2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of Baltimore County Employees Federal Credit Union. Based in Towson, Maryland, the seat of Baltimore County Government, the Credit Union was established on January 15, 1963, to serve the financial needs of county workers and their families. Ten years ago, a full-service branch office was opened in Perry Hall to accommodate the large percentage of members residing in the Eastern section of the county. These two offices, with a team of over 50 employees, serve nearly 28,000 members.
An outline of 50th Anniversary activities and member specials was discussed in 2012 and a budget was created for the project. Here’s a recap of their 2013 events that can serve as a guide to other Credit Unions looking to do something special for their members.
A 50th Anniversary Logo was created and themed throughout the year on print material and on the website. The January 2013 newsletter contained a lead-in story, posters with the special logo were added to the lobby décor and the original 1963 charter document was enlarged and displayed for members as the first quarter kick-off to the celebration.
As the second quarter began, the 50th Annual Meeting was held on April 9, 2013, at Columbus Gardens with nearly 200 in attendance. The event’s commemorative theme was evident by the 50th Anniversary décor, a specially decorated cake, and an attractive history display showing the Credit Union’s progress over five decades. Twenty lucky members were each awarded a $50 VISA Gift Card and all attendees received a tote bag with the 50th Anniversary logo as a keepsake. Marketing Coordinator Nick Prevas also provided some interesting historical facts tied to the displays to spark member interest.
The highlight of the evening was the distribution of a new publication entitled, “Celebrating a half-century of serving our members.” This 12-page synopsis of Credit Union history included great nostalgic photos allowing older members to reminisce their past while younger members got a chance to see how the Credit Union has evolved over the years. Within a few months, over 500 booklets were in circulation and the feedback was very positive. The history was also placed on the website with a link from the homepage. The Credit Union wanted something special for this so the webmasters at Sequel Design Associates re-created the format so pages turn right on the screen!
Throughout the year, a number of 50th Anniversary Year specials were advertised to promote various financial products and services. For instance, beginning in February 2013, members who opened a new checking account with four related convenience services (e-Statements, Direct Deposit, SmartCash Check Card, Online Banking) received $50 added to their savings. From April through June 2013, members taking out home loans were entered into a drawing for a $500 VISA Gift Card. During the summer of 2013, Vehicle Loans received $50 toward gasoline.
Keeping with the historic theme, 2013 also marked the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the Perry Hall Office and a celebration was slated for June 15, 2013 to mark that occasion. Over two hundred members came through the event and most everyone entered four prize drawings (which included two iPad Minis) held from 10 am to 1pm. That day, the coin counting machine service was free and members were most appreciative. Employees from different departments were on hand to talk with members and answer questions. The branded theme of all special literature was “Why do business with us!” For the children, a face painter and balloon twister provided entertainment and everyone had the chance to enjoy great food and refreshments.
By the Fall season, a 50th Anniversary Bull Roast / Oyster & Shrimp Feast was scheduled for September 29, 2013. It was colorfully advertised in print and on the website with three themes: Great Food, Great Music, and Good Times. Specially designed tickets were cleverly priced with a “50% discount for the 50th Anniversary Year.” Within a few weeks, all 300 tickets were purchased and the event was sold out!
In concluding the half-century anniversary, an “Open House Celebration” was planned for the Towson Office for Thursday, October 17, 2013. Similar offerings such as prize drawings, special anniversary-themed gifts for attendees, latest product and service literature and food and refreshments were on the agenda. The entire 50-Year celebration was a great way of giving back to the members and thanking them for their loyal support over the years.