CU Spotlight: TruMark Financial - Respecting the Past, Ready for the Future
By Cyndi Cohen Credit Unions Online
One credit union that embodies the important ability to grow and change in order to stay relevant and successful, while still staying true to the longstanding credit union credo is TruMark Financial Credit Union (Trevose, PA).
Defined by Integrity, Service, and Soundness
Founded in 1939 by a handful of Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania employees as Philadelphia Telco Credit Union, TruMark Financial is now one of the strongest, most progressive credit unions in the nation, offering a full range of banking, investing, and insurance services to more than 96,000 members in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
TruMark Financial is headquartered in Trevose, PA, and has approximately $1.4 billion in assets through its 14 branches, Call Center, and a suite of innovative online services. According to Randi Marmer, AVP, Community Relations, in 2005 TruMark Financial became a community-chartered credit union, opening its field of membership to include anyone who lives, works, goes to school, worships, or volunteers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
Dedicated to its membership, TruMark Financial's board of directors, senior management, and employees adhere to the Core Purpose of helping members reach their financial well-being; Core Values of Integrity, Service, and Soundness; and a Vision Goal to be the first place their members turn for all of their financial needs.
A Leader in Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is a major initiative at TruMark Financial. Marmer explained how credit union employees visit local high schools and conduct presentations on topics such as saving, budgeting, credit, identity theft, and job interviewing techniques. “In 2012, employees conducted 134 presentations reaching more than 2,800 students,” she reported.
In addition, in October 2012, TruMark Financial held its second annual Kiss-A-Pig Financial Literacy Fundraiser. “Over a three-month period, 21 community and professional leaders, teachers, and TruMark Financial employees secured sponsors and donations and raised $36,000 for the privilege to kiss a pig,” said Marmer.
Fundraising efforts culminated with a “pig kissing” event on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, 1015 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, where family, friends, and colleagues of the participants cheered them on as they puckered up with a pot-bellied pig named Bubbles.
With the funds raised, the credit union awarded six local schools each a grant of $5,800 to be used for personal finance resources. Members also participated in the Kiss-A-Pig fundraiser by donating a $1 in exchange for writing their name on a pig cutout that was displayed in the branches.
TruMark Financial’s Outreach Touching Those in Need
TruMark Financial takes the concept of “Serving the Underserved” very seriously, and this commitment is exhibited in their community outreach efforts.
The credit union’s Eastern North Philadelphia branch is located in an underserved area which was void of a financial institution for more than 60 years. “When other financial institutions shied away from opening a branch in this neighborhood, TruMark Financial accepted the challenge,” said Marmer. The credit union provides affordable financial products and services and the community no longer has to rely on check-cashing agencies and predatory lenders for their financial needs.
Some of the other outreach programs that TruMark Financial participates in include:
Sugar Cane Festival in the Hispanic community
Financial Jeopardy Competition in which TruMark Financial awards more than $10,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors who compete in this event
Food drives to help fight hunger
The credit union also embraces the philosophy of “People Helping People” through its work with charitable causes and dedication to volunteerism.
For example, employees are permitted to wear jeans on payday in exchange for a $5 donation to a charitable cause. “In 2012, employees donated more than $9,300 to various charities,” reported Marmer.
The charitable causes include:
Ronald McDonald House
St. Jude Children’s Hospital
American Red Cross—Hurricane Sandy
March of Dimes
In terms of volunteerism, Marmer said that employees are encouraged to volunteer in the community, and in 2012, volunteered 1,009 hours. It is no surprise that TruMark Financial employees were willing to give so freely of their time – they are happy working for a credit union that was named one of the Best Places to Work in PA for fourth year in a row. The award identifies, recognizes, and honors the best places to be employed in Pennsylvania, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce, and businesses.
Like their loyal employees, TruMark Financial’s membership embraces their presence in the community and views the credit union as a valued partner. “Many of the outreach programs have been reported on in local papers so the community is aware of the credit union’s efforts to help those in need,” added Marmer.