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Credit union celebtrates 75 years

FFCU gets membership involved

Three-fourths of a century is a long time for any business to be open.

“If you can survive 75 years, you’ve done a lot,” Fairmont Federal Credit Union (FFCU) Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer Stanley Rittenhouse said.

The milestone is all the more special to the credit union, because it’s been able to succeed while sticking to its mission, “People Helping People.”

“We work very closely, our staff does, with our membership,” Chief Operating Officer Butch Osborne said. “[We’re] always trying to make good decisions that are in the best interest of our members.”

For instance, he said, every member request is based on its own merit.
“There is no one size fits all ... especially when it comes to our lending activity. We look way beyond your credit score. We look into you as an individual.”

It’s part of the reason that instead of the usual cake-and-punch parties at branch offices, FFCU is celebrating 75 with promotions geared toward the community, and its staff and members.

“We decided to take that celebration somewhat outside the box,” said Stacey Harvey, assistant vice president of sales, marketing and development .

One way is with a charity poll. Eighteen charities and organizations are listed on the credit union’s website ( There, voters can choose their favorites. The top three vote-getters will receive $1,500, $1,000 or $500 for first, second and third places, respectively.
Each vote gets the voter an entry into a sweepstakes to win $250. Voters can enter once per day, per email address.

Members were also asked to create videos making the case for why they love FFCU. Just like the charities, the three participants who receive the most votes for their videos will win cash prizes. Voting goes through Friday.

Random membership drawings for prize money also took place.
It’s this type of service-oriented thinking, as well as a talented, long-serving management team that Rittenhouse and Osborne agree has helped FFCU expand.

What started as a one-office operation in 1939 has grown to a network of 10 facilities with more than $300 million in assets. Now, 135 employees serve roughly 38,000 members in Marion, Monongalia, Harrison and Taylor counties.

On July 22, FFCU broke ground on its new full-service branch, corporate offices and annex at the top of the Fairmont Gateway Connector.

The main building is 20,000 square feet. In addition to the branch office and four drive-throughs, the administrative side of things will be handled there.
Rittenhouse said because of this, two locations in Fairmont — on 10th Street and Morgantown Avenue — will be closed.

It’s just one of the ways the company is moving forward.
Osborne said, though expensive, FCCU will continue to develop its electronic delivery of services such as mobile banking and debit cards.

“We understand members are much more mobile than they’ve ever been before,” he said.
“Our goal is to survive and thrive as a homegrown, locally owned, member-owned financial organization. We plan on continuing the same level of service that our members have grown accustomed to.”