Before the memory of Constitution Corporate FCU is reduced to the result of a random Internet search, the one-year anniversary of its conservatorship was a time to reflect on a day that continues to impact a small but dedicated staff that served their members for more than 30 years.
Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. Our CEO walked past my office window just before 2:30 p.m., his briefcase in hand. I remember thinking how unusual it was for him to park in front of the building when he preferred the exercise from parking in the rear lot.
They arrived together 20 minutes later. Dozens of agency representatives in dark suits emerged from five or six vehicles and walked across the parking lot to conserve our corporate. We were called to the board room where there was no blame placed, no apologies made and no sugar-coated message, just a frank statement that within a few months our corporate would no longer exist. The silence in the room was broken by relief that the speculation was finally over and disappointment that our corporate wasn’t given a chance to survive. Suddenly, our CEO’s departure in the middle of the day made sense.
As the first few days under conservatorship passed, I welcomed assignment after assignment from the regulators as we communicated with members about our future. The days grew to weeks, and I thrived in the busy, sometimes frantic pace that kept me from focusing on our fate. The stories and rumors that swirled around working with the agency, I would learn, were unfounded. It became quite clear they were equally distressed by the difficult job they had come to do. They treated us with respect and dignity to the end.
On Dec. 1, 2010, when we were merged with another corporate, a 90-day transition period rallied our staff to convert our members to a different corporate structure, train them on new systems and say goodbye. By the time Feb. 28, 2011, appeared on the calendar, we had reminisced, laughed and mourned together. As the building bearing our logo disappeared out my car’s rear window, I knew there would never be another job like the one I had just lost.
In the months since our closing, some have found work with former members or moved to different sectors in the financial services industry. Still others remain unemployed. The allegiance to credit unions that encompassed half my career and became my second skin was sadly shed for a job in the construction field. Our staff remains loosely connected by a Facebook page, but fewer and fewer posts means we may be closing the chapter we hoped would never end. Goodbye, Constitution.
Former Marketing Manager
Constitution Corporate FCU