<p>RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Look out Katie and Matt because Riverside County’s Credit Union’s own Mark and Ricki are moving in. During a recent Orange Blossom Festival, RCCU President/CEO Mark Hawkins and Vice President Marketing/Business Development Ricki McManuis made their first television debut as hosts of the festival’s Market Street Parade. This year’s parade theme was “Discovering the Imagination” and over 200,000 people participated in the festival. Having already brushed up on their parade terminology, fortunately the duo also practiced their media ad-libs. Broadcast live on Charter Communications, local Channel 3, there were a few unexpected technical difficulties, but Mark and Ricki took it in stride and said it added a fun quirkiness to the parade coverage. “It was stressful, but really we had a good time,” said McManuis. “The greatest challenge was that we had no way to keep in touch with the studio so that was a bit trying because we had to rely on hand signals. At one point it was hilarious because we were told we were at commercial but actually we were still live!” For the past seven years, the $373 million credit union has sponsored the festival and this marks the second year it also sponsored the parade. Wanting to do something different with parade coverage this year, the board and parade organizers Turner Communications, turned to Hawkins and McManuis who are known throughout the community for their upbeat personalities. “The idea behind it was to just have regular credit union employees instead of celebrities give the inside parade scoop,” said McManuis. Two weeks prior to the parade the big promotion hoopla began with radio, television, newspaper advertising and buttons created for employees only, which featured the faces of Mark and Ricki atop cartoon cutout figures with a microphone. Surprisingly the buttons soon became the hottest collectors item in town. “It was funny, no matter where I went everyone wanted the buttons,” said McManuis. “But with all the buildup, the closer we got to the parade it really made me feel like the pressure is on.” Though not quite ready to take the act on the road, Mark and Ricki say hosting was just an opportunity they couldn’t pass up and another way to be involved with the community. “Our mission is to create rewarding relationships and to touch our members and employees in a way so that they are proud to be connected with an organization that cares,” said McManuis. No stranger to the community, Hawkins, McManuis and the entire RCCU management team generally log an average of over 4,000 volunteer hours a year. Although the parade ended early, forcing Hawkins and McManuis into an impromptu post-parade/pre-festival coverage, both still managed to have a lot of fun. Who knows where the “Mark and Ricki Show” may pop up next? [email protected]</p>

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