In the Press

VSECU Takes on the Point to Point to Fight Hunger in Vermont

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MONTPELIER, VT, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 – One in four Vermonters struggles with food insecurity and today as part of Hunger Action Month, VSECU expanded their commitment to help meet the needs of hungry Vermonters by announcing their adoption of the Point to Point charity cycling event.

Organizational Change at VSECU

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How do you build a business capable of keeping up with today’s technology? How do you do that while keeping your members’ needs front and center?
And how, once you’ve achieved those goals, do you prepare for tomorrow? VSECU’s digital specialist Shawn Christianson ponders these questions and more in his article about the credit union’s internal transformation.

The Climate Economy—an Important Opportunity for Vermont

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Despite growing uncertainty about our national climate policy, we can be proud that the Green Mountain State is widely recognized as a leader in green initiatives. Across the state, there is a shared commitment to environmental protection and carbon reduction. It goes without saying that Vermonters would buck any effort to shy away from our environmental responsibilities, but what’s truly unique about our great state is how we’re going about it: by tackling multi-generational and global climate challenges to create opportunity and prosperity and grow our economy.

Notice of Public Hearing

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Vermont State Employees Credit Union, One Bailey Avenue, Montpelier, Vermont, has filed an application with the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation to amend its field of membership to include members of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. Read more

NOTICE to VSECU MEMBERS

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In accordance with VSECU Bylaws, ARTICLE XIX, Section 1(a), Amendments to Article II, Section 1, amendments to the Qualification for Membership may be adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the authorized number of members of a duly held Board meeting, if the membership has been given at least 10 days’ notice of said meeting and the notice has contained a copy of the proposed amendment. Read more

VSECU’s Rob Miller Joins Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council

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MONTPELIER, VT– VSECU CEO Rob Miller was recently appointed to the First District’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC). The council, which includes members from all New England states, meets twice annually to advise the Bank on the economy, lending conditions, and other issues.

VSECU Announces Student Debt Relief for Three Vermonters

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Student LIFT Awards Aim to Reduce Financial Burden and Inspire Innovative Solutions for Regional Issues

MONTPELIER, VT– VSECU has awarded a total of $15,000 to help three Vermonters pay down student loan debt. The award is granted annually to VSECU members who submit an innovative idea that has the potential to positively impact Vermonters and/or Vermont communities.

We're the First U.S.-Based Credit Union to Earn Membership in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values

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Membership in Prestigious Global Organization Reflects Vision of Vermont-Based Credit Union

MONTPELIER, VT — VSECU today announced it has been accepted as a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of values-based banks, banking cooperatives, credit unions, microfinance institutions, and community development banks from across the world.

VSECU Donates $10,000 to Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless

MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, today announced it donated $10,000 through its VGives program to the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless (BCCH), a nonprofit organization striving for sustainable solutions to end the cycle of homelessness by promoting decent, safe, fair, and affordable shelter for all through a range of programs and support services.

VSECU launches annual student debt repayment program

MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, is now accepting applications for its Student LIFT debt repayment program. The unique program awards three Vermonters with $5,000 each, to use towards student loan payments. In contrast to typical scholarship programs, Student LIFT aims to empower former students to reduce the burden of student loan debt. Student loan debt can be a significant expense long after students leave college. Research from the Institute for College Access & Success (link is external) found that 65 percent of Vermonters hold student debt balances, with an average debt of $29,060.

VSECU Awards Grant to Spectrum Youth and Family Services

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$5,000 grant will support Basic Needs and a Stable Home programs

MONTPELIER, VT— VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, today announced that it has awarded Spectrum Youth & Family Services (“Spectrum”) with a $5,000 grant for its Basic Needs and Stable Home initiatives, which help homeless and at-risk youth. This gift will ensure that young people have access to critical support, including meals, material needs, shelter, housing, and improved connections to community support services.

Read the article at vermontbiz.com

The Power of the Cooperative Movement

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By Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU

Imagine a strategy that could transform a country’s poorest regional economy into one of great wealth and prosperity. An approach that could build a community that produces more than 9 percent of that country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 12 percent of its exports, and 30 percent of its patents, while only comprising 7 percent of its population. This scenario is no fantasy. It’s the realty in Emilia Romagna, Italy.

Read the full commentary at vermontbiz.com

VSECU Brings Vermonters Together With Semi-Annual Blood Drive Series

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Blood drives at six VSECU branches in June and July will benefit the American Red Cross

MONTPELIER, VT— VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, today announced the launch of its semi-annual blood drive series for the American Red Cross. The credit union will host six blood drives at branch locations around the state throughout June and into early July.

Read the full article at vermontbiz.com

VSECU Announces Commitment to Grow Vermont's Cooperative Economy

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Supporting a more dynamic local economy through strategic investments in local co-ops

MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU today announced a commitment to foster and grow Vermont’s cooperative economy through strategic equity investments in local cooperative organizations.

VSECU will make these strategic investments through Co-op Capital, a new initiative that marks the latest project under the credit union’s vision to bring people together to empower possibilities for greater financial, environmental, and social prosperity. The primary goal of Co-op Capital is to drive significant growth within Vermont’s cooperative economy and positively impact VSECU’s local communities. Accordingly, in addition to weighing the financial viability of its cooperative partners, VSECU will also consider the social impact of the co-ops it chooses to invest in through this program.

Read the full release at vermontbiz.com

Listen to coverage on vpr.net

Learn more about Co-op Capital on our website

It’s Time to Focus on Impact

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By Rob Miller, CEO, VSECU

Since becoming CEO of VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union open to all Vermonters, I’ve made a point to go out to the communities we serve, engaging with individuals and organizations to better understand issues impacting our members, and all Vermonters. Through these discussions, I came to appreciate the many challenges – and opportunities – facing Vermonters today.

VSECU Supports Local Entrepreneurship

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Partnership marks the first initiative under VSECU’s newly launched vision, focused on maximizing the credit union’s social, environmental and financial impact throughout Vermont

MONTPELIER, VT_—VSECU today announced a partnership with Vermont-based equity crowdfunding company Milk Money L3C, designed to empower entrepreneurialism and drive local business development.

VSECU: 2015 holiday spending not resulting in significant debt for Vermonters

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MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU today released new data detailing 2015 holiday spending trends amongst Vermonters, finding that Vermont consumers were more likely to finance holiday spending with cash than with credit. VSECU’s analysis showed that 2015 holiday spending via cash and debit increased compared to 2014, while credit card spending decreased by 8.8 percent.

How to Capture the Season's Good Will to Further Your Mission

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by Simeon Chapin, Director of Community & Social Development at VSECU

Vermont has more than 6,000 charitable organizations, all with important missions that help better the lives of our neighbors and improve our communities. With 18% of all donations occurring in December, it is by far the most popular month of the year for giving.

What do Giving Committees look for when deciding where to donate funds, and how do organizations appeal to those committees? Read the article at VermontBiz.com.

Building a Culture of Entrepreneurialism: We all play a role

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By Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU, and Dimitri Garder, Co-founders of Global-Z and Project Lead for The Lightning Jar

Vermont faces some serious economic challenges. While we boast one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, projected annual job growth is at 0.8% and the state’s job outlook is projected to be the third worst in the U.S. over the next few years. Further, we are struggling to keep talented employees and budding entrepreneurs in-state, seeing stagnant population growth and a workforce with the highest median age in the country…

VSECU Earns ENERGY STAR Certification for Two Branches

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MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU today announced that its most recently constructed branches, located in Waterbury and St. Johnsbury, have earned ENERGY STAR certification. The EPA award signifies that VSECU facilities perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide. Overall, ENERGY STAR buildings use 35 percent less energy and generate 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other facilities.

"The Lightning Jar" coworking space to open this summer in VSECU branch

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BENNINGTON, VT—Not being tied to an office has its advantages, but the solo small business owner, who stands to become the norm in the workforce according to some, often doesn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off or a way of getting a fresh perspective.

The Lightning Jar may change that, locally.

The Lightning Jar is a coworking space to be located at the new branch of Vermont State Employee Credit Union (open to all who work or live in Vermont) on North Street…

“The Lightning Jar” Coworking Space Developing in Downtown Bennington

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BENNINGTON, VT—A group of business and community leaders in Bennington are developing Vermont’s newest coworking space. Named “The Lightning Jar,” the space is expected to begin operations by the end of summer 2015. Located inside of the new VSECU branch in downtown Bennington, The Lightning Jar is planning to offer…

VSECU Receives National Award

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MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU, a credit union for everybody in Vermont, was recently recognized and received the prestigious 2014 Community Credit Union of the Year Award from the Credit Union National Association.

VSECU was one of four credit unions, among the 2,200 community credit unions serving members in the nation, honored during an awards presentation held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU, accepted the award on behalf of the credit union and stated, “It is with great pride to accept this award on behalf of the employees at VSECU who come to work every day with a mission driven purpose to help improve the quality of life for all Vermonters.”

LUND RECEIVES GIFT FROM VSECU

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT—Lund is delighted to announce a $5000 gift from VSECU, to the 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign. This generous gift will help to complete the purchase of Lund’s new facility at 50 Joy Drive which houses our Adoption Program, High School completion program, Parent Child Center, 5 STAR Early Childhood Education Program and Business / Development Offices. 50 Joy Drive is Lund’s second permanent site, complementing the Residential Treatment Program on Glen Road in Burlington.

A reading nook in one of the early childhood classrooms will be dedicated in honor of…

Expanded Statewide Presence with Completed Merger

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BENNINGTON, VT—P.M.H. Credit Union of Bennington and VSECU successfully completed a merger to provide convenience and expand access to financial services to the combined membership beginning August 1.

The 1,206 members of P.M.H. CU merged into VSECU, which now serves 54,000 members. The merger gives the former members of P.M.H. CU access to a broader array of financial products and services and creates a physical presence for VSECU to serve members at the Southwestern VT Medical Center campus branch located in the Toolan Building.

VSECU Donates to Windham County Child Care

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BRATTELBORO, VT—VSECU, Vermont’s only statewide credit union, is supporting the Windham Child Care Association with a $3,000 donation. The Windham Child Care Association administers programs and services for children, families, and early childhood educators to ensure access to high-quality child care is available to all children in Windham County.

“We are so proud to be able to financially assist this organization. Access to quality child care is an urgent and essential need for so many Vermont families,” expressed VSECU Brattleboro Branch Manager Lisa DiBernardo.

VSECU Sponsors 18th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup

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BRATTLEBORO, VT—VSECU, a statewide credit for everybody who lives or works in Vermont, is proud to sponsor the 18th annual Source to Sea Cleanup, the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s annual cleanup of our rivers and streams. For more than 60 years, the Connecticut River Watershed Council has been the leading environmental group working for the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of the Connecticut River watershed – from Vermont and New Hampshire to Massachusetts and Connecticut.

With VSECU’s financial support of $2,500, more than 2,000 volunteers will set out to remove tons of trash from the Connecticut River and its tributaries on September 26 & 27.

VSECU Engages Members in Charitable Giving

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MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU, a credit union for all Vermonters, donated $23,000 to Vermont charities through the We Care 2 Program. More than 7,000 credit union members cast a vote to help direct this portion of VSECU’s charitable contributions.

This year’s We Care 2 Program received 49 applications from charities from across the state of Vermont for consideration. The five finalists selected by VSECU’s Community Contributions Committee were NCSS Youth in Transition, Rutland Community Cupboard, Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, Therapy Dogs of Vermont and Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. The organizations were encouraged to rally support to earn VSECU membership votes through their social media and other communication channels.

Former Vermont Commissioner Named New CEO at VSECU

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MONTPELIER, VT—The largest and only state chartered credit union for all Vermonters announced that the VSECU Board of Directors has named Robert Miller, Managing Director at Conning, Hartford, CT, and former Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development, to succeed Steve Post as the Chief Executive Officer. Miller will join VSECU on March 31 and immediately assume the role of CEO.

In its search for a new CEO, the Board sought a candidate with leadership and strategic experience who could demonstrate…

Non-Profit Banking Celebration in St. Johnsbury

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ST. JOHNSBURY, VT—VSECU, the only statewide credit union for everyone who lives or works in Vermont, recently opened a new branch in St. Johnsbury at 1036 Memorial Drive. The credit union held its grand opening celebration on Thursday, February 20.

The branch is designed as an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient building to meet Energy Star certification standards. Amenities include a community room, which can be reserved and used by area residents, as well as a Tech Center where VSECU members can access free WiFi.

VSECU Supports Young Bakers

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BARRE, VT—When the credit union VSECU needed 700 cookies to deliver to Realtor businesses around the state, the Barre Technical Center Bakeshop was the bakery of choice for VSECU.

Elizabeth LaPerle, a mortgage originator with VSECU, chose the bakery not only for the homemade goods but also to help support the young students enrolled in the bakeshop program.

Farm-Fresh, Surplus Food Can Feed Communities

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MORRISVILLE, VT—VSECU, the only state-wide credit union, continues its commitment to improving the quality of life for all Vermonters by helping the Salvation Farms purchase a much-needed pickup truck to support its work to manage Vermont’s farm surplus crops. The Toyota Tacoma has already begun to transport and deliver food to organizations around the state.

“We are so pleased to have helped provide resources for Salvation Farms’ new pickup truck. Being able to help get food – healthy food that would have otherwise gone to waste – to those in need is one of the many ways VSECU works to help our neighbors,” said Kate Paine, Board member and Chair of the VSECU Community Giving Program.

CEO of Vermont’s Largest State-Chartered Credit Union Plans Retirement

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MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU publicly announced today that planning has begun to choose a successor to the current CEO, Steve Post, who is planning to retire after 23 years of leadership at the largest state chartered and only statewide credit union in Vermont.

Mr. Post was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 1990 and previously held the position of General Manager at the White River Credit Union in Rochester, Vermont. Post served as Chairman of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions Government Relations Committee and has been an active and local voice working with regulators and legislators to ensure a place for financial cooperatives in Vermont.

VSECU Breaks Ground at New Site for St. Johnsbury Branch

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ST. JOHNSBURY, VT—VSECU had its official groundbreaking ceremony at the site for its new St. Johnsbury Branch on July 10 at 1036 Memorial Drive.

This office will serve as VSECU’s first Northeast Kingdom location. The renovation of the purchased site will allow VSECU the flexibility to expand its services to credit union members in the NEK.

VSECU Opens New Rutland Branch Office

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RUTLAND, VT—VSECU’s Rutland Branch Office has moved and opened its doors for business on Dec. 12, 2011, at its new location at 72 Seward Road in Rutland Town, adjacent to Alderman’s Toyota.

The old VSECU branch located in the Asa Bloomer Building in downtown Rutland closed on Friday, Dec. 9. The ATM at the Asa Bloomer building is still onsite for cash withdrawals.

The new branch enables us to enhance service for our members, featuring a 24/7 ATM, drive-thru teller lanes and plenty of parking. In addition, the branch offers a coin counter and a community room for use by Rutland area organizations for meetings and small gatherings.

Gossens Bachman Architects of Montpelier designed the 4,300-square-foot office, and Russell Construction Services of Rutland was the contractor for the project. The new facility was built to meet environmental sustainability and energy conservation standards set by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a third-party green certification system.

A grand opening and open house is planned for early 2012.

Hours of operation:
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Friday
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Saturday

Drive-thru hours:
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday
8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Friday
9:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Saturday

Six Vermont Charities Benefit through VSECU Facebook Campaign

Facebook is not just for finding your best friend from high school or whiling away the hours playing Farmville—six Vermont-based charities discovered how it can be effectively used to help those in need.

VSECU (Vermont State Employees Credit Union) donated $10,000 to the six charities through an employee directed giving program called We Care 2. The Central Vermont Humane Society received $5,000, while five other charities, Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta and Project Independence in Barre, each received $1,000.

From the beginning of the employee directed giving program, VSECU hoped to engage Vermonters around the state in a discussion about how the $10,000 should be distributed. Even though it would be VSECU employees who would choose the charities, they wanted to give others outside the credit union the opportunity to suggest charities and why they should be supported.

“Our Board of Directors understands that our staff is working with members and Vermonters from all over the state. Instead of them directing part of our giving budget to entities in need, they wanted our staff to be part of that identification process,” said Yvonne Garand, VSECU’s vice president of Business Development. “Ultimately, it was up to our employees to choose which charities would receive the funding set aside by our Board, but they wanted to hear from the community, too.”

According to Garand, VSECU determined that the most accessible way for people across the state to weigh in on the We Care 2 program was through its Facebook page, “A Banking Co-op for all Vermonters.” “Through Facebook, our employees were able to gain a wider knowledge of the charities available for Vermonters,” Garand said. “Our employees wanted to hear from the community hoping to gather some recommendations. Employees created a video and posted it on Facebook asking Vermonters to submit charities for our staff to consider. In addition, using Facebook gave these charities another forum to promote their causes to the community. The overall response was amazing.”

VSECU created an electronic submission form for Facebook users. For people not on Facebook, suggestions could be submitted on paper at branch locations. Nearly 440 online suggestions and 40 suggestions on paper were submitted over the course of one month. Several charities actively campaigned for their causes, urging their staff and clients to submit suggestions and write on VSECU’s Facebook wall.

According to Linda Johnson, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, the We Care 2 campaign was another way to let the community know about her charity. “I want to thank everyone who participated in this very special VSECU event,” she said. “All the charities involved make our community the great place it is, to live and work. At PCAV, we are here to help every child in Vermont thrive at home, in their school and community. Again, thank you, VSECU members and friends for supporting us all!”

During the month of July, VSECU employees using Facebook could read and consider the wall posts. All suggestions, both online and on paper, were also posted on the VSECU employee intranet, and in early August, employees were asked to submit their charity of choice where five rounds of employee voting followed narrowing the field until the final six were selected.

“Some of our employees were very passionate about their charities and were actively promoting them to their co-workers,” Garand said. “Just like community members who shared their stories and enthusiasm for charities, our employees engaged in the same online community conversation by utilizing our internal blog during the voting process. You could see where employees were talking to each other about why certain charities should be considered.”

“I am so glad to be a part of a company that is giving back to the community,” said Pattie Dupuis, who works in VSECU’s mortgage department. “I voted for the Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice because they provided such compassionate support to my family when my father was dying of cancer. We lost him last March, but he was able to die with dignity. Hospice was there for my father and for my family. I am glad I was able to be a part of funding their continued efforts.”

Garand says she hopes the We Care 2 program can continue. “Our employees really enjoyed the opportunity to help their fellow Vermonters,” she said, “and using social media made it an interesting experience. We are just now discovering the power of social media to engage VSECU members and non-members around the state.”

VSECU donated $10,000 to six charities through their employee directed giving campaign called We Care 2. Although employees made the ultimate decision on how the money should be distributed to the charities, anyone could submit a suggestion for a charitable cause via Facebook.