BFCU wins national, state honors for helping IP workers

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FRANKLIN—Bronco Federal Credit Union has won a national Honorable Mention and state-level first-place award in the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action competition.

The competition honors credit unions for their practical application of the People-Helping-People philosophy, which is the hallmark of the credit union movement. BFCU’s award-winning entry shared the story of its efforts to help members and its community following the closure of International Paper in Franklin, which employed 1,100 and was the credit union’s founding sponsor organization.

“I’m proud of our staff for the lengths to which they went in assisting members and the community through seminars and educational sessions,” said Bronco Federal Credit Union President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Petty. “We are driven by our People Helping People philosophy, particularly in this situation.”

The credit union reached out to IP workers with workshops on money management, additional support to members through the plant’s onsite credit union branch and monthly workshops for members on how to work with their financial institution should they fall behind on mortgage payments.

Credit union staff walked members through budgets, pulling and reading their credit reports, and working up budgets to help families better cope with the lost income.

Bronco Federal Credit Union also helped its members directly with programs that modified mortgage loans to help families cope with their reduced income.

“Though the loss of International Paper was certainly a setback to the area, our community pulled together, as it did after Hurricane Floyd flooded Franklin’s downtown in 1999, to help families work through the challenges they faced,” Petty said. “Just as family does, our credit union saw a way to help through loan modifications and counseling members on budgeting and managing their finances.”

The award is sponsored by the Virginia Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association.

Louise McCarren Herring was a credit union pioneer, who believed that the operational application of credit union philosophy helped better people’s lives.

Bronco Federal Credit Union employs 72 in Franklin and Suffolk, and boasts $203 million in assets. The not-for-profit financial cooperative was founded in 1941 and is headquartered in Franklin.

BFCU now serves the Hampton Roads Community. Partnering with more than 18,000 members through five locations will always be the number one priority.