Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Mendo Lake Credit Union honored for outstanding service

2016mlcutrailblazeraward

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Mendo Lake Credit Union (MLCU) is the recipient of the Credit Union Times’ 2016 Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Service to the Underserved.

MLCU was recently honored at the Credit Union National Association gathering in Washington, D.C.

MLCU Chairman of the Board Rob Scott of Westport and Chief Financial Officer David Rhoades of Ukiah attended the meeting to receive the award on behalf of MLCU.

“As board chair, I am extremely proud of what MLCU has been able to create by focusing on serving those who might not otherwise have access to traditional banking services,” said Scott.

With branches in Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Lakeport and Ukiah, the credit union takes a proactive approach to assisting the Mendocino and Lake communities.

MLCU President and CEO Richard Cooper noted that in recognizing MLCU, “the Credit Union Times cited the institution’s reputation as a community do-gooder,” something Cooper credits to his staff’s strong commitment to serve those in the community that might have had issues with previous banking relationships and to the institution’s partnership with community businesses and organizations.

“From our front line to our board of directors, the entire team is engaged and committed to our vision of making Mendocino and Lake counties better places to live and work. That's as good as it gets!” said Cooper.

In a Feb. 21 story about the selection of MLCU for the award, the Credit Union Times pointed to staff members’ willingness to “take chances on those who are having financial trouble, have formed strong relationships with local organizations and even competitors, and were some of the first to initiate relief efforts during the Valley Fire that crippled” Lake County’s south region last fall.

MLCU first opened in 1959 to serve local school employees but opened its membership up to the community in the 1980s.

“MLCU's commitment to serving the underserved has not only supported the local economy and helped members become more financially secure; it's resulted in significant growth at the credit union,” noted the Credit Union Times.

From 2007 to 2015, MLCU experienced membership growth of 148 percent (11,281 to 28,000), asset growth of 211 percent ($69.6 million to $216.1 million) and loan growth of 120 percent ($58.7 million to $129.3 million).

“Partnering with local organizations to serve the community is another priority for MLCU. Two key partnerships are with the charitable organization North Coast Opportunities, with which the credit union organized successful fire relief programs over the past year, and the Economic Development and Financing Organization, which MLCU partners with for business loans. MLCU also helps bring financial education into local classrooms by sponsoring Banzai, an online financial literacy program.”

One of the reasons MLCU works well with the underserved community, according to Cooper, is that employees are great at making members feel comfortable simply because they have so much in common with them.

“It's a comfort zone,” Cooper told the Credit Union Times. “You might come into the branch straight from the field with mud all over you and a worried look that says, ‘How am I going to repair my car or maybe even feed my kids?’ And you’ll be able to talk to someone who can actually help you and who speaks your language – in more ways than one.”

Many staff members speak Spanish as well as English.

Mendo Lake Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative and has been serving members’ financial needs since 1959.

Upcoming Calendar

28Sep
09.28.2022 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Levee and flood risk workshop
29Sep
09.29.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
29Sep
09.29.2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan update meeting
1Oct
10.01.2022 7:00 am - 11:00 am
Sponsoring Survivorship annual walk and run
1Oct
10.01.2022 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Konocti Challenge
1Oct
1Oct
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
1Oct
10.01.2022 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
20th annual Falling Leaves Quilt Show
1Oct
10.01.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop

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