“CU Difference” Celebrated at Middlesex & Worcester Senior Conference

The 39th Annual Middlesex and Worcester Senior Conference, hosted by Senator Jamie Eldridge (Acton), Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, was held yesterday at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough, Mass. The Association annually sponsors this event and was present to discuss the benefits of credit union membership with attendees. The conference was also sponsored by St. Mary’s Credit Union and Workers Credit Union.

Ronald McLean, Association President/CEO, also joined the conference, greeting consumers and promoting the good name of credit unions. He also took the opportunity to praise Senator Eldridge, former Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, for his leadership sponsor of Senate 581, An Act Modernizing Credit Union Laws, one of the Associations’ key legislative priorities. Not only is McLean a constituent, but he also shares the distinction with Senator Eldridge as a graduate of the same local high school, Acton Boxborough Regional High School. Also in attendance, another of the Association’s bill sponsors, Representative Carmine Gentile (Sudbury), who partnered with credit unions to introduce House 3292, An Act Establishing a Commission on Electronic Notarization. The bill seeks to establish a panel of experts and interested parties to develop best practices to provide consensus input to inform Massachusetts officials as they discuss moving forward with authorizing remote online closings. House 3292 permits specific financial services representation on the commission, including a credit union designee appointed by the Association.

The day-long event included educational workshops, health screenings, music, dancing, exercise classes. A community fair was also featured highlighting local businesses and resources for elders. The Association helped attendees find a local credit union, discussed members’ experiences with their credit union, and also provided information on deposit rates, loan payments, and the Association’s senior financial abuse endeavor, CU Senior Safeguard, a web based training and certification program to educate consumers and credit unions on elder financial abuse.

Over 200 local residents attended the event. The Association was on hand to deliver bright spring carnations to attendees on behalf of their local credit union, to wish them good luck and good health, as well as to discuss the benefits of credit union membership. Many attendees noted that they were very happy members of credit unions including Align Credit Union, Central One Federal Credit Union, Digital Federal Credit Union, Hanscom Federal Credit Union, Leominster Credit Union, RTN Federal Credit Union, St. Mary’s Credit Union and Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union. Free checking, branch convenience, auto loans and overall responsiveness were praised.  Notable comments from the conference included:

  • One member recalls joining Digital Federal Credit Union when it operated out of a three-room building. He has been a happy member ever since - over forty years! Others were grateful for their free checking accounts, higher account interest rate on the first $1,000, upgraded app and ease of usage for balance transfers, and convenient access to the call center which stays open late. One couple, married for 62 years and who had their first date on St. Patrick’s Day, appreciated the green carnations distributed by the Association and noted that their grandchildren bank at Digital Federal Credit Union as they cannot afford services from their local bank where they work. Finally, one member, a former teacher, applauded the credit union’s Reach Out For Schools Program.
  • Multiple members of St. Mary’s Credit Union praised their rates. One member first joined in 1961 upon moving to the area and obtained their first home mortgage from the credit union and have remained members ever since.
  • A Marlborough resident who spends half his time in Florida asked about shared branching options with his local credit union. He was reluctant to use convenience store options. The Association was able to provide the location of a credit union in the shared branching network directly across from the member’s street in Florida.
  • Leominster Credit Union members commented that the staff is always very friendly and noted that they never have had a problem doing business at the credit union. Auto loans are a popular product and the ease of monthly payment was praised.
  • Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union members highly complimented credit union staff for always remembering the names of their family members.
  • Retired members of RTN Federal Credit Union have retained their depository relationship since their days of active employment and expressed value in certificates of deposit products as they transitioned to another life stage.
  • Hanscom Federal Credit Union former staff and current members summed up most comments received: “The credit union is fabulous. I am sticking with mine.”

Throughout the day, the Association responded to consumers who were surprised that they did not have to be employees of a company to join a credit union. Our consumer engagement website www.BetterValuesBetterBanking.com was often used to help connect attendees with a local credit union. The Association also outreached to members of the Marlborough Council on Aging to highlight the benefits of the CU Senior Safeguard program.