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DARBOY, Wis. – You won’t find Darboy on any map. While there are many road signs directing travelers to Darboy, from the highway exit sign to the water tower, Darboy is not a city, town or village. It’s a “community” in the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin with an Appleton ZIP code and covering some parts of the towns of Buchanan in Outagamie County and Harrison in Calumet County, and it’s become one of the fastest-growing areas in the region and the hot spot for financial institutions to open facilities Much of Darboy’s growth can be attributed to the construction several years ago of a highway bypass – 441 -that gave north-south commuters easy access to the east side of Appleton and its neighboring communities. Farm fields that once spouted corn and soybeans now witness businesses and homes spring up at a fast pace. Potential needs of this community have not gone unnoticed. Three credit unions and several banks already have facilities in the area and others are building. Credit unions that planned to build in Darboy and purchased land sites earlier were able to deflect today’s premium real estate prices. Community First CU President Catherine Tierney says the $466-million CFCU did extensive research before locating here. “Darboy was very attractive. When we site a branch, we are interested in the mix of potential, from rooftops to being in an area convenient for retail and industrial.” Community First’s Darboy location, with 5,700 square feet, four drive-up lanes and a drive-up ATM, was its 11th traditional branch. The credit union also has six other non-traditional branches in high schools and retirement communities, said Tierney. The one-story Darboy- structure was built at the same time as a branch west of Appleton in another growing area, Greenville. “Building two branches at one time gave us economies of scale,” said Tierney. Prospera CU, formerly Banta Community CU in Menasha, also found the Darboy area “incredibly lucrative,” says Sandy Schultz, vice president of marketing. “It had a significant number of family units out there, and families represent some of the greatest financial needs such as checking, mortgages and investing.” Prospera had not built a branch for several years and Schultz said the credit union “wanted it to have an approachable feel. It’s not an exceptionally large branch, not more than 3,200 square feet at a cost of approximately $1 million. It’s fairly intimate inside, but it is a comprehensive service branch.” The development of the branch has been “a learning process,” says Schultz. “It’s different from our other locations. There are some businesses in that section of Darboy, but because it is so heavily residential, our drive-through business might be very different than our Neenah location which has more retail activity around it.” Schultz said Prospera chose a Darboy site after considering three factors: *Potential growth and development *Demographics and psychographics, a profile that looked at more than just age and income, she said, but at “whether they have a lifestyle to create needs” such as loans for boats and other toys. *Convenience and relevance for members. Prospera analyzed how many existing members already lived in the area and a Darboy location made sense. Fox Communities Credit Union, on the edge of Darboy in Appleton, had considered a few other areas but chose its site because of adjacent highway accessibility for its members to the south and because the area has seen such strong growth in retail and residential. When it purchased the land a few years ago, says Greg Hilbert, president and CEO, “we really didn’t know it would be such a successful place.” The site is Fox Communities’ new main “corporate” office which also operates as a full service branch. “This center has enabled us to bring many departments together in an effort to improve member service and increase efficiency,” says Cathy Harvath, marketing manager. The two-story building, approximately 33,000 square feet, has five drive-up lanes and a drive-up ATM. With such a high concentration of financials here, it’s definitely competitive, says Community First’s Tierney. “There’s a lot of opportunity here. The concentration of financials here works the same as why car dealerships all seem to be in one area: It makes the experience better for the consumer. We had a strong base of members that lived in Darboy. The Fox Cities is an incredibly competitive marketplace. We have more community-chartered credit unions per square mile than any other area.” Prospera has adjusted its marketing for the area, said Schultz. When the branch opened in October 2002, it was one of the first new financials out there. “The first one in does have some advantage. The level of awareness has increased. But the level of awareness and the competition is a double-edged sword. We have tailored our approach for that branch, not only because it’s new but because of the competition there.”

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