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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Reader response to our new Beyond the Job section has been tremendous, but for those who don’t know what it is, this should shed some light on this new section. So many of the people appearing in the pages of Credit Union Times are known for just one thing – the role they play in the credit union industry. But what happens when they’re not conducting credit union business? In Beyond the Job, Credit Union Times will attempt to concisely capture an aspect of the non-work side of credit union leaders. Please note, color photos, preferably of the person doing one of their off-work activities, should be submitted. If you have something you would like included in Beyond the Job, contact the Credit Union Times reporter or editor you typically deal with or call Editor Paul Gentile at (561) 683-8515, ext. 10 or e-mail [email protected] * Ken Bredemeyer, president/CEO of AEA Credit Union in Yuma, Ariz. has always liked working with his hands. His dad used to make things out of wood, so Bredemeyer was exposed to woodcrafting at an early age. He began working with wood in a seventh and eighth grade shop class, and graduated to taking a furniture and cabinet making class in high school. In fact it was during one of those classes that Bredemeyer made a china cabinet out of walnut, a piece he still considers to be the largest he’s ever made. When he’s not at AEA CU, Bredemeyer can often be found working in his 600 square-foot workshop in his home making furniture and assorted woodcrafted products for his twin granddaughters – he made one of them a rocking horse and the other a rocking billy goat. He considers the latter piece to be his most ornate. Bredemeyer usually works out of oak or pine. Among some of his other works are a chest of drawers and a coffee table and end table. * Though based fairly far off Broadway, CUNA Director of Youth Financial Education Phil Heckman has enjoyed “some success,” as he modestly put it, as a playwright. In the mid-`80s on a whim, Heckman said he entered a Wisconsin radio competition for radio plays. Having one of those entries win first place and another win third, his whim evolved into a time-consuming labor of love. “I find it when I can,” Heckman said of the time it takes to cultivate his art. Though Heckman admits that his first love is writing children’s fiction and nonfiction for young adults, he has been more successful at penning pieces for the theater. Most recently, Heckman’s one-act play, “The View from Dunham’s Bluff,” won the 2002 Nantucket Short Play Festival. He has also been greatly involved in what is locally called a Blitzkrieg-where short plays are written and performed within a 24-hour period. Heckman said the groups of writers and actors are given a theme or title and must work with it, producing such plays from him as “Baby’s Breath” (the theme was flowers) and “Italian Dressing” (nationalities). Additionally, Heckman has written a full-length play about conflict between a boy and his stepfather, which carries political undertones. He also tried his hand at a monologue at the turn of the millennium entitled, “A Congratulatory Rebuke from the Twentieth Century to the Twenty-First Recorded in MS Word by Mark Twain,” based on a toast the famous writer had given at the turn of the last century. Heckman has set a dark comedy in a town known as a former tourist spot, but when visitors die down, residents market the town’s notorious lovers’ leap as an asset. Overall, Heckman said he has had about a half-dozen plays produced. * Inspired by the care she received through her own medical issues years ago, South Jersey Federal Credit Union Member Service Representative April Sferrazza decided to become a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician. Since 1999, Sferrazza and nine other volunteers have responded to emergency situations ranging from traffic accidents and shooting incidents to psychiatric and domestic situations. “It’s rough – especially the calls you get in the middle of the night,” said Sferrazza. “But usually when you’re in an emergency situation, everything is going on so fast-you just focus entirely on the person you’re treating.” After working all day at SJFCU, she is on call every evening and all weekend. This past December she became the first in her squad to earn her official EMT Certification which rates her nationally registered and certified. “Volunteers are in short supply,” said Sferrazza. “The demands are many-but knowing you’ve touched someone’s life is a reward in itself.” * Lions and Tigers and Bears? Oh My! More like bears and bears and bears, oh my! For NAFCU Director of Member Services Lauren Corbin, her teddy bears are “past the point of collection; it’s an addiction.” She likes the way they make people smile and puts them at ease, she explained. “It’s like Christmas everyday!” she exclaimed. Corbin’s favorite is a bear named Mr. Cinnamon, but she also loves collecting Boyd’s Bears and Cherished Teddies. “The face makes or breaks it for me,” she commented. But her bear collection-numbering over 1,500, which she inventories-also ties in her passions of traveling and history. Corbin has gone to all corners of the globe to find her treasurers, from England to Australia and to Austria and elsewhere around the world. One of her favorite spots is the Steiff factory, the oldest toy manufacturer in the world, which is where the history comes in. Steiff had begun producing teddy bears before World War II when Adolf Hitler decided that only toys representing the German culture would be made in the country. Additionally, toy manufacturers during the war often had to be creative with their bears because of the scarcity of materials caused by the conflict. Manufacturers would make the joints from cardboard and other materials when metal was not available. However, her teddy bear collection has a practical side as well; it’s a great investment. A few years ago she sold some off to make a down payment on her house. Corbin was also invited to open a QVC show on Boyd’s Bears and her portrait hangs in the Boyd’s Bears museum in Gettysburg, Pa. In addition, a local ABC news affiliate shot a six-minute special on the 100th anniversary of the teddy bear last year in her home. * For the Chanow’s, it was a truly happy New Year. NAFCU Senior Legislative Representative Murray Chanow’s wife, Linda, gave birth to a 21-1/2 inch, seven pound, six ounce baby boy on New Year’s Day. Tobias Bray Chanow was born happy and healthy around 7:30 in the evening. With the birth of their second child, Chanow describes his family life as chaotic but fun. The Chanow’s first son, Sam, will be two next month.

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