Infinity Federal Credit Union Receives Top Honors in
Social Responsibility Awards from the Maine Credit Union League
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) was named a first-place recipient of the state Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award, which honors credit unions for internal programs that benefit membership, and a first-place recipient of the state Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award, which honors credit unions for programs that strengthen the structure of a community.
Infinity FCU received the Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Award for savings its members $8,753,527 on loans and raising its members’ FICO credit scores by an average of 27 points through its credit score education program in 2018. This is the credit union’s third consecutive year receiving the first-place state Louise Herring Award.
Infinity FCU received the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award for its Supporting Immigrant Tenants (SIT) Program in partnership with ProsperityME, which provides interest-free notes to help asylum seekers secure their first apartments. Since its inception in 2018, the program has helped 18 asylum-seeking families obtain housing. Infinity FCU has pledged a rolling $100,000 for the on-going administration of the program, guaranteed by a fund from ProsperityME.
“It is the vision of Infinity Federal Credit Union to keep our members a step ahead in life, and we take it seriously.” says Kandy Moreau, Infinity FCU’s Chief Lending Officer. “Saving our members money by restructuring their debt to lower their payments while coaching them on the benefits of maintaining fiscal health by understanding their credit scores, clearly puts our members in a better position. Our partnership with ProsperityME allows us to put our vision into action with people who simply need a safe place to live while seeking employment.”
The Awards were presented at the Maine Credit Union League's Annual Delegates' Meeting in Portland on May 17, 2019 to members of Infinity FCU’s leadership team by Todd Mason, President/CEO of the Maine Credit Union League and Christine Devine, Chair of the League’s Social Responsibility Committee. The first-place state winners will compete in the national awards competition, coordinated by the Credit Union National Association, in the fall.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Awarded for Helping Asylum-Seekers
Portland, Maine – May 28, 2019 – As Portland experiences an influx of refugees and asylum-seekers, putting pressure on many of the city’s services, a pair of local organizations is stepping up to lend a hand—and a whole lot more.
One year after launching a program to give asylum-seekers no-interest loans to help them secure their first apartments, Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) was recently honored with the “Outstanding Community Partner” award at the 11th Annual Community Block Party.
The event took place at Portland’s Ocean Gateway and was hosted by ProsperityME, the initiative’s cosponsor.
Since introducing the program in early 2018, Infinity FCU and ProsperityME have helped 18 individuals (including seven families) pay for their rental security deposits, thanks to a rolling $100,000 fund provided by ProsperityME.
“We are honored to be chosen as the Outstanding Community Partner by ProsperityME,” says Kandy Moreau, Infinity FCU’s chief lending officer. “This partnership lets us live our vision of keeping our members a step ahead in life. By providing the funds for them to secure a safe place to live while they seek employment, we’re helping this community in a tangible way. It’s a small piece of their journey to citizenship, but an important one.”
After completing an eligibility interview, each participant is assigned a volunteer housing coach from ProsperityME, a Portland-based nonprofit that offers financial literacy courses and counseling.
In order to receive the interest-free loan, which ranges from $650 to $1,500, participants must be eligible for a U.S. work authorization, have no credit established in the U.S. and meet Infinity FCU membership qualifications. Loan repayment begins as soon as the participant secures a job, or after 10 months.
Asylum-seekers who have a credit history, or who have had a job for more than a month, can apply for a security deposit loan through Infinity FCU, but won’t qualify for the interest-free loan program.
According to a 2017 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, finding stable and affordable housing “can be the most critical indicator of successful integration for refugees and asylum-seekers.”
According to Matteson Nadeau, marketing and events coordinator for ProsperityME, both organizations plan to keep the initiative going as long as possible.
“I think everyone on our staff has been amazed by how quickly the program has really taken off and how successful it’s been,” Nadeau says. “That’s a testament to our incredible staff and volunteers who make this initiative possible.”
About Infinity Federal Credit Union
As Maine’s first credit union, Infinity Federal Credit Union has been serving its members since 1921, initially as the Telephone Workers Credit Union of Maine, then as Telco of New England FCU. Infinity FCU is now community-based, available to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Cumberland and York counties and the city of Bangor, Maine. Infinity FCU is a not-for-profit cooperative organization owned by its members and guided by the vision: “We do banking differently to keep you a step ahead in life.” For more information about Infinity FCU, please visit http://www.infinityfcu.com.
ProsperityME’s mission is based on the understanding that our broader society benefits from an engaged and economically independent Maine refugee and immigrant community. By providing the opportunity for financial literacy, ProsperityME fosters integration and stability, promoting a strong economy. ProsperityME assists in transitioning individuals and families out of poverty and into self-sufficiency by teaching them how to make sound decisions as they manage their personal finances.
Following Government Shutdown, Infinity Federal Credit Union Partners With FAME
Portland, Maine – February 25, 2019 – While the partial government shutdown has ended, the effects linger, and not all of them are bad, but a few weeks ago it didn’t seem that way to Dominic Vermette and his business partner, PJ Kinney.
Vermette and Kinney had been waiting on a business loan to come through. They would use the money to jointly purchase the Auburn branch of Horace Mann, an Illinois-based auto, property and life insurance company that specializes in serving school administrators, teachers and staff. Independently, Vermette and Kinney operate other Horace Mann branches in Maine. Because their income would be commission-based, the longer the delay, the less money they would make in 2020.
Multiple banks had turned them down for the loan, but Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) agreed to grant them $300,000, provided they could get a loan guarantee, meaning if Vermette and Kinney defaulted, a third party would pick up some of the tab.
“It all looked pretty straight forward,” recalled Tim Drapeau, Infinity FCU’s business services manager. “We love supporting local businesses, and we saw we could really make a difference in the lives of these guys and those they employed.”
But with the government shuttered, he said it wasn’t possible to get the loan guarantee until March or later through the federal Small Business Association that Infinity FCU normally relies on.
That meant three months of little or no pay for Vermette, Kinney and the three employees who would be working at the new location—and reduced pay next year, due to the income structure of Horace Mann.
“We were just pulling out our hair,” Vermette said. “It seemed like a bust.” Acting quickly, Drapeau and Infinity FCU loan underwriter Andrew Furman sought help locally.
They had already been contemplating working with FAME, the Finance Authority of Maine, for loan guarantees. Expediting the process, they secured the loan guarantee in just a few days.
“As the first federal credit union in Maine, Infinity FCU is founded on the idea of providing local support through local means,” said Drapeau. “So, even though we’ll continue working with the Small Business Administration, it’s really amazing that we now have the local means to support our clients—often when other banks would turn down those clients.”
Horace Mann signed off on the transaction, the loan was granted on January 24, and Vermette and Kinney are now working from the Auburn office.
“We tried three other banks and they didn’t even come close to accommodating us like Infinity did,” Vermette says. “This is a story of local businesses and organizations coming together in the face of a national crisis. Pretty amazing.”
Infinity Federal Credit Union Receives SBA Lender Award
At the event, Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) was recognized as a 2018 Leading Credit Union Lender. During the year, Infinity FCU approved 11 loans valuing $910,000.
“Receiving this award is a tremendous honor,” said Elizabeth Hayes, President/CEO, Infinity FCU. “Providing Maine’s small business community access to the capital it needs to grow and invest in our state is important to us. Small businesses are at the core of our economy and we all need to play a role in helping them succeed.”
A Letter from the CEO
I want to begin by thanking you for your membership with Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU). We know that you have many options and we genuinely appreciate your choice to partner with us.
Our members are our top priority and, as a not-for-profit credit union, we exist to partner on your financial success. Serving you well, building relationships and welcoming new members to Infinity FCU is at the heart of what we do. We strive to provide you with an extraordinary experience every time we meet, whether online, over the phone, or in-person in one of our four convenient branch locations.
It’s been a big year for Infinity FCU. We welcomed 2,000 new members and launched new products, including our Wedding Loan, Adventure Youth Accounts, and our SIT (Supporting Immigrant Tenants) Note. Our first year of Business Services was a success, and we were recognized as the leading credit union lender by the Small Business Association of Maine. In 2018, we saved members nearly $9 million and raised credit scores an average of 27 points. We donated $19,266 to the community through charitable giving, event sponsorships, Casual Jeans Fridays, and our signature Random Acts of Kindness. We also launched our new online and mobile banking platform this year which brought good and not so good experiences. I’m pleased to say that the new platform provides a higher level of security and competitive features for our members; however, the conversion was not as smooth as we had planned. We appreciated your comments and questions during the transition as we were able to focus our efforts on areas that are most meaningful to you. Thanks to the commitment and extra effort of many employees, we’ve turned the corner and the new platform is performing well. One of our top goals is to provide the best experience possible to our members, including competitive products that enable you to achieve your goals, and I’m pleased to report that members have embraced the new online platform in record numbers and we are receiving positive feedback.
Looking ahead to 2019, we will continue to deliver services that simplify the lives of our members. Early in the year, members will start receiving instant issue debit and credit cards in branches. We will continue to improve our online banking experience with features such as ApplePay and CardValet, as well as enhanced e-services. In the near future, we will open our newest branch in Scarborough!
We are looking forward to another successful year and serving you in 2019 and beyond. Thank you for your membership.
Asylum Seekers in Maine to Get Homes Through Infinity Federal Credit Union and ProsperityME
Westbrook, Maine - December 5, 2018 - Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) and ProsperityME are collaborating to give asylum seekers no-interest loans to help them get into their first apartments.
The loans are for rental security deposits, which can be hard for asylum seekers to pay because they lack the money and the documentation to get funding despite being legally qualified.
Since a pilot of the program began early this year, there have been 11 asylum seekers placed in apartments with a few more in the pipeline. Infinity FCU has pledged a rolling $100,000 for the on-going administration of the program, guaranteed by a fund from ProsperityME.
“We are excited to partner with ProsperityME and assist people new to Maine get on their feet and off to a good start,” said President and CEO of Infinity FCU Elizabeth Hayes, who explained that many asylum seekers are well-educated and had careers in their home countries.
Screening for the program begins with an eligibility interview at ProsperityME.
Those accepted are assigned a coach and referred to Infinity FCU for funding. In order to receive funding, they must meet Infinity FCU membership qualifications available on their website.
As part of that criteria, participants must have no credit established in the U.S. and have been working for less than a month.
Participants have up to 10 months, or until they gain employment, to start repaying the interest-free loan and receive training in financial literacy, as well as coaching on how to be good tenants. The repayment period is 12 months and the average loan amount is $1,000, with a cap of $1,500.
Asylum seekers who have a credit history, or who have had a job for more than a month, can apply for a security deposit loan through Infinity FCU but they don’t qualify for the interest-free loan program.
According to Catholic Charities, refugees in Maine come from 30 countries.
Asylum seekers are similar to refugees in that they are seeking protection from their home country. They are different in that they are not being resettled by the U.S. government and, while they qualify for government assistance, they get less of it than refugees.
“I was a business woman for 15 years before I came to the U.S.,” says Claudine Mukarurangwa, a native of Rwanda and one of program’s first participants who now lives in Westbrook. “When I came here, I wanted to resume the life I had. As a Christian, I prayed for God to put me in touch with people who could guide me.”
She says her prayers were answered by Infinity FCU and ProsperityME, and that she promotes the loan program at every opportunity.
“It’s not about charity,” says founder and executive director of ProsperityME, Claude Rwaganje. “It’s about relationships. It’s about the long-term support and mutual benefit.”
In a few years, Rwaganje hopes to expand offerings through ProsperityME and Infinity FCU.
According to Hayes, Infinity FCU has developed customized products for students, young people, families, small businesses and other underserved groups.
“Infinity FCU’s vision is to do banking differently to put you a step ahead in life. We take this seriously and our partnership with ProsperityME enables us to put our vision into action with people who may not get help elsewhere,” she said.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Named Member Value Leader in Maine by Callahan & Associates
Westbrook, Maine - October 22, 2018 - Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) topped Callahan & Associates’ Return Of The Member (ROM) scoring system, providing more member value than any other credit union in Maine through the second quarter of 2018.
As Maine’s first credit union, Infinity FCU has been serving its members since 1921. Membership is now open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Cumberland and York counties, and the city of Bangor, Maine. Every interaction is guided by its vision of, “doing banking differently to keep you a step ahead in life.”
ROM captures all aspects of a members’ relationship with a credit union using a calculation that considers three core functions: Return to Savers (savings), Return to Borrowers (lending), and Member Service Usage (product usage).
Infinity FCU scored 85.53 percent in Return to Savers, 73.35 percent in Return to Borrowers, and 77.54 percent in Member Service Usage for a total ROM score of 94.73 percent (out of a possible 100.) You can find this information here.
“At Infinity FCU, we recognize that member participation and engagement in our not-for-profit cooperative is the ‘fuel that makes everything go’." The more actively engaged the member is, whether actively using their checking account, opening additional products or referring friends and family, the higher the economic return to the member. I’m proud to say that our members earn more by having their relationship with us than any other financial institution in Maine.” – President/CEO, Elizabeth Hayes.
Developed by Callahan, the Washington, DC-based credit union consulting firm, ROM provides a comprehensive scoring system that quantifies member value. Credit unions use ROM to set member-facing goals and hold staff accountable to better serve members.
Fred Lizotte honored as a 2018 Credit Union Rock Star
Westbrook, Maine – October 2, 2018 – Fred Lizotte, business intelligence manager, at Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) has been recognized by CUNA’s Credit Union Magazine as one of its 2018 Credit Union Rock Stars.
Lizotte was the driving force behind Infinity FCU’s data warehouse, which has allowed the $343 million asset credit union to better serve its 17,000+ members. “We need the right data at the right time,” he says. Real-time dashboards and reports are used across all levels of the organization throughout the day: from front-line staff refreshing a “daily production needle” to see the number of new accounts they’ve opened to senior management evaluating the results of strategic initiatives and identifying opportunities for future growth in new markets.
“Data is valuable, but turning it into actionable, useable information takes special talent. As Infinity FCU’s business intelligence manager, Fred drives Infinity FCU’s success and our ability to make smart, strategic decisions that benefit the members and employees and get results for Infinity FCU.” - President/CEO, Elizabeth Hayes
Read more about Lizotte’s impact at Infinity FCU here: http://news.cuna.org/articles/114918-data-drives-smart-decisions
This year’s winners were all nominated by their colleagues and selected by the editorial staff of Credit Union Magazine. All told, 46 professionals representing 26 states are being honored as this year’s Credit Union Rock Stars. Fred and the other winners will each be profiled in the October issue of Credit Union Magazine, sponsored by Fiserv.
For the full list of 2018 Credit Union Rock Stars, visit news.cuna.org/rockstar.
Going to college? Turning 18? Don’t forget your College Pathfinder Checking account
It’s a great way to learn financial literacy, and earn money back
Westbrook, ME — September 18, 2018 - Money doesn’t grow on trees, and neither does financial literacy—knowing how to save, spend and invest your money.
So as you turn 18 and consider college or another path, you might also consider having a checking account that has built in rewards and safeguards, as well as the flexibility you require as you enter a new chapter in life.
The College Pathfinder Checking account was created by Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) after extensive research and development, and meets all these needs.
“So many college students are forced to learn basic money management through trial and error,” says Kathy Guillory, Infinity FCU’s director of marketing. “Now they have access to an account that can help cultivate these skills and reward them along the way. There’s no more learning it ‘the hard way.’”
The College Pathfinder Checking account gives back $5 to account holders who use their debit card 25 times to 39 times in a month. More than that, and they get $10 back. It also makes it easy to transfer and receive money from friends and family.
Account holders don’t need to be college students, though there is an age cap of 24.
For requirements of the cash back feature and a product description, visit: www.infinityfcu.com/CollegePathfinder
Infinity FCU is the only Maine credit union that has a college checking account with these unique benefits designed for a student’s on-the-go lifestyle.
It also created the Teen Trailblazer Checking account, for young adults ages 13 to 17; and Young Explorer Savings for children age 12 and younger. More detailed information about all the accounts is available online at www.infinityfcu.com/AdventureAccounts
Infinity Federal Credit Union hosts Touch-A Truck Event July 21 in Arundel, Maine
Local police and fire departments take part in the family friendly event—Slugger of the Sea Dogs will be there too
Westbrook, ME — July 10, 2018 - Cue the hard hats and don’t forget the sunscreen. Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) is holding its first Touch-A-Truck event on July 21 at its Arundel branch on 1298 Alfred Rd.
The free event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine, and will give kids and families the opportunity to explore police and fire vehicles from York County Sheriff's Department and the Arundel Town Fire Department. Also on display will be construction equipment—excavators and more—from Servpro of Biddeford-Saco, a franchise with branches throughout the U.S. and Canada.
A visit from Portland’s Sea Dogs mascot, Slugger, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon, while the “bleeping and blinking” portion of the event is planned for the last hour, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
As a community-based credit union, “we are very family friendly, and looking forward to seeing everyone,” says Kathy Guillory, Infinity FCU’s director of marketing.
She says the Touch-A-Truck event is a fun way to bring together families and friends, and that it exemplifies the people-first approach of Maine’s first credit union.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Saves Members Nearly $9M in 2017 and Receives First Place in State Service Award
Westbrook, ME — May 29, 2018 - Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) was named a first place recipient of the state Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award, which honors credit unions for internal programs and services that benefit membership. This is the credit union’s second consecutive year receiving this award.
Infinity FCU won its award for savings its members $8,995,135 on loans and raising its members’ FICO credit scores by an average of 35 points through its credit score education program in 2017.
President/CEO, Elizabeth Hayes stated, “Our vision of ‘doing banking differently to keep you a step ahead in life’ is brought to life through our member savings initiative. We work with every member to understand the positive impact of making on-time payments and managing revolving debt, resulting in an improved credit score. As their score improves, Infinity FCU automatically offers them more competitive rates, which saves them money and lowers their payments. We’re inspired and proud to make a real difference in our member’s lives and they are positioned well for the future with confidence their credit union has their back.”
The Awards were presented at the Maine Credit Union League's Annual Delegates' Meeting in Portland on May 18, 2018 to Infinity FCU’s Chief Risk Officer Sandy Cloutier and Marketing Director Kathy Guillory by Todd Mason, President/CEO of the Maine Credit Union League.
The first-place state winners will compete in the national awards competition, coordinated by the Credit Union National Association, in the fall.
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) Membership Elects Board of Directors
Westbrook, ME – At the annual meeting on Thursday, May 3, 2018, credit union Members joined Infinity FCU leadership and staff at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Portland to elect the following individuals to the Board of Directors.
Sam Novick, Chair
Sam Novick, who previously served as Chair, was re-elected to the Board of Directors for another term as Chair. Sam has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bentley College and has served as the President of HUB Furniture Company since 1984. He has a long history of community involvement holding leadership roles such as President of Portland Kiwanis Club, President of Temple Beth El, Board Member of United Way of Greater Portland, among others.
Kate Caron, Vice Chair
Kate Caron, who previously served as Vice Chair, was re-elected to the Board of Directors for another term as Chair. Kate attended the University of Maine in Presque Isle, studying Business Administration and Law. She is a licensed real estate agent working for The Real Estate Network. Kate volunteers for the community, in her local Middle school, and business organizations. She enjoys volunteering, gardening, reading and designing.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Hires New Performance Manager
Westbrook, Maine – March 20, 2018 – Infinity Federal Credit Union in Westbrook hired Maureen St. John as a Senior Performance Manager. In this new role, she will work collaboratively with all departments to identify and fill performance and training gaps. She will also assist with the rollout of new products and services. With over 21 years of experience in banking leadership, St. John has a strong track record of driving growth, deepening consumer relationships, rallying stakeholders, and fostering cross-functional collaboration. St. John was most recently with Camden National Bank as a Retail Regional Senior Vice President in Southern Maine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Maine at Orono.
Infinity Federal Credit Union seeks local non-profits for their 2018 “Parking For a Purpose” program
Bangor, Maine – March 16th – Last year, Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU), Maine’s first credit union, donated its Downtown Bangor branch parking lot to local non-profit organizations to use for car parking fundraisers during the summer’s Waterfront Concert series. The 2017 “Parking For a Purpose” program netted a total of $7,446 for eleven Maine organizations. This year, Infinity FCU seeks to grow the “Parking For a Purpose” program and is looking for more local non-profit organizations to participate.
“Employees of Infinity FCU are empowered to make a difference in their communities. ‘Parking For a Purpose’ is one of many programs they undertake to make that difference.” said Infinity FCU’s President and CEO Elizabeth Hayes.
With many great concerts lined up for 2018’s Waterfront Concert series, Infinity FCU believes it will be an even better year for fundraising with their program.
Any non-profits wishing to participate in this year’s “Parking For a Purpose” program should reach out to Senior Business Development Manager Jennifer Oliveira (email@example.com) by April 30th.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Employees Recognized with a Citizens Award by Westbrook Police Department
Westbrook, ME - February 5, 2018 - Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) employees were recognized by receiving a Citizens Award by Westbrook Police Department for protecting a member from becoming a victim of a real estate scam.
The award was presented at the Westbrook Police Department Annual Awards Breakfast on Saturday, February 3, 2018 to Infinity FCU’s chief risk officer Sandy Cloutier, senior manager of financial operations Ginny Perusse, financial operations specialist Lisa Parkman, Westbrook teller supervisor Ashley Wainwright, and assistant manager Caitlin Field.
Infinity FCU was recognized for their handling of an incident in August of 2017, involving an elderly member requesting to send $106,000 through a wire transfer to a stranger in California to facilitate a real estate transaction. Employees researched the transfer request and found that the payee was not associated with any known real estate agency or agent and the address provided was of a gas station. The employees suspected the elderly member was being scammed and pressured by the suspect to complete the transaction; they requested assistance from the Westbrook Police Department to stop it. The department investigated the incident, confirmed it was a scam, and was able to prevent the member from sending the money to the suspect.
At the award ceremony, Westbrook Police Department Chief Janine L. Roberts stated, “If it were not for the vigilance and diligence displayed by the staff at Infinity Federal Credit Union, the victim would have been bilked out of $106,000. Actions such as these bring credit to you and are integral to our success. The Westbrook Police Department is grateful for your partnership.”
President/CEO, Elizabeth Hayes stated, “At Infinity Federal Credit Union, we take the time to get to know our members and their unique situation. In this case, I’m proud of our employees who not only noticed a questionable situation, but took action to protect the member in partnership with the Westbrook Police. Thanks to everyone involved, the member was protected from potential loss of her money.”
Infinity Federal Credit Union has its Crasher
Westbrook, Maine - January 18, 2018 - Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) is pleased to announce that Christine Black has been selected to attend Crash the GAC 2018 by The Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association to represent the state of Maine.
“I feel so honored to be given the opportunity to advocate for Credit Unions on Capitol Hill.” said Christine Black, Member Service Specialist in Bangor. “Together, we can make a real difference in the world, and I am excited to collaborate with other organizations to drive change in our communities.”
Crash the GAC is a career-changing program for credit union young professionals that allows them to experience CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in a dynamic way with exclusive networking opportunities and mentoring sessions with industry leaders, previously from organizations such as Filene Research Institute, National Credit Union Foundation, Credit Union National Association, and CUNA Mutual Group.
“The Crashers program is great for young credit union professionals, for GAC, and for the entire movement,” said CUNA CEO and President Jim Nussle. “The Crashers get to network and participate in the premier event of the credit union industry, the GAC benefits from their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives, and the movement is invigorated by a new generation of fired-up advocates who have learned how to reach out to legislators to effect change.”
Credit Union National Association provides Crashers with a complimentary registration fee to attend the conference, and many state leagues and associations provide scholarships or other financial assistance. This year 78 Crashers will attend Crash the GAC representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“We are pleased and proud to have Christine from Infinity FCU represent Maine at the 2018 GAC. It’s a wonderful opportunity for her to learn and meet new people as we’re given a chance to interact with our brightest young professionals!” says Elizabeth Hayes, President/CEO of Infinity Federal Credit Union
“As we continue to grow The Cooperative Trust and Crash opportunities, we’re always challenging ourselves to elevate and advance the program to provide the most impact for young professionals and the credit union system,” says Lauren Culp, Manager of The Cooperative Trust. “We know that it’s more important than ever that young people have a voice and are included in the conversation as we look to the future of our industry. This year, thanks to the generous donations of several forward-thinking credit unions, we’re thrilled to provide the Crash the GAC opportunity to an additional 26 young professionals.”
The Crash the GAC is brought to you by The Cooperative Trust and CUNA, in association with Credit Union Leagues/Associations.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Honors 20 Employees at Annual Meeting
Westbrook, ME – January 19, 2018 – On January 15, 2018 at its 3rd annual i4 meeting, Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) recognized 20 individuals and teams for their commitment to Infinity FCU’s strategic areas of focus to grow membership by building relationships founded on trust, collaborating for shared success, and making it easier to do business with the credit union.
Members of the Bangor Team were honored for “Delivering on Infinity FCU’s Mission” by growing membership, increasing market share, and member retention. Team members include: Cindi Smith of Dixmont, Jennifer Oliveira of Holden, Christine Black of Garland, Christina Clewley of Brewer, Kristy Woodard of Dover-Foxcroft, Cheyenne Huffor of Orono, Tricia Berube of Carmel, and Tyler Small of Ellsworth.
Christine Black was honored for “Build Relationships Founded on Trust” for her commitment to growing member participation, problem solving, and recovery.
Fred Lizotte of Windham was honored for “Easy to do Business” for his work on cross-functional teams to improve efficiency, automate processes, and provide an extraordinary experience to Infinity FCU members.
A team of four was honored as “Employee Advocates” for partnering, mentoring, and cross-training other departments for shared success. Caitlin Field of South Portland and Tim Drapeau of Scarborough were recognized for their work to help launch Small Business Services; Terry Vetrano of Biddeford for leading change in the Member Engagement Contact Unit and Operations; and Shane Drake of Scarborough for providing Mortgage Training and Support to the branches.
The cross-functional team led by Peter St. Onge of Biddeford, Don Cohen of Portland, Tim Villemaire of Waterboro, Ginny Perusse of Westbrook, Erika Fecteau of North Waterboro, and Liz Withee of Buxton, was honored for their collaboration in developing the channel and process of selling Infinity FCU mortgages to the Federal Home Loan Bank. The process allows Infinity FCU to continue underwriting, processing, and servicing mortgage loans in-house, which positively impacts the ability to serve the member and generate increased revenue for the sale and servicing of mortgage loans.
Infinity Federal Credit Union has banner year, saves members $8,995,135
Westbrook, ME — December 29th, 2017 - It has been a banner year for Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU). In 2017, the credit union welcomed 1,600 new members, opened a new Portland Branch at 29 Baxter Blvd near Back Cove, launched Small Business Services, and new products, including the Energy Loan designed to cover the cost of energy-related home improvements, and Bridge to Citizenship Loan which helps Maine residents aspiring to become citizens of the United States.
In 2017, Infinity FCU saved its members $8,995,135 and raised its members’ FICO credit scores by an average of 35 points through its credit score education program.
President/CEO, Elizabeth Hayes stated, “Our vision of “doing banking differently to keep you a step ahead in life’ is brought to life through our member savings initiative. We work with every member to understand the positive impact of making on-time payments and managing revolving debt, resulting in an improved credit score. As their score improves, Infinity FCU automatically offers them more competitive rates, which saves them money and lowers their payments. We’re inspired and proud to make a real difference in our member’s lives and they are positioned well for the future with confidence their credit union has their back.”
In addition, Infinity FCU donated $19,149 to the community through charitable giving, event sponsorships, Casual Jeans Fridays, and its signature Random Acts of Kindness events.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Announces New Vice President of Member Experience
Westbrook, ME — December 19, 2017 - Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) has named Ruth Leavitt its new Vice President of Member Experience. In this newly created position, Leavitt will oversee strategic direction for branch administration, the Member Engagement Contact Unit, business development, and member operations.
Leavitt has been with Infinity FCU since 2015 as Director of Branch Administration, leading Infinity FCU’s four branches in all aspects of leadership and branch operations.
President/CEO, Elizabeth Hayes stated, “Ruth Leavitt has implemented a system of goals, measurement and reporting emphasizing new member growth and member relationships founded on trust and member participation that has helped support and drive Infinity FCU’s growth. In addition, she has been instrumental in fostering an environment of engagement, achievement, and development for each of her leaders and employees. Successfully making Infinity FCU’s vision a reality is predicated on providing an extraordinary experience to our members. The Vice President of Member Experience position was created to make that happen and Leavitt is the perfect person for this role.”
Prior to joining Infinity FCU, Leavitt worked for a number of years as a consumer market manager-vice president at Bank of America and Fleet Bank. She holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maine at Orono.
Infinity Federal Credit Union Announces New Director of Marketing
Westbrook, ME — December 19, 2017 - Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) has named Kathy Guillory its new Director of Marketing. Guillory will oversee strategic marketing initiatives to support membership growth and engagement, brand differentiation, product promotion, and community outreach.
Guillory joined Infinity FCU January of 2017 as a Senior Marketing Manager, leading Infinity FCU’s marketing efforts across its four branches.
President/CEO, Elizabeth Hayes stated, “In her short tenure, Kathy Guillory led a successful opening of the new Baxter Branch in Portland, and increased Infinity FCU's visibility in our markets with external partnerships, event sponsorship, media, and public relations. She also developed and implemented branding guidelines, raising the bar of Infinity FCU's brand externally and internally. Her strategic and results-driven approach to institutional marketing will make her a great addition to our senior team.”
Prior to joining Infinity FCU, Guillory worked in public health, animal welfare, and retail sectors. She is a native of Atlanta, GA and a graduate of Kennesaw State University with a bachelor of business administration in finance and a minor in business law.
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU)'s Christine Black is selected to represent Infinity FCU & Maine at the Crash big.bright.minds.2017 Conference
Westbrook, ME – November 13, 2017 - Christine Black, Infinity FCU’s Member Service Specialist in Bangor, has been selected to represent Infinity FCU and the state of Maine at the Crash big.bright.minds.2017 Conference in Austin, Texas December 6-8. Crash events are designed to help develop young professionals in to future credit union executives. Planned alongside existing credit union conferences, Crash events allow industry mentors to lead young professionals in open conversations around topics such as leadership, social responsibility, innovation, and more.
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU)'s Ryan Wing selected for Filene's i3 Program
Westbrook, ME – October 19, 2017 - Ryan Wing, Infinity FCU's Director of Information, Technology & Facilities, has been selected as one of the sixteen credit union executives to the Filene i3 program which fosters the development of new ideas and innovations for credit unions. The Filene i3 program, managed by The Filene Research Institute, has led to more than 200 “innovative concepts” in its first decade, helping to “save consumers millions of dollars, brought new efficiency to credit unions and even changed a few laws.”
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) listed as No.15 in the
Credit Union Journal's Best Credit Unions to Work For List
Westbrook, ME – October 18, 2017 - Infinity FCU, Maine's First Credit Union, was listed No. 15 by Credit Union Journal, a national publication, in its "Best Credit Unions to Work For" list. The credit Union was No. 3 in its asset category, credit unions with more than $200 million but less than $500 million in assets.
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) Places in the Top 10 of the Maine Best Places to Work List
Westbrook, ME - October 11, 2017 - Infinity FCU, Maine’s first credit union, is thrilled to be recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in Maine” in the medium company size category at #10. This is the credit union’s sixth consecutive year on the recognition list. Infinity FCU demonstrates its care for employees in real terms. Top-notch compensation and benefits include free medical insurance for employees and free dental insurance for employees and families, and two retirement plans. Annual performance bonuses are based on individual and team performance. Peer recognition programs and Spot Awards recognize employees for going above and beyond their day-to-day duties. Employees are celebrated during a week-long employee appreciation event every June which includes a cruise in Portland’s Casco Bay. “One of our core values is ‘we love job and it shows’; making the Best Places to Work List for the 6th consecutive year is a true testament to employee engagement,” says Barbara Bartlett, SPHR, CCP, GRP, CBP, SHRM-SCP, Chief Human Resource Officer.
Eleven Maine Organizations Benefit from Infinity Federal Credit Union’s
“Parking For a Purpose”
Bangor, Maine - September 26, 2017 – Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU), Maine’s first credit union, donated its Downtown Bangor branch parking lot for local non-profit organizations to use for car parking fundraisers during this summer’s Waterfront Concert series. This year’s program netted these good causes more than $7,000.
“Employees of Infinity FCU are empowered to make a difference in their communities. “Parking For a Purpose” is one of many programs they undertake to make that difference.
President and CEO Elizabeth Hayes announced these results from fundraising events:
Old Town Cheerleaders $1,208
Bangor Humane Society $ 850
Red Cross $ 311
Dexter Recreation Dept. $ 950
Girl Scouts—Troop 2001 $ 700
Fire Forward $1,012
Phillips Strickland House $ 345
Silent Sidekicks $ 430
Maine Discovery Museum $ 240
Dempsey Challenge $ 380
The total for all participating agencies was $7,446.
“This was a terrific opportunity for Infinity FCU employees to give something back to the communities we serve,” said Hayes. “We plan to grow ‘Parking For a Purpose’ to include more organizations in 2018.
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) Introduces Equity Crowdfunding Connecting Investors and Entrepreneurs
Infinity Federal Credit Union to Hold Free Seminar for Small Business Owners in the Community
Westbrook, ME – August 17, 2017 - Infinity FCU, Maine’s first credit union, has introduced a new service, an equity crowdfunding platform powered by GrowthFountain. Local entrepreneurs can now raise capital from customers, community members and GrowthFountain’s expansive investor network. These customers, turned owners, become micro brand ambassadors, helping spread the word about your products and services.
Equity crowdfunding is the practice of funding a venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, which can add up to meaningful sums in the aggregate. Companies are allowed to raise $1 million per year under this avenue.
Equity crowdfunding came about after the 2012 passing of the JumpStart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, which encourages small business funding in the United States by reducing many securities regulations. Under SEC new rules effective May 16, 2016, the public can help finance start-up or small companies.
“The JOBS Act was created to help create jobs by simplifying the capital raising process. We’re absolutely thrilled to partner with Infinity FCU to help Maine’s businesses raise the capital they need to grow.” GrowthFountain CEO Ken Staut said. “It’s a logical partnership as we’re both focused on community development and growth.”
“The entrepreneur spirit is strong in Maine.” Infinity FCU Senior Marketing Manager Kathy Akopov said. “Equity crowdfunding offers investors and entrepreneurs a unique way to connect, invest, raise capital, and grow ideas. It’s another avenue for us to support the small business community and our economy in the state.”
Robbery in Arundel
Westbrook, ME – August 16, 2017 - At approximately 1pm this afternoon, the Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) branch on 1298 Alfred Rd in Arundel was robbed. All employees are safe at this time. Infinity FCU is working closely with the local authorities to assist in the investigation of the robbery. The Arundel branch will resume normal business hours tomorrow, August 17, 2017 at 9am.
Media Contact: Angie Helton, (207) 653-0365, firstname.lastname@example.org
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) to Make Loans to Give New Mainers a “Bridge to Citizenship”
Makes Announcement at Opening on New Downtown Portland Branch Location
Portland, ME — July 26, 2017 - Infinity FCU, the first credit union in Maine, has announced a bold program to make loans to those Maine residents aspiring to become citizens of the United States.
The announcement was made today by President and CEO Elizabeth Hayes at the ribbon cutting for the new Infinity FCU branch at 29 Baxter Boulevard in Portland’s Back Cove.
Hayes explains the purpose of the “Bridge to Citizenship” loans:
“At Infinity Federal Credit Union, we celebrate diversity of experience, perspective and ideas in the work we do and the people we serve. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and to have committed employees who are passionate about keeping people a step ahead. That is the key to our success.”
Today, Infinity FCU has team members who speak many of the languages of our immigrant population: Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Azeri, French, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Russian, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Hindi, Punjabi, and Bengali.
Infinity FCU, in partnership with Portland Adult Education, will be hiring new employees who speak multiple languages.
These specific personal loans are designed to cover the cost of become a U. S. citizen while also establishing a positive credit history. The loans can be used for green card and naturalization applications, petitions and travel expenses for alien relatives, related legal fees and asylum costs. Applicants will need to show a pay stub, a government ID and evidence of their non-citizen status. The loans will have flexible terms.
At the opening of the new branch, President Elizabeth Hayes presented $1,000 checks to new community partners, Community Financial Literary and the Catholic Charities Maine Office of Refugee Services.
The downtown Portland branch is the Infinity FCU’s fourth, in addition to locations in Arundel, Bangor and Westbrook. Infinity FCU’s new full-service branch offers drive-up service and a 24-hour ATM, and the branch environment provides a personal “Maine” feel, comfortable and outdoorsy with exposed wood and stone, but with the latest technology customers have come to expect from Maine’s First credit union.
Infinity FCU is inviting those 18 and over to enter their drawing for prizes from local businesses at the new location until August 1. The prizes include a grill/smoker, Sea Dog tickets, Indoor Karting tickets, local restaurant gift certificates and many more prizes.
Among those celebrating the opening of Infinity Federal Credit Union's new branch office in Portland on July 26 were, from left to right: Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling; Sam Novick, Infinity FCU board member; Claude Rwaganje, executive director of Community Financial Literacy; Infinity Federal Credit Union President and CEO Elizabeth Hayes; Hannah DeAngelis, Catholic Charities Maine Office of Refugee Services; Westbrook Mayor Michael Sanphy, Quincy Hentzel, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Media Contact: Angie Helton, (207) 653-0365, email@example.com
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) Saves Members $6M in 2016 and Receives First Place in State Service Award
Westbrook, ME — June 7, 2017 - Infinity FCU was named a first place recipient of the state Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award, which honors credit unions for internal programs and services that benefit membership.
The Awards were presented at the Maine Credit Union League's Annual Delegates' Meeting in Portland on May 19, 2017 to Infinity FCU’s Chief Risk Officer Sandy Cloutier, Director of IT and Facilities Ryan Wing, Senior Marketing Manager Kathy Akopov, and Marketing Assistant Amy Collinsworth.
Infinity FCU won its award for launching a financial education program in 2016. At the beginning of the year, the credit union set a goal to save its members $1M by providing education on managing the credit score. By the end of the year, Infinity FCU exceeded its goal and saved its members $6M.
All of Infinity FCU’s financial products and services are designed to put the member in a better financial position. Under this new program, credit union employees are empowered to provide members with a full financial solution to their credit needs, rather than simply fulfill their immediate request. Every loan application begins with a meeting between a loan officer and the member to review the member’s credit report and identify any opportunities for improving the credit score. In most cases, loan officers are able to make significant changes to how the member’s current credit is organized. Members are shown that by paying their loans as agreed and managing revolving debt, their credit scores will go up and they will be eligible for more competitive rates, which in turn will lower their monthly payments and save them money.
“The results are inspiring,” says Infinity FCU’s Chief Lending Officer, Kandy Moreau. “We have members that we have lowered their loans rates within six months of the initial sit down with a loan officer. This initiative, when looked at from the member’s perspective, is life changing. Nothing feels better than helping people and when our staff goes home at night, that’s how we all feel.”
The first-place state winners will compete in the national awards competition, coordinated by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), in the fall.
Infinity Federal Credit Union (FCU) Membership Elects First
Non-Telephone Worker as Chair of the Board of Directors in Over 20 Years
Portland, ME – At the annual meeting on Thursday, May 4, 2017, credit union Members joined Infinity FCU leadership and staff at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Portland to elect the following individuals to the Board of Directors.
Sam Novick, Chair
Sam Novick, who previously served as Vice Chair, was re-elected to the Board of Directors for another term as Chair. Sam has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bentley College and has served as the President of HUB Furniture Company since 1984. He has a long history of community involvement holding leadership roles such as President of Portland Kiwanis Club, President of Temple Beth El, Board Member of United Way of Greater Portland, among others. Sam is the first non-telephone worker to Chair Infinity FCU’s Board of Directors in over 20 years.
Kate Caron, Vice Chair
Kate Caron, an incumbent, served as an Associate Director the previous year. Kate attended the University of Maine in Presque Isle, studying Business Administration and Law. She is a licensed real estate agent working for The Real Estate Network. Kate volunteers for the community, in her local Middle school, and business organizations. She enjoys volunteering, gardening, reading and designing.