Last September, Purdue Federal Credit Union opened the doors at their Crown Point branch and welcomed in members for the first time. It marked the credit union’s first foray into Lake County, a Purdue University alumni stronghold. One year later, the decision to expand is looking wise as the Crown Point team is celebrating a strong year.
“It’s amazing how quickly the year’s gone by,” said Matt Scheuer, Area Sales Manager for Purdue Federal Credit Union. “The community’s been supportive, people are always stopping by to check us out, business owners in the area have been great so we have new employee groups signed up, and the team here’s been growing without any turnover since our hard opening.”
The team is young, enthusiastic, and adaptive. They didn’t miss a step when COVID-19 dramatically changed the way they needed to do business. Crown Point Branch Manager Krystina Ramirez led the way throughout, and helped guide the team through this year’s unique challenges.
“Everybody here, excluding myself, Matt, and one of our leads, is new to banking,” she said. “Developing a whole new team to be ready for our members was a fun challenge, and I’m proud of where we are today. We look back and it’s like wow, we’ve been through all of this.”
The Crown Point branch works closely with Purdue Federal Credit Union’s training and leadership teams in West Lafayette, who create a foundation for any new branch to build on with extensive training, support, and constant communication. That foundation was key to getting the staff prepared to handle banking during a pandemic.
“Our staff is our biggest asset, I truly believe that,” Scheuer said. “We’re very proud that we didn’t have to lay off or furlough any individuals. We’ve all come together for a common vision, and we’re working through challenges that I have no doubt we can beat because of the strong foundation here at Purdue Federal Credit Union.”
Despite the pandemic, the Crown Point branch exceeded Ramirez’s own expectations for growth over the year.
“We started here with a clean slate and no real clientele in the area,” she said. “We built up our business clientele and members, and kept existing members through COVID-19. We’ve blown it out of the water as far as business goes.”
Scheuer echoed her sentiments, and noted that their success came from a lot of hard work by every team member.
“It can be kind of daunting to be the new kid on the block, but building something from scratch is super exciting,” he said. “Being able to really mold the team here was a really unique experience. Paired with our La Porte branch, I think we’re really bringing that family banking experience you get down in West Lafayette here to Northwest Indiana.”
Ramirez is excited about the opportunities gradually opening up as COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen around the area.
“When COVID-19 finally simmers down, hopefully we’ll finally be able to get out into the community, which was one of our major goals,” she said. “We want to get involved in the community by participating in events and festivals, supporting local organizations, and providing financial wellness.”
Stop by and say hi during business hours on Friday, September 4th and pick up a Pandemic Wellness Kit while you’re there!
To learn more about Purdue Federal Credit Union, visit www.purduefed.com.