asset category rank: 7
Reasons employees like to work here:
· The credit union provides wellness rooms at each building where mothers can breastfeed their babies. The rooms are also available for employees who may need to take a break or make a personal call. Employees can use these room for 30 minutes at a time.
· Full-time staff receive eight hours of volunteer time off annually, while part-time staff get five hours.
· Every year MSUFCU hosts a “Health and Wellness” fair. Employees are able to get their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked and visit with health care providers.

Pictured above: MSUFCU recently partnered with the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance (MADA) to plant 13 new trees at Evergreen Cemetery. During the event, eight MSUFCU volunteers planted a variety of trees that will help provide much needed shade for the cemetery.
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America First Credit Union
Location: Riverdale, Utah
Assets: $10 million
Overall rank: 24
Asset category rank: 8
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Every year at the Annual Summer Social, employees and their families can choose from one of three activities: exclusive rental of local amusement park, dinner and a show in Las Vegas or a dinner and a show in St. George, Utah
· The HR department hosts an annual employee basketball tournament, employee volleyball tournament, employee ping pong tournament and annual golf tournament
· The credit union offers the “Care-A-Lot Fund” where employees can donate or leave money to this program, which assists fellow employees who are experiencing catastrophic events in their lives.

Pictured above: America First Credit Union’s Annual Award Meeting, May 2018.
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Orange County's Credit Union
Location: Santa Ana, Calif.
Assets: $1.6 billion
Overall rank: 32
Asset category rank: 9
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Employees enjoy team building activities and games periodically through the CU’s “LIFE Program.” Here they make spring baskets for donation, holiday cards and ornaments, among other items.
· CEO Shruti Miyashiro regularly holds “listening sessions” with staff members
· The credit union supports an “Active Life Reimbursement” program where employees get an annual refund for the purchase of items that promote activity.

Pictured above: Over 200 Orange County’s Credit Union associates participated in the 2018 CHOC Walk in the Park.
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HAPO Community Credit Union
Location: Richland, Wash.
Assets: $1.6 billion
Overall rank: 33
Asset category rank: 10
Reasons employees like to work here:
· In 2017, 264 employees volunteered for events in Washington State.
· Staff have monthly “lunch and learn” opportunities with the CEO.
· The credit union’s “dress for success” program provides employees with a $500, no-interest loan to purchase work clothes.

Pictured above: HAPO employees volunteering during a “Community Service Day” in Pasco, Wash.
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Arkansas Federal Credit Union
Location: Jacksonville, Ark.
Assets: $1.2 billion
Overall rank: 45
Asset category rank: 11
Reasons employees like to work here:
· The credit union’s annual Christmas Party is a night in downtown Little Rock full of food, fun and entertainment
· Staff receive tuition reimbursement, on-site trainings, conferences, leadership courses, trainings through Dale Carnegie and job-shadowing opportunities
· Frontline employees can take advantage of a mentor program.

Pictured above: Arkansas Federal proudly presented a check for $4,089.21 to Ronald McDonald House as part of its employee giving program.
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Mountain America Credit Union
Location: West Jordan, Utah
Assets: $7.8 billion
Overall rank: 46
Asset category rank: 12
Reasons employees like to work here:
· On a weekly basis, the credit union provides free on-site yoga classes.
· A fresh food market full of reasonably priced, healthy meals is available at the CU’s corporate office
· Employees have the option of using sit-to-stand desks.

Pictured above: Mountain America employee, Brandon Erickson, helps install a new backyard for an injured military veteran as part of a Dream Team project. The Dream Team and other charitable programs offer employees a way to give back to the community, while living the Mountain America value of quality service.
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TruStone Financial Credit Union
Location: Plymouth, Minn.
Assets: $1.3 billion
Overall rank: 49
Asset category rank: 13
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Employees enjoy “Grill and Chill” events that are hosted by senior management, along with plays games like bean bag toss and watching movies
· Staff can participate in the annual Halloween costume contest.
· The credit union hosts an end-of-the-year company dinner for all employees and their guests with food, entertainment and prizes provided.

Pictured above: TruStone Financial's Lyn-Lake Branch pays it forward with a day of highway cleanup at CU Forward Day 2017.
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Ascend Federal Credit Union
Location: Tullahoma, Tenn.
Assets: $2.3 billion
Overall rank: 50
Asset category rank: 14
Reasons employees like to work here:
· Employees enjoy holiday potluck dinners designed to promote fellowship and themed dress-down days encourage wearing fun, seasonal attire
· The credit union’s headquarters maintains lush grounds, including a fountain and pond for staff to enjoy and an outdoor seating area/patio where families are welcome. Facilities also include a pool table in the employee lounge and a fitness center
· The annual employee picnic allows staff and families to share time outside of work. Carnival-style events include food booths, train rides, caricature artists, face painting, rock climbing wall, inflatables, bingo and cash door prizes.

Pictured above: Ascend employees celebrate their personal and/or family affiliations with Middle Tennessee State University while hosting University President Sidney McPhee at the CU's corporate headquarters.
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