Mich. CU's Fashion Show Expands To Include Other Local Businesses

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American 1 Federal Credit Union doesn't need the fashion police.

Instead, it has, a fashion show to demonstrate proper business attire to its staff-and an interest-free loan to help them achieve the look.

Every fall for the last decade, the $176-million credit union that serves 350 SEGs and 43,000 members has treated its staff to an event that shows them how to coordinate inexpensive clothing from area retailers to give the best first impression to members.

"We have a business professional, business casual atmosphere here,'' said Kristi Latoszewski, A1FCU promotions coordinator and event co-organizer. "For the front-line staff, we like to see suit jackets and ties and sweaters with skirts." She said nylons are a must for women wearing dresses and/or open-toed shoes.

For all staff members who attend the fashion show, American 1 offers a $600 interest-free, one-year loan to purchase work clothes. All other employees can borrow up to $200.

She said management understands that its staff, particularly its new employees who are high school and college graduates, don't have money in hand to purchase new wardrobes.

To ensure the money is not being used to buy street clothes such as jeans or tennis shoes, employees must show receipts to the human resources department to get approval, she added.

Last year, 49 employees took advantage of the offer.

Latoszewski said the event that has been traditionally a private affair for CU employees. But this year it extended invitations to its partnering companies, resulting in a successful turnout of about 200 people.

"We wanted to promote proper attire in the workplace throughout the community,'' Latoszewski said. "And have fun while we were doing it.''

She said Jackson-area retailers that included S&K Menswear and the Maggie Ann Shop showcased their merchandise. And, while CU employees traditionally strut the catwalk, this year's models came from The Gerstacker Institute of Albion College, an organization that helps students learn about and experience the business management world.

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