Motor City Community Credit Union Celebrates 80 Years!
The Motor City Community Credit Union is celebrating 80 years of serving the financial needs of thousands of Essex County members and their families, as well as numerous businesses who owe a large part of their success to the financial resources of the credit union.
With 13,000 members and more than $394 million in assets, Motor City Community Credit Union (MCCCU) is also a major contributor and supporter of dozens of charities and special events held every year.
Plans for community gatherings and 80th celebrations were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way society and businesses operated back in March.
“Things have changed over the years and none more so than this year, but what will never change is that since 1940 we’ve put our members first,” says Chief Executive Officer Robert Griffith, who has been with the credit union for seven years. “Now more than ever we’re here to make certain that our communities get the support they need from their financial institution.”
He continues by stating: “We’ve stood by our members through previous health crises, as well as floods, wars and recessions and we will continue to do so.”
The credit union was established in 1940 and over the years forged partnerships with credit unions such as Motorco Savings & Credit Union Limited (1944), Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and the Printers’ Industrial Credit Union (1940).
Among the other credit unions incorporated over the years are those representing S.W. and A., Windsor Dominion Civil Servants, Windsor Municipal Employees, Inmont, MotorEmployees (Windsor), Colonial Tool, Brewer’s (Windsor), Champion Spark Plug, New York Railroad Employees, Hospital Employees (Windsor), Windsor City Centre, Windsor Community and Purity Dairy.
As a result of that past history, MCCCU is the only unionized credit union in the city, having grown over the years through providing workers at hospitals, automotive plants and media outlets, such as CBC and the Windsor Star, with financial services.
Griffith points out that the MCCCU name includes “community,” which speaks volumes about its commitment to the Windsor area and its members across the region.
“I think our reputation is second to none and it is one of the main reasons why we were one of only three financial institutions in Ontario to be selected to help roll out the Canada Emergency Business Account program, which is designed to help small businesses survive during the COVID-19 crisis,” explains Griffith.
The program provides $40,000 in interest-free loans and if the funds are paid back by a predetermined deadline, $10,000 would be forgiven.
In addition to working with members and business owners to satisfy their financial needs, MCCCU is heavily involved with a number of charities in the Windsor Essex community.
MCCCU recently provided an interest-free loan and partnered with BK Cornerstone Design-Build Ltd. in “The Dream Project” with all the proceeds of the sale of the home dedicated to In Honour of the Ones We Love, MCCCU’s signature charity.MCCCU Board Chair Don Fraser informs us the project was first discussed four or five years ago, but finally came to fruition a little over two years ago.
With the leadership of Ben and Brent Klundert of BK Cornerstone, subcontractors and suppliers donated time and products to the project, which was completed this past spring, resulting in more than $300,000 being donated to the charity.
“When like-minded people come together for a project such as this, it’s amazing what can be achieved,” Fraser expresses.
One of the many advantages to banking with a local credit union is that decisions affecting members and their personal and business finance issues are made right here in Windsor Essex.
MCCCU is governed by a 10 person Board of Directors led by Fraser who works at the Hôtel-Dieu Grace campus of Windsor Regional Hospital.
Other members of the Board include: Vice Chair Sandra Fischer (Willis Business Law); Corporate Secretary Wendy Graat (retired from the Financial Fitness Centre); Stephane Boucher (Global Vehicle Systems); Jim Angus (retired from the Windsor Star and Unifor Local 240); Randy Dupuis (retired CEO from MCCCU); Bill Marra (Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation); Frank Moceri (St. Clair College); Marc Moore (Windsor Fire and Rescue Services) and Amy Wolters (Windsor-Essex County Health Unit).
“When I joined the board 11 years ago, I didn’t realize how involved MCCCU was in the community,” says Fraser, who has been Chairman for four years. “I’m impressed by the personal touch our employees bring to the banking experience for our members.”
Fraser adds that besides family, money is probably one of the most important aspects of the credit union’s members’ lives and providing help and guidance is critically important for those members.
The Board of Directors is responsible for governance and charting the big-picture future of the credit union rather than the day-to-day operations, which are left to senior management and MCCCU’s employees.
“We meet with senior management every year and make whatever suggestions we deem necessary and then leave it up to management,” says Fraser. “I’m extremely satisfied with how the credit union is running and how it remains so very active in our community.”
A credit union such as MCCCU is able to meet its local members’ needs because it has its finger on the economic pulse of the city and is better suited to making decisions at a local level than major financial institutions.
MCCCU was the first financial institution in Windsor to enable members to take photographs of their cheques and deposit the funds into their account through the use of their smart phone.
This digital approach takes into account the ever-increasing investment in technology now in the hands of their customers, particularly younger members who are new to banking and financial investments.