"Ascend is recycling roughly a ton-and-a-half of paper a week," Cintas Operations Manger Mark Rose said. "That's impressive. In past years, that would have gone straight to a landfill."
Cintas performs secure document shredding services for the credit union. Once the documents are shredded, they are taken to a secure recycling facility and converted into recycled products. According to Rose, Ascend's recycling efforts have saved 1,258 trees, 28,120 gallons of oil and 518,000 gallons of water.
According to Ascend FCU President/CEO Caren Gabriel, recycling is just one way the credit union works to help the environment and its members.
"For many years, we have encouraged members to take advantage of free and secure online bill payment and online statements offered by Ascend," she said. "According to a recent study by Javelin Strategy and Research, if every U.S. household stopped receiving paper bills and statements, they would save 687,000 tons of paper every year."
Gabriel adds that plans are underway to offer members a financial incentive to go green with an auto loan promotion beginning July 1.
"We are incorporating a new auto loan policy that allows members to get a quarter-point rate discount when they purchase a qualifying new or used environmentally friendly vehicle," she said. "This is an easy way people can help the environment and save money at the same time."
CUs a Hit With Young Professionals
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Mid-American Credit Union Association and Capital Credit Union have quite the reputation among Gen Y professionals.
Both were recently recognized as one of the top ten places for young professionals to work in Bismarck/Mandan.
The list was started by the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network in 2006, with standards based on what young individuals are looking for in places they work. The YP Network surveyed over 400 network members (ages 21-39) inquiring what they look for in an employer and what they think makes for a great work environment.
The survey found that the most important aspects young people consider when looking at employers are competitive pay, flexible hours, continuing education and training, opportunities for advancement, and a positive and supportive work environment. Recognition, employee participation, work-life balance and overall company mission are also important factors.
This is the second consecutive year Capital CU has been cited and was recognized for encouraging employees to act like an owner and be their best. Mid-America CUA's mix of generous benefit and vacation packages and challenging opportunities helped the organization make this year's top 10 cut.
To be eligible, the employer must have employees under the age of 40. A selection committee composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds reviewed the applications and collaborated to create the network's second annual listing of the top 10 places to work. All entries were anonymously evaluated based on the following criteria:
Innovation--Active development and execution of strategies that advance the employment of young professionals in the Bismarck-Mandan community.
Benefits--Quality and type of benefits offered to employees.
Inclusion--Active development and execution of strategies that result in the inclusion of young professionals in the workplace.
Other businesses receiving the award included Aetna, Applied Engineering Inc., Clearwater Communications, Cloverdale Foods Co., Eide Bailly LLP, National Information Solution Cooperative, North Dakota Department of Transportation and Odney Communications Group.
Cougar CU Members Dance Night Away
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Capitol Middle School students had lots to celebrate during the Pastel Polo Dance sponsored by LA DOTD Federal Credit Union's in-school branch, Cougar Credit Union.
During the school day, students, administration, faculty and staff dressed in pastel polo shirts to show off their Cougar Credit Union spirit and 500 students were ready to dance at the end of the school day.
To attend the creative membership drive event, credit union members paid $1 and nonmembers $6 ($5 of which went toward setting up a new student savings account). Helping in this effort was Baton Rouge attorney Dedrick Moore, who sponsored the initial deposits of 310 new student accounts.
"This is such an important financial education program--it lays the groundwork for establishing smart money habits for life," said Moore. "I am honored to play a role in helping our youth."
Cougar Credit Union--where you can "save cash in a flash"--operates as a branch of LA DOTD FCU. It is the second student-run credit union operated by LA DOTD FCU in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. LA DOTD FCU runs a similar program at Staring Education Center. Open each Tuesday during the school year, the credit union is staffed by specially trained eighth-grade students, who work under the supervision of a LA DOTD FCU employee. The credit union is designed to help Capitol Middle School students set realistic savings goals and age-appropriate savings programs.
"We want to create a new generation of savers and introduce them to the importance of building a relationship with a financial institution," said Danielle Scott, LA DOTD FCU's financial education leader, who oversees the in-school branch program. Scott previously taught in the district for six years.
Cougar Credit Union has its own marketing staff, led by students who plan various marketing and educational activities to support the credit union throughout the year. The Pastel Polo Dance--the final marketing event of this school year--was a huge success, resulting in 378 new Cougar Credit Union members opening savings accounts. Since first opening in January 2008, Cougar Credit Union has opened 529 accounts--a 77% school-wide participation.
"At the ribbon cutting, Superintendent Placide challenged Capitol Middle School to get 100% student participation," said Lamont Cole, principal of Capitol Middle School. "With the help of Moore and Moore Associates, along with other community partners, we are well on our way to meeting this challenge."
Red Canoe Staff Treated Swimmingly
LONGVIEW, Wash. -- Red Canoe Credit Union was recently honored as one of the top 100 best places to work, according to Washington CEO Magazine.
Over 400 companies were considered for the list, with Red Canoe listed as the second best place to work in the not-for-profit/government category.
"It was an honor to be recognized at this event. It's a true testament to our staff, management and board for making every day a great day to work at Red Canoe," said Red Canoe CU President/CEO Bob Kane.
According to Red Canoe Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Kim Divine, the "unique, fun culture here is one that is hard to duplicate and is appreciated by all who join our team."
The final judging of the companies listed was conducted by an independent firm who evaluated several factors of the company's culture, including surveys completed by all levels of staff members.