“We have 70 years of strength in the service of this incredible community”

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FILER TWP. “The success and longevity of any business can often be determined by its ability to provide quality service to customers while keeping pace with the changing times.

This trait is something that Filer Credit Union employees have taken seriously since the credit union began in 1951 – and has continued for the past 70 years.

Earlier this month, the 70th anniversary was celebrated at the three locations of the credit union in Manistee County.

Filer City Credit Union CEO Patty Preuss said dedication to the community was what enabled the credit union to grow from its humble beginnings to becoming the largest financial institution headquartered in County of Manistee. Preuss also said the Filer Credit Union serves one in four residents in the county.

“It’s incredible to say the least,” Preuss said. “We have 70 years of service to this incredible community that we call our home.”

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Preuss added that officials are very grateful for the support the community has shown in return for the credit union during this time. She pointed out that over the years it has really turned into a family atmosphere.

“I know I speak for myself, the board and our amazing team in our three branches when I say thank you,” she said. “Thank you for the stories, ideas and conversations that I have personally had with all of you since I started here in 1994.”

The entire history of the Filer Credit Union began with what was then the American Box Board, which is now Packaging Corporation of America.

Preuss said as its popularity grew, the need to expand space for the credit union grew beyond the American Box Board building.

“They first moved into a house in Filer City and then they built the brick building (offices) where (TES) Tondu is now located,” Preuss said. “They were in there in the 60s and 70s when I was a kid. We moved to the current location (1117 28th St.) in the 1980s.

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However, as time passed, the need to expand to better serve outlying areas of the community arose.

“It’s right on the (News Advocate Museum) page Looking back the other day that 20 years ago the board of directors approved the opening of a Parkdale branch (1778 Kemmer Road),” said Preuss. “Then last year, we opened a branch in the village of Bear Lake. “

When the Parkdale branch opened, it was very different from the structure that exists today, as it was extended to the building that exists today to provide better service to members.

Preuss said that over the years, the main branch on 28th Street has also undergone several structural expansions and renovations.

“Our drive-thru and entrance were changed and we did another renovation that added to the offices,” Preuss said.

The branches offer pretty much all of the same services as those offered in the main branch. Otherwise, they have the option to log into the main branch and get whatever they need.

What has also increased over the years is the number of employees working at Filer Credit Union. Preuss said she thought there were only a few people in those early years, although she was not positive.

“When I started working here in 1994, we had about 10 employees and today we have 33,” she said.

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Bear Lake branch manager Brian McKie has worked for the Filer Credit Union for 15 years monitoring the growth of the lending institution, but added that it has been great to become so close to the community during this time. .

“When I started in 2006, I had no idea where this would take me,” he said in a press release. “Now, looking back, you realize how many people you have met, interacted with and helped along the way. From kids opening their first savings account to new owners and everything in between, all I can say is we live in a great community with wonderful people.

Receptionist Lisa Reese agrees that interacting with people is the best part of her job.

“Personally, being able to connect with our members has been one of the biggest rewards working here since 2001,” Reese said in a press release. “You quickly realize that we are an extension of their families, and you really get to know everyone in the whole family.”

Preuss said the services offered by the credit union have grown with the times and the needs of the members. In its early days, savings accounts were the great service it offered.

“We have added things like debit cards, electronic transactions, checking accounts, different types of loans and we are always looking for new services,” she said. “Because of Covid, we want to do more electronic services, so we’re trying to track these things. “

Even with the addition of these services, Preuss said staff are making great strides in not losing the small town vibe to the credit union.

“This is what we strive to know our members by name and get to know their families,” Preuss said. “They are people for us, our neighbors and our friends and that is what is very important to us. … The community has been very good to us.

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The credit union also works to give back to the area and has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to community and charitable efforts.

“We help on food trucks, support all schools, give scholarships and strive to support our community,” Preuss said.

The credit union also has two members who have accompanied the 70-year journey.

“One calls me every now and then, and the other is still here often,” Preuss said.

Preuss said the future looks bright for Filer Credit Union.

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