Author Archive for Bobbi Jo Barthelemy

WE ARE HONORED TO ANNOUNCE DUSTIN AS THE WINNER OF OUR Q4 2019 MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD

This Award is a peer chosen, quarterly award given to an employee who truly makes a difference in the lives of our members, community and coworkers. Dustin has worked at Great River Federal Credit Union for two years, and has made an impact on many people he works with that appreciate his patience and knowledge.  Dustin was nominated for this award for always having a positive attitude, and helping out wherever possible. Dustin is a true team player, with great communication! Other team members are  saying, “Being in our I.T. department, he is frequently asked for help with tasks that are difficult for us as employees, but he makes you feel good and like he truly likes to and wants to help us! Thank you Dustin”

Congratulations to Dustin and “Thank You” from all of us at the Credit Union for all you do to keep us running smoothly. You are truly appreciated and we are lucky to have you!

WE ARE HONORED TO ANNOUNCE DUSTIN AS THE WINNER OF OUR Q4 2019 MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD 1

GET TO KNOW DUSTIN A LITTLE MORE:

  • Favorite thing about working at the Credit Union? Helping everyone! It’s the best part of my job. And my team- They are the best and I really enjoy working with them. 
  • Fun fact about yourself? I am full of useless trivia knowledge especially musicians and actors
  • Hidden talent: Movie quotes. I can quote movies I haven’t seen in years. 
  • When not at the CU working, what’s your favorite thing to do? Go fishing and watch football with my family.
  • Who is your favorite super hero? Deadpool
  • Favorite movie/show? The Breakfast Club
  • Favorite place you have ever been? Duluth, MN

 

Favorite quote: I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’ and hook up with them later. – Mitch Hedberg

Giving Back Around the Holidays

We are just blown away by the amount of support we have received from our members with our partnerships with Pathways 4 Youth and Anna Marie’s Alliance.

At our St. Cloud and Waite Park branches, we collected gently used winter gear, food and shelter supplies for Pathways 4 Youth and their Home[less] For The Holidays campaign and had filled 2 vehicles with goodies! 

Then our Sauk Rapids and Sartell branches collected new items for the women and children at Anna Marie’s Alliance in St. Cloud and filled ANOTHER vehicle with all new items, including many gifts for the adults, teens and children!

We are humbled by the generosity of our members! Thank you for all you did to make these initiatives possible! We have the best members EVER!

Giving Back Around the Holidays 2
Giving Back Around the Holidays 3

Which Coffee Are You Winner- Whitney

Which Coffee Are You Winner- Whitney 4

We teamed up with 104.7 KCLD to do a fun little survey to predict what kind of coffee drinker you were based on your spending and lifestyle habits. Everyone who took the quiz was entered to win a $250 gift card to Jules Bistro in downtown St. Cloud. 

 

The winner of our contest was Whitney D. from St. Cloud. Her coffee style result was a small latte with skim milk and a shot of Vanilla. She jokingly said that is very close to her favorite drink; which is a necessity since she is a new mom this year! <3 

 

Here’s a recap of what her coffee style says about her:
Today is a great day to be alive and you plan to enjoy it, but not at the expense of tomorrow. Espresso and steamed milk warm your heart and soul, energizing you for the day and helping you enjoy the sweet life…in moderation.

 

Get got know Whitney even better with a “This or That” questionnaire below:

 

Music or podcasts? Depends on the time of day – at work it’s always music in the morning and podcasts during the afternoon. 

 

Cake or pie? Cake

 

Tropical  relaxing vacation or mountain adventures? Tropical relaxing vacation

 

Nice car or nice home interior? Nice home interior

 

Hamburger or Taco? Taco

 

Eat in or dine out? Dine out!

 

Summer or Fall? Fall

 

Toilet paper: Over or under? It makes no difference as long as there is always some on the roll.

 

Coke or Pepsi? Depends on the day!

 

City or Countryside? Countryside

 

Corn or peas? Corn

 

Food truck or fancy dinner? Food Truck

 

Drive nice car or get a “fancy coffee” every day? Nice car every day, but fancy coffee for a good treat!

 

Cats or dogs? Dogs

 

Sneakers or Sandals? Sandals

 

Country Chic or Modern? Modern

 

Favorite drink (or food item) at Jules? I have yet to find anything I didn’t love at Jules! My go-to is a peppermint mocha, but I love trying the seasonal beverages, too. 

 

Thank you Whitney and everyone who entered to win! Congratulations and enjoy all of that coffee and treats from Jules Bistro! 

Soup & Chili Cook-off November 2019

On November 15th, we hosted a soup and chili cook-off at our branches! Each soup was voted on by fellow employees and prizes were awarded to first and second place. Check out the winning recipes and give them a try; they are “award winning” after all. Soup & Chili Cook-off November 2019 5

 

First Place- Southwestern Corn Soup: Submitted by Ashley B.

1/4 cup Green Peppers (finely chopped)
1T. Butter or Margarine
3 oz cream cheese (cubed)
8 oz Velveeta Mexican Cheese cut into 1/2″ cubes
14.75 oz Cream-Style corn
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup Tortilla Chips (crushed)
Cook and stir pepper in butter in medium sauce pan on medium heat until crisp-tender. Add cream cheese; cook on low heat until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in Velveeta, corn and milk; cook until Velveeta is completely melted and soup is heated through, stirring occasionally. 
Serve topped with chips and enjoy!

 

Second Place- White Chicken Chili: Submitted by Nikki M.

1 15oz can Black Beans

1 15.25 oz can corn (undrained)

1 10oz can Rotel tomatoes (undrained)

1 package ranch dressing mix

1 tsp cumin or taco seasoning

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 8oz brick cream cheese
2 lb chicken breast or 2lbs chicken thighs (could substitute rotisserie chicken as well)

  1. Drain and rinse the black beans. Place the chicken at the bottom of the crock pot, then pour out the whole can of corn (undrained), Rotel tomatoes, and black beans on top of the chicken.
  2. Top with seasoning and ranch dressing mix. Stir Together
  3. Place cream cheese block on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. After the cooking time is over, take chicken from crock pot and shred. Add back to the chili. Stir and enjoy!

Tracy MAD Winner

WE ARE HONORED TO ANNOUNCE TRACY AS THE WINNER OF OUR Q3 2019 MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD

This Award is a peer chosen, quarterly award given to an employee who truly makes a difference in the lives of our members, community and coworkers. Tracy has worked at Great River Federal Credit Union for under a year, but has already formed many long lasting relationships and friendships at GRFCU. Tracy was nominated for this award for always having a positive attitude, and helping out wherever possible. She’s a great listener and really keeps her composer when dealing with difficult situations. She likes to stay busy at work by helping and training newer employees to fill fulfilled and knowledgeable within their job duties. 

 

Congratulations to Tracy and “Thank You” from all of us at the Credit Union for all you do for our members, employees and community. You are truly appreciated and we are lucky to have you!

 

Tracy Holding trophy

 

Get to know Tracy a little more:

  • Favorite thing about working at the Credit Union?Getting to know our regulars and becoming someone who makes them smile daily.
  • Hidden talent?I can make a three leaf clover with my tongue.
  • Fun fact about yourself? I’ve hiccuped every single day since high school.
  • When not at the CU working, what’s your favorite thing to do? I love to play softball.
  • Who is your favorite super hero? God! Can I get an Amen?! I actually have a printed Tee with superheroes sitting in a circle around Jesus. He’s telling them “And that’s how I saved the world”.
  • Favorite movie/show? The Notebook… because PASSION!
  • Favorite place you have ever been? Australia for sure! I went zip-lining through the rain-forest!

 

Favorite quote: “Don’t let life do you; do life.” – My Brother

International Credit Union Day 10.17.2019

On Oct. 17, 2019, 56,000+ credit unions around the world celebrated International Credit Union (ICU) Day®, an annual event to commemorate the credit union movement’s impact and achievements. This year marks the 71st anniversary. Great River has been celebrating ICU day all week! Tied closing with CU Forward Day (Oct. 14th) we have taken the opportunity to have a whole week of giving back to our communities! We’ve volunteered at the book fair at Mississippi Heights Elementary School, bought and assembled tie blankets for St. Cloud Hospital, donated baked goods to Quiet Oaks Hospice House, helped with laying sod for a Habitat for Humanity home, and are hosting a local winter clothing drive for Pathways 4 Youth! 

International Credit Union Day 10.17.2019 6

 

There are 200+ million credit union members around the world—more than 100 million in the U.S. alone—and Great River Federal Credit Union joins them in celebration of the not-for-profit cooperative spirit that all credit unions share.

This cooperative spirit has led to life-changing opportunities for people all over the world who’ve wanted to start a small business, own a home or continue their education but were denied access to other financial institutions. In many parts of the world, people’s first taste of democracy is through their credit union, where “one member, one vote” is the governing structure.

International Credit Union Day 10.17.2019 7At its most basic level, a credit union is people pooling their money to provide each other with affordable loans—it is literally people helping people. This is why we celebrate ICU Day. Because credit unions empower people, wherever they are in the world or life, to take control of their financial future.

The public is welcome to stop by any of our branches and celebrate with us with cookies and other goodies as a movement that concerns itself with the financial success of all people.

Since 1948, International Credit Union Day has been celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October. Each year, the international event affords the opportunity to remember credit unions’ proud history and promote awareness of and support for the credit union and financial cooperative difference. This year’s International Credit Union Day theme is “Local Service. Global Reach.” It speaks to how each credit union serves a local community—and it is because of that local service in communities across the world that we have a global credit union movement that’s now 200+ million members strong. This day is a celebration of the impact credit unions and other financial cooperatives have made—and continue to make for their members. It is also a chance to be thankful for the lives and communities that have been improved by our movement.

 

Why do millions of people worldwide choose credit unions?

Because credit unions have a “people helping people” philosophy that drives them to constantly improve the lives of their members and their communities. We are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money, access loans, and other financial services at reasonable rates.

Credit unions exist to serve their members (like you), not to make a profit. 

It’s a True Minnesota Tradition

At Great River, we know that Every Story Matters and wanted to share a really special story that came from our AVP of Branch Experience, Lindsay Salzbrun

My very special Grandparents Lee & Bev Bahr bought their 1st MN State Fair Food stand back in 1963 with 3 more stand purchases shortly there after! 56 years later… Yes my Grandparents are still running the show! ❤ As a little girl, barely seeing over the counter I learned many, many lessons of customer service, how to handle and combat my grandfathers many practical jokes, business etiquette, customer relationships and money handling… yes, as a 10 year old I was training new employees to learn to count change back to customers. I spent 17 years staying with my Grandparents for 3 weeks every summer to work at the State Fair; 4am-6pm daily (unless I needed to shower I had to set my alarm at 3:30am before my grandpa would get up. If he decided he was out the door… we were out the door… no questions asked.) As I took a step back from working the fair when my youngest was born, I was at peace knowing all of my younger cousins had grown and easily took my place… keeping Grandpa inline 😉 My family still visits every year regularly (2-4x) and with my traditional first day “YOU CAN DO IT” phone call, I call my grandma every other day for updates on how her days went. Attendance, weather, facility updates, new products, family matters… our conversations are priceless and it’s as though I haven’t missed a beat!
The second my oldest daughter is able (which is only 2 more years)… I will be back in action teaching her the ropes and many lessons that come with this amazing family tradition.

With this I leave you…

The stories that go on behind the scenes at the fair are endless, it is ALWAYS fun to hear the amazing food tidbits, and Traditions are PRICELESS.

 

Enjoy the Great Minnesota Get Together this weekend, and stop by one of our families shops to support them if you get a chance! 

Sincerely,

Lindsay 

It's a True Minnesota Tradition 8

Meet Kevin Winner of Q2 2019 Making a Difference Award

WE ARE HONORED TO ANNOUNCE Kevin AS THE WINNER OF OUR Q2 2019 MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD

This Award is a peer chosen, quarterly award given to an employee who truly makes a difference in the lives of our members, community and coworkers. Kevin has worked at Great River Federal Credit Union for just 5 and a half months, but has already formed many long lasting relationships and friendships at GRFCU. Kevin was nominated for this award for always having a positive attitude, and helping out wherever possible. He’s a great listener and has used his Spanish fluency to help our Spanish-speaking members fully understand their banking needs and resources!

 

Congratulations to Kevin and “Thank You” from all of us at the Credit Union for all you do for our members, employees and community. You are truly appreciated and we are lucky to have you!

 

Kevin Holding Making a difference award

 

 

Get to know Kevin a little more:

  • Favorite thing about working at the Credit Union? My co-workers and helping the members.
  • Hidden talent? Must still be hidden 😉
  • Fun fact about yourself? I’m originally from El Salvador and moved to the US when I was 9.
  • When not at the CU working, what’s your favorite thing to do? To be with family and friends or playing soccer. I am also a Business Management Student at SCTCC.
  • Who is your favorite super hero? Spider-man
  • Favorite movie/show? Fast and Furious
  • Favorite place you have ever been?  Anywhere in El Salvador

 

Favorite quote: You miss 100% of the shot you never take.

Updates & Upgrades to Better Serve YOU

2019 will be an important year that will help form the future of Great River Federal Credit Union for the next 10-15 years. In 2019, we plan to update the interior of our Sauk Rapids location, which will allow our team the ability to better interact with each member that chooses to come inside to do their banking.
In addition to our “cosmetic changes”, we will be doing significant work to improve the main software system that our branch team members use to process our members’ deposit and loan transactions. Once the system is integrated, and the team becomes comfortable with it (we’ve had our current system for the past 25 years); we fully expect to be able to more quickly and efficiently help our members, giving them more time to finish the other items on their task list.
You may experience some longer wait times in our branches and call center, over the next 7-8 months as we pull our team members together for critical systems training. This will prepare our staff to go live on the new system, in early 2020.
We have considered each of these changes, with YOU in mind. While change isn’t always easy, we feel it is the right time in the story of OUR credit union, to prepare for our long and bright future. 
 
 
CEO Signature
 
 
Brant Hicks
President/CEO Great River FCU
 
 
 

Check out the renderings below of how the Sauk Rapids branch will look after the remodel and updates

Sauk Rapids remodel rendering Updates & Upgrades to Better Serve YOU 9 Updates & Upgrades to Better Serve YOU 10 Updates & Upgrades to Better Serve YOU 11 Updates & Upgrades to Better Serve YOU 12 Updates & Upgrades to Better Serve YOU 13

Meet Nick W. Winner of Q1 2019 Making a Difference Award

We are honored to announce Nick W. as the winner of our Q1 2019 Making a Difference Award

This Award is a peer chosen, quarterly award given to an employee who truly makes a difference in the lives of our members, community and coworkers. Nick has worked at Great River Federal Credit Union for a year a half. He started as a Member Advisor I and is now a Member Advisor II at the St. Cloud branch. Nick was nominated for being sensitive and patient when working with all different types of members and for his contagious smile that is bound to make anyone smile!

Picture of Nick Holding Trophy

 

Congratulations to Nick and “Thank You” from all of us at the Credit Union for all you do for our members, employees and community. You are truly appreciated and we are lucky to have you!

 

Get to know Nick a little more:

  • When not at work, we can find Nick working on and driving his motorcycle
  • Nick’s favorite part of his job is that every member is unique. No two are alike.
  • A hidden talent of his would be that he likes painting
  • Guilty pleasure television show: Cops
  • His favorite thing about going into the spring/summer season is obviously motorcycle season!
  • Something interesting about Nick that most people don’t know is that growing up he wanted to become an artist
  • His favorite place he has ever been was British Columbia
  • Anything else interesting we should know? Nick always wished he could grow a mustache

 

Favorite quote: Life is short, have fun with it.