Capitola, CA – March 15, 2013 –
In 1992, Bay Federal President and CEO Carrie Birkhofer set an ambitious goal for the Credit Union's annual community support initiatives: 100% employee participation. Bay Federal employees readily accepted the challenge and, over the next 12 months, far exceeded their individual goals by volunteering for multiple schools, non-profits, and community events.
Just over a decade later, they're still going strong.
Bay Federal Credit Union announced today that for 10 consecutive years, 100% of all Bay Federal employees have actively participated each year in volunteer and fundraising opportunities for local schools and nonprofit organizations.
"On the surface, it is remarkable that we've been able to do this," said Birkhofer, "however, upon quick reflection, it is not really surprising at all. Bay Federal employees believe in our community. They understand that they can make a real difference in our community by just showing up and getting involved. Volunteerism is a core value that employees readily embrace."
A Common Credit Union Value
For credit unions, giving back is a normal part of doing business. Thousands of credit unions across the U.S. promote employee volunteerism and fundraising efforts for local, national, and international causes. Recent natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy and the tsunami in Japan inspired cooperative fundraising efforts between multiple credit unions and many credit union-related service organizations.
Bay Federal's encouragement of employee volunteerism spans decades, as does the evolution of their employee-managed Community Support Team. "Volunteer projects are all employee-driven," said Birkhofer as she explained the dynamics of the team, which is run by an all-employee steering committee. "Employees choose the organizations and events they want to support, organize volunteer teams, and bring their families and friends to help out."
Employees earn a "credit" for their volunteer participation and receive recognition pins signifying the number of credits earned in the previous year. "It's not uncommon for employees to earn 5 to 10 credits or more in a year," said Birkhofer. "It's become a competition for some, but most people just enjoy knowing that their hard work is appreciated. And for most people, the reward of giving is often equal to the value provided."
Service Excellence Recognition
"Bay Federal members have come to understand that service doesn't stop at our front doors," said Birkhofer, referring to numerous awards received by the Credit Union for both volunteerism and customer service. In 2010, Bay Federal became very first recipient of the Governor and First Lady's Medal of Service Award as the State of California's Small Business Volunteer Program of the Year. Bay Federal has also received an "Organization of the Year" award from each of the five local chambers of commerce and the United Way of Santa Cruz County, and has repeatedly won the vote for "Best Financial Institution" in annual reader polls for the Good Times, Press Banner and Santa Cruz Weekly regional newspapers.
About Bay Federal Credit Union
Bay Federal is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution that serves over 56,000 members and 1,000 local businesses throughout Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties. With over $670 million in assets, Bay Federal Credit Union is the largest member-owned financial institution in Santa Cruz County, serving its members and the community since 1957.
Amy Ivey, AVP Marketing and Development, Bay Federal Credit Union