Member Newsletter, Spring 2021
President's Message
Growing and Investing in You, Our Members

Steady progress is being made locally and nationally to combat the COVID-19 epidemic, and hope springs eternal as the weather warms and the vaccines are deployed to all who want them. At press time, April Fool’s Day will have just passed and hopefully we will not have had to deal with a snowstorm or something else!

Some good news: From my earlier communication, and elsewhere in this newsletter, you can read that we are preparing for a lot of new enhancements to our branch and back-office technology and service environments that will speed up account opening, account servicing, teller window service, and identification practices this spring. New systems will provide our staff in the branches, in our Call Centers, and in our lending areas with more and better integrated information for them to best serve you. This is an important undertaking for our entire team; they are being trained now and right up until May when the updates will be completed. This is going to be a very positive change for the organization, and it brings significant improvements to everyday banking for all our membership.

Some bad news: Internet and online crime is on the rise, as you will read in a related article in this newsletter. Since the pandemic hit, many of us have changed our banking and spending patterns; we’re making more online purchases and transactions; we are visiting the branches less; we’re signing up for many new services to make the quarantine easier, etc. All of these can lead to exposure of your most vital financial details UNLESS you provide good passwords and user names and stay away from unfamiliar sites and email. Your digital footprint is constantly being monitored by potential thieves, looking for easy access to your funds via fraudulent checks, fake stimulus program payments and offers, and getting to debit and credit card data that was compromised by retailers and/or hacked by intrusions on large systems. Whatever the means, and there are many, you must protect your personal data, especially your financial data, in the virtual world in which we live. Use our online and mobile banking applications to check balances, sign up for alerts, and monitor spending and unusual patterns or transactions. Be safe with your money, and have a healthy skepticism that if something seems too good to be true, or is irregular and unexpected with your accounts and transactions, it might be suspect and you should let us know how we can help.

Some more good news now: Spring has sprung, and boy, does it feel good! It’s been a long year of quarantine, health challenges, social discord, and financial hardships, so let’s try to put that in the past. Let’s be safe, enjoy our freedoms and the company of friends and family once again, while being safe in the process.

2021 will be a year of great recovery, so celebrate life and get outdoors! 
Dean Marchessault
President & Chief Executive Officer
April Is National Financial Literacy Month
Free Financial Lessons for Students of all Ages and Skill Levels
Financial Literacy Month was established by Congress in 2004 to highlight the importance of financial education and teach Americans of all ages to develop and maintain healthy financial habits. Encouraging financial wellness is even more important during these uncertain times.

Explore our free online financial education program offering over 25 self-paced modules that take under ten minutes per lesson. No signup is necessary. Subjects include: Savings and Checking accounts, credit cards, credit scores and reports, budgeting, paying for college, car shopping, buying a home, and retirement planning.
Important Announcements
IRS Tax Deadline Extended to Monday, May 17
The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS announced that the 2020 individual federal income tax filing deadline is extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.

Please note that the Credit Union will be closed for business on Saturday, May 15, and Monday, May 17, 2021, for a planned system enhancement. Members who need to perform IRA transactions for their 2020 taxes should complete them by Friday, May 14, 2021.
2020 Annual Report Available
American Eagle Financial Credit Union's 2020 Annual Report is available to view and download on the Credit Union website including the Report to Our Membership and the year-end financial statements.
Dormant Account Fee To Be Eliminated
The Credit Union's $10 annual Dormant Account Fee will be eliminated effective May 18, 2021.
Early Closing Account Fee To Be Eliminated
The Credit Union's $15 Early Account Closing Fee on Checking accounts closed in the first 90 days will be eliminated effective May 18, 2021.
ATM Balance Inquiry Fee Change at Non-American Eagle ATMs
The Credit Union's Balance Inquiry Fee at non-American Eagle ATMs will change from $1.50 to $2.00, effective May 18, 2021. This fee is waived when performed at American Eagle ATMs or any ATM in the SUM or Allpoint network. Visit for our ATM locator.
American Eagle Continues to Seek Top Talent!
Join Our Team of Dedicated Employees
You’ve trusted us with your financial needs, could you be the next one to join our team? What sets American Eagle apart is how we invest in our employees because they are the foundation of our success. We offer a coaching and professional development program, a diversity and inclusion council where your voice matters, competitive compensation, and benefits. Our market-competitive package includes, but is not limited to: Incentive Programs; Medical, Dental, Vision coverage; Paid Time Off (PTO); 401(k) with matching contributions; and Education Reimbursement. 

To learn more about our job opportunities, please visit our website or contact one of our HR representatives at
Coming Soon - Palm Vein Authentication
Improved Member Identification and Verification
Protecting your identity and personal financial information is a top priority for us. Beginning Tuesday, May 18, we’re excited to introduce two new in-branch methods to quickly and securely authenticate your identity - ID scanning and Palm Vein Authentication.

Identification Scanning
The first time you visit a branch following our system enhancement, you will be asked to present your driver’s license or another acceptable form of identification. Your license or ID will be scanned into our system. This one-time process will help make your future branch transactions faster and more secure.
Palm Vein Authentication
What is it? Palm Vein Authentication (PVA) is a form of biometric identification widely used by organizations that require greater security measures (e.g., banks, military, government, etc.) to positively identify employees and customers. PVA is considered the safest and most secure of all biometric identification over fingerprint, facial, and voice recognition.

How does it work? The optional enrollment process takes just a few minutes. You’ll place each hand separately over the scanner and an infrared light will read more than five million vein patterns in your palm. The patterns are encrypted and converted to a unique number which is matched to your member record in our system. This process is fast and safe. No physical or personal data is saved including finger or hand print information.

No more presenting ID. Once enrolled, you no longer have to present an ID to transact
business at a branch. You simply place either hand over the scanner at the teller counter or Member Services desk. Your identity will be authenticated immediately and your account information will load on the employee’s computer screen for faster service. PVA helps prevent anyone from impersonating your identity at a branch. Watch for this new method of member identification coming later in May.
American Eagle Is Soaring in the Community
Over $23,000 Donated in First Quarter's Cash Back to the Community
American Eagle Financial Credit Union announced the recipients of $23,166 in donations from its participatory funding program, Cash Back to the Community.

Nonprofit organizations Silk City Chorus of Manchester, Connecticut Gold Star Families Memorial of East Hartford, and The Police Athletic League of Hartford each received a $7,722 donation for earning the most votes in AEFCU’s first quarter Cash Back to the Community program. A total of 205 organizations were nominated and 4,709 votes were cast by AEFCU members and the general public.

Silk City Chorus, Manchester
Chartered in 1963, members of the Silk City Chorus of Manchester have performed for audiences throughout our community and have consistently been ranked as the best-performing barbershop chorus in Connecticut as well as one of the best choruses throughout New England. Members come from all walks of life and represent all age groups. The chapter recently partnered with MARC, Inc., an organization that provides resources for people with disabilities in the Manchester area. Silk City Chorus is a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society - an international organization dedicated to preserving the barbershop style of singing in four-part a cappella harmony.

Connecticut Gold Star Families Memorial, East Hartford
The Gold Star Families Memorial was created by Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody" Williams to remember those families who have lost a loved one to preserve our freedom. A new Connecticut Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is being planned at Veterans Memorial Park in Berlin, Connecticut, honoring the families of servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S. military.

Police Athletic League, Hartford
The Hartford Police Athletic League (PAL) empowers the youth of Hartford to realize their potential through free mentoring, sports, education, and art programs as well as developing a positive relationship with police officers. PAL provides youth, ages 6 to 18, with alternatives to violence, gang membership, truancy, and substance abuse. PAL programs instill the importance of integrity, respect, discipline, self-esteem, leadership, teamwork, and other valuable life skills that increase self-worth and foster success. PAL participants must be actively attending school in good standing. PAL also builds relationships with the families of its youth and promotes parental involvement.

During 2021, AEFCU is donating one percent of its credit and debit card interchange income to three nonprofit and/or 501(c)(3) organizations each quarter through the Cash Back to the Community program. Funding for the program is generated each time members use an American Eagle credit or debit card. At the end of each quarter, one percent of the total interchange income–the fee paid for credit and debit card transactions–is distributed to the top three nonprofits receiving votes.
Credit Union Receives Top Service Award from East Hartford Lions Club
American Eagle Financial Credit Union was presented with the prestigious Knight of the Blind Humanitarian Award by the East Hartford Lions Club at the Club’s March Board Meeting. This award, from the CT Lions Eye Research Foundation, honors outstanding Lions, non-Lions, organizations, or businesses who perform exemplary service to a Club, district, or community. These honorees possess the highest example of good character, ideals, purpose, and service. American Eagle was chosen for its almost two decades of support to the club by supporting the Club’s Spring and December fundraising flower sales. “During the pandemic in 2020, when it was clear that these sales could not be held in person, the Credit Union made a generous donation to purchase flowers to be distributed to the Riverside Health Center and Community Shelter in East Hartford for the holidays,” said Roberta McIntire-Shapiro, President, East Hartford Lions Club. “The Credit Union also purchased flowers to decorate its branches. It is for these reasons, and for the support of and commitment to the East Hartford community, American Eagle was presented the Knight of the Blind Award.”

Accepting the award on behalf of the Credit Union was Richard Marinelli, Community & Public Relations Manager at American Eagle, presented by Roberta McIntire-Shapiro.
Employees Donate Nearly $11,000 to Charity During First Quarter 2021
American Eagle employees collectively donated $10,887 from their payroll deductions during the first quarter ending March 31, 2021.

Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) received $5,220 from the Jeans Friday fundraiser. CULAC is a national nonprofit advocating for laws and legislation that advance the future of the credit union industry and its members.

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut received $3,000 to support various community programs in our region.

American Eagle Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving received $2,667 for future grant distribution in the communities we serve.
CU Donates Office Furniture to Journey Home to Fight Homelessness
American Eagle Financial Credit Union donated over 40 pieces of used furniture and office furnishings to the Hartford-based nonprofit, Journey Home. A variety of chairs, tables, cabinets, clocks, lamps, wall hangings, and other items were made available after the Credit Union relocated its iconic 68-year-old East Hartford branch from 417 Main Street to the new Goodwin University building at 361 Main Street.

"Perfectly good furniture was going to the dump, when just down the street there is a family in need. Thanks to our volunteers and donors like American Eagle Financial Credit Union, our clients have what they need to finally feel at home and we received some supplies necessary so that we can do our jobs better with the main goal of ending homelessness," said Alison Sjoberg, Volunteers and Communications Coordinator at Journey Home.

Through its furniture program, A Hand Up, Journey Home helped approximately 300 households in 2020 by providing furniture as individuals and families transitioned out of homelessness. By accepting gently used items to provide to people in housing transition, Journey Home is reducing waste and is able to help families that otherwise would be sleeping on the floor or having to decide whether they spend what little money they have on furniture, food, rent, health care, or other necessities. 

Journey Home was founded in 2007 as the agency responsible for implementing Hartford’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. Journey Home has become a strategic leader and valued partner for many homeless and employment service providers and remains committed to ending chronic homelessness in the Capital Region.
Yale Peabody Museum Awarded $5,000 Grant for High School Program
American Eagle Financial Credit Union (AEFCU) donated $5,000 to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History’s Evolutions Afterschool Program. This marks AEFCU’s latest charitable commitment to the New Haven region since opening its North Haven branch in 2019.
The Evolutions (Evoking Learning and Understanding through Investigations of the Natural Sciences) Afterschool Program is a free science and college-focused program that provides academic support and science career exploration for 120 students from the New Haven and West Haven public school districts. The program focuses on supplementing the formal school experience and encourages students to see themselves as college-bound, scientifically literate citizens.
“Our Evolutions students participate in weekly afterschool classes focused on science career exploration, transferable skill development, and college preparation throughout all four years of high school,” shared Sarah Morrill, Assistant Director, Grants Management, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. “They’re also provided opportunities for laboratory internships and paid work experience as interpreters within the Museum’s galleries. Together, these young leaders form a STEM-focused, academically driven community that represents a key initiative of Peabody Museum to bring science and local neighborhoods together.”
“To be member-focused means to be community-focused, and we’re so pleased to be able to give back to the New Haven region, which has been so welcoming to us,” said Dean Marchessault, president and chief executive officer of American Eagle Financial Credit Union. “The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History has inspired generations of students and we are excited about how this donation will be put to work through the Museum’s Evolutions Afterschool Program, which provides hundreds of local young people with skills and wonderful experiences that they’ll be able to carry with them through high school and beyond.”
Keeping You Safe and Informed
Beware of COVID Vaccine Scams
The news is full of stories about crashing vaccination scheduling websites, seniors who are unable to get their vaccine appointment, and how different states are rolling out their limited supplies of COVID vaccines. People are becoming desperate in the scramble to get vaccinated during or even before their allotted time, and scammers know that and are banking on it.

Vaccine scams are so rampant that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an alert called “Help fight COVID vaccine scams: Share these tips with those you know.”  It urges us to help protect the most vulnerable, including our loved ones and friends, and those that are particularly isolated.

Tips to share to help protect those around you from COVID vaccine scams include:
  • Don’t pay to sign up for the COVID vaccine. Anyone who asks for a payment to put you on a list, make an appointment for you, or reserve a spot in line is a scammer.
  • You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine. That’s a scam.
  • Are you on Medicare? You don’t have to pay to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Only scammers will ask you to pay.
  • Ignore sales ads for the vaccine. You can’t buy it – anywhere. It’s only available at federal- and state-approved locations.
  • No legitimate person will call, text, or email you about the vaccine or ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. That’s a scam, too.
Federal Holiday Closings
American Eagle Financial Credit Union will be CLOSED on Monday, May 31, 2021, in observance of Memorial Day.
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American Eagle Financial Credit Union
860.568.2020 | 800.842.0145 |
American Eagle Financial Credit Union will never solicit confidential information about your accounts through email. If you receive a suspicious email asking you to open an attachment or click on a link to provide personal information, do not take action. See privacy and security policy. Federally Insured by NCUA.