St. Mary’s Bank Holds Special Event at America’s Credit Union Museum

Celebrates new exhibit and St. Mary’s Bank employees with 25 years of service

Recently, St. Mary’s Bank held an event at America's Credit Union Museum (ACUM) to unveil a new exhibit that provides insight into the connection between both organizations.

“The exhibit tells the story of how Ron Rioux, former CEO for St. Mary’s Bank, conceived the idea for the museum and helped bring it to fruition,” said St. Mary’s Bank’s Liz Stodolski.

America's Credit Union Museum is located in Manchester on the site where St. Mary’s Bank first opened its doors in 1908.

The event celebrated long-tenured employees with 25+ years service with bricks engraved with their names installed in the museum’s courtyard.

“The museum exists to not just honor the history of St. Mary’s Bank as the first credit union in the nation,” said ACUM Executive Director Stephanie Smith. “The museum also chronicles the legacy of a nationwide movement that now represents over 110 million members.”

According to Rioux, who served as president and CEO of St. Mary's Bank from 1993 through January 2009, the museum would not exist were it not for assistance from “a very enthusiastic Board of Directors.”

“I remember them all, and I want to personally thank Claude Pelletier who was Chairman of the Board back then,” he said. “Without Claude’s leadership and encouragement, I doubt I would have been able to get the museum off the ground.”

Rioux also expressed gratitude to others, including Armand Lemire who once owned the building within which the museum currently sits.

“When I told Armand about my dream of building this museum, he and his family were excited about the idea and generously gave us the property for one dollar,” he noted. “So many people made this museum a reality, and I wish I could mention every single person.”

In addition to celebrating the new exhibit and honoring Rioux’s contributions toward founding the museum, the event celebrated long-tenured employees with 25+ years service with bricks engraved with their names installed in the museum’s courtyard.

Active employees with 25+ years service include Diane McNamara; Carol Lynne Vieira, Anne Canty, Betty Furman, Linda Girard, Lisa Vaal, Kimberly Paré, Sue Harrington, Lisa Allard, Laurie Langevin, Sunshine Voisine, Jessica Emerson, Marianne Ouellette, Judy Leclerc, and Sue Descoteaux. Shirley Bhutto and Kathy Poole will reach 25 years in 2022.

Bricks were also installed for retired/former employees with 25+ years, which include Sue O’Hora, Louise Maurier, Louise Paré, Kathy Lenczycki, Gloria Houle, Carol Waszeciak, Sue Aronson, and Karen Turcotte.

“25 years is quite a milestone and one you don’t see much anymore,” said Nathan Saller, incoming chair of America’s Credit Union Museum. “It reveals a lot about the commitment each of them have to their members as well as the culture and mission alive and well at St. Mary’s.”

Ronald Mclean, president/CEO of the trade association of the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA), agreed and said their commitment symbolizes the leading role St. Mary’s Bank plays in the nation’s credit union system.

“Having St. Mary’s Bank be successful, growing, vibrant and such an important part of the credit union community and local and state community makes a difference,” he noted. 

For Saller, the event also helped to underscore the importance of nation’s credit union movement itself.

“I especially thank Ron for having the vision that the museum could tell such a powerful story, a story beyond St. Mary’s Bank,” he said. “It is a collective story of all credit unions and the difference they have made to generations of Americans.”