October 1, 2020 Issue 97
A printed version of this newsletter is available in our lobby or by request. You may also view on our website at www.northwoodscu.org.
NCU Logo. Loans Given. Dreams Realized. Germs Avoided. www.northwoodscu.org. Call or text at 1-888-458-0975. Apply for loans online or by phone. Online Banking, Mobile Banking & Mobile Deposit. 30,000+ nationwide, surcharge-free ATM's
Photo of NCU staff with the NCU Logo and the words, We're here with you
It is important to us here at Northwoods Credit Union to be a resource for our members when they are facing financial hardships, Coronavirus or otherwise. Our staff is trained to not only conduct your financial transactions but also to help you through troubling financial times. If you’re feeling concerned about your current or potential financial situation, please contact us. We have programs and plans in place to help our members and we are here to help.
A Message from Northwoods Credit Union President
Photo of CU President, Doug Wolf
Change Can Be Hard … But Worth It! 

Change is rarely easy, even when we are excited about it. We have all had to adapt and change what we do due to COVID-19 and we all wish things would just get better. We make these lifestyle changes to combat COVID-19 (wearing masks, social distancing, etc.) in hopes of a better day tomorrow. For Northwoods CU, COVID-19 has forced us to limit the use of our lobbies and to ask our members to use our drive-ups and online services more. 

As we look toward the future, COVID-19 does not change our reality of needing to create and redesign space to serve our members better, to create a better work environment for our staff, and to have enough space for future growth. To this end, we are moving forward with our master plans for our Cloquet locations, starting with Ave B. 

As you may have already seen, we have done some site improvements that includes preparing the far drive-up island to include the Ave B ATM. This will make access to the ATM easier and allow us to better utilize the interior space where the ATM is through the wall now. 

We will not be doing any additions to the Ave B building, but, we are reconfiguring the interior to create a newer and better member lobby and to allow the building to house staff better. The member lobby and Northwoods Retirement & Investment Services (Ed Grondahl) will be relocated back to the east end of the building and will be much more inviting. The west end of the building will eventually house our Mortgage/Real Estate Lending Department. This is where the change being hard but, worth it, comes in. During this renovation period there may be some disruptions of in-person service at Ave B. There will likely be a time where there will not be any in-person member transactions (except safe deposit boxes) or may only be available via the drive-up. 

We will be sure to let you know when these disruptions may occur and at that time we would direct you to use our Stanley Ave Branch (next to Walmart). 

I promise you, the change and disruption will be worth it. You, our members, will have a better space to conduct your financial transactions and we will gain a better utilization of building space. 

Change can be hard, but, we will make sure to minimize any disruptions and we are sure you will say it was worth it when the project is completed in early 2021. 

Stay Safe and thank you for being a member,
Doug Wolf
President/CEO 
Illustration of a man holding a shield that has Northwoods Credit Union Online and Mobile Banking on it, defending against germs
COVID-19 Procedures
Northwoods Credit Union continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation while following the recommendations from state and federal government. Currently, we are accepting members in our lobbies by appointment only. Avenue B is only taking appointments for Safe Deposit Box visits until Phase 1 of the remodel is complete. We ask that any transactions that can be completed via online banking or our drive-up to be continued through those channels. While we are anxious to get back to normal and see our members again soon, the health and safety of our members, our team and their families continue to be our priority.
 
Appointment Process:
  1. Schedule an appointment with an employee. At this time, the employee will ask you the MN Department of Health recommended screening questions.
  2. Arrive at the main entrance at your appointment time. Please call the number listed on the door to have an employee come to the door. The employee may ask to see your ID and may ask you to temporarily remove your mask to confirm your identity. You will be asked to sign a form, confirming your answers to the recommended screening questions.
 
If you are experiencing a cough, fever or other symptoms, please refrain from coming into a branch or using drive-ups. In addition, if you have recently returned from an out of town high-risk area, please observe the 14-day waiting period before visiting a branch or drive-up. 
 
We are taking the following precautions and steps to protect the health of those that enter our buildings:
  1. Limiting the number of people in our lobbies at one time.
  2. Hand Sanitizer: Please utilize hand sanitizing stations, which will be placed at lobby entrance.
  3. Barriers: Front-line personnel will have plexiglass barriers.
  4. Spacing: To ensure adequate social distancing, please maintain 6+ feet of separation. 
  5. Masks: Masks are required, but we may ask you to please briefly pull it down or partially remove it in the entry vestibule before entering so that we may identify you. 
  6. Cleaning: Frequently used surfaces and pens will be cleaned and sanitized often.
  7. No public restroom: We are very sorry, but for the time being, restrooms will be unavailable to the public. 
  8. No coffee/popcorn: For the time being, we will not offer coffee, or popcorn. Brochures, newspapers & magazines will also be removed from waiting areas. 
 
Thank you in advance for working with us to prioritize the health and safety of our communities, and please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We are in this together.
NEW!! We Now Offer Reloadable Visa Cards along with our Visa Gift Cards!
You're probably aware that we've had Visa Gift Cards available for years. They're $3.95 to purchase, available to purchase from $10-$1,000 to use yourself or give as a gift. Once the original amount is gone, the card can be thrown away. These are perfect for any gift or a one-time purchase.

With our new Reloadable NCU Visa Cards, you can reload your card again and again! They also have an app, CUMoney, that allows you to reload the card yourself, check your balance, view receipts and transactions, turn your card off if lost and then back on when found! The Reloadable NCU Visa Card is accepted worldwide and has the secure EMV chip which makes it great for travel - domestic or international. These cards make a great option for our members!
  • Use for Travel
  • Give as a Gift
  • Send with your college student to reload as needed
  • Use for online purchases
  • Use in place of a checking account
  • Manage your money without worry of overdraft fees

The NCU Reloadable Visa Cards cost $5 to purchase. You may load the card in amounts $100-$5,000. Each time the card is reloaded, there will be a $2.00 charge. Best of all, these cards are easy to purchase and use!
STEP 1 Purchase and load the card at Northwoods CU. You can begin using card immediately.
STEP 2 Use your card to buy gas, pay bills online, shop, online purchases, etc.
STEP 3 Reload your card at Northwoods CU or through the CUMoney app!

A photo of Edward Grondahl
Northwoods Retirement & Investing Services
Ed Grondahl, Financial Advisor addresses what to consider when choosing a retirement date.

Sign Up for Texting Service
*Please note that NCU offers two types of texting service:

Conversational Texting allows us to text you regarding something specific to you.
You may OPT IN by texting any of our main phone numbers.
You may OPT OUT by texting ‘opt-out’ to any of our phone numbers

News & Updates Texting allows us to send a text to many members notifying you of an event at the Credit Union, a branch closure, etc.
You can OPT IN to receive these by texting ENROLL NEWS to 1-888-458-0975
You can OPT OUT of these by texting QUIT to 1-888-458-0975.

Procedure Update

Going forward all outgoing wire transactions will require an in-person signature.
Inspiring Hope for a Global Community
Celebrating 72 years of International Credit Union Day®

On Oct. 15, 2020, credit union members around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day®, an annual event to commemorate the credit union movement’s impact and achievements. This year marks the 72nd anniversary. Typically we celebrate this day by inviting our members to our offices for food and refreshments. Unfortunately, this year COVID has cancelled many of our events. We look forward to celebrating with you next year!

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for more than 274 million members in 118 countries worldwide. More than 85,000 credit unions exist globally, providing a plethora of financial services for their members, recognized as a force for positive economic and social change.

Since 1948, International Credit Union Day has been celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October. Each year, the international event affords the opportunity to remember credit unions’ proud history and promote awareness of and support for the credit union and financial cooperative difference.
This year’s theme is “Inspiring Hope for a Global Community.”

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, credit unions around the globe have continued to provide a high level of service to their members and demonstrated a generosity to their local communities that has set them apart from other financial institutions. We are truly inspiring hope for a global credit union community. ICU Day 2020 is a celebration of the impact credit unions and other financial cooperatives have made—and continue to make for their members. It is also a chance to be thankful for the lives and communities that have been improved by our movement.

International Credit Union Day is recognized by the World Council of Credit Unions, the global trade association and development platform for credit unions and other financial cooperatives, as well as numerous national credit union trade associations and federations around the world.

Thank you for being a part of the Credit Union movement!
DATES TO REMEMBER
Northwoods Credit Union Bylaw Change
It had been recommended to Northwoods Credit Union by our regulators to update the Bylaws to the current Standard Bylaws for Credit Unions. Our current Bylaws allowed for the Board to vote to make this change and in July 2020, after months of review, the Board submitted updated Bylaws to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Financial Institutions Division. In late August, the State approved the updated Bylaws. 
 
The updated Bylaws effectively had only a couple of changes from our old ones. First, the Supervisory Committee will now be appointed by the Board of Directors every year. The other change relates to the election process for members of the Board of Directors. The new process will allow nominations for open seats through the Nominating Committee or by petition. Nominations will not be sought at the Annual Meeting unless there is no nominee from the Nominating Committee or by petition. Voting for nominees to the Board of Directors will continue to be done in-person only at the Annual Meeting.  
Attention TEENS!!
Quarterly Teen Club Financial Article Contest

Members age 13-17 are invited to submit an article on a financial topic to be considered for publication in our quarterly newsletter, website and on Facebook. We will then award 1 teen, $100 for their submission.* Submit your article or ask any questions now by email.

2020-2021 Scholarship Program

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Scholarship Council (FSC) is excited to kick off this year’s scholarship program! 

​This year the council will be awarding $16,000 in $1,000 individual scholarships - providing 16 Minnesota credit union members the opportunity to cut the cost of college. Any member of a Minnesota Credit Union Network affiliated credit union pursuing post-secondary education in the fall 2021/spring 2022 OR is a high school senior graduating in 2021 is eligible to apply.

Northwoods Credit Union is proud to partner with the MN Credit Union Foundation Scholarship Council.
FYI
Avenue B Remodel

We have started the demo portion of our Avenue B remodel and we are excited to announce that this project should move faster than we had previously stated.

The remodel will solve some much needed space issues, will provide a more efficient teller line and designate space for both the Mortgage Services as well as Northwoods Retirement and Investment Services. Work within the building will began mid-August and is projected to run through early 2021. Building construction will be completed in 3 Phases. Phase 1 and Phase 2 will now run concurrently and include remodeling both ends of the building, including our new member lobby featuring a teller line and the Northwoods Retirement and Investment Services, a new Mortgage Services space. Phase 3 will remodel the center of the building with restrooms and office space. The exterior of the building will not change though you may have noticed some adjustments made to the parking lot and driveway. We will soon move the ATM to the drive-up.

Our lobby is now completely closed with the exception of appointments made by Safe Deposit Box holders. We plan to close the entire office, including the drive up, for approximately 3 weeks in late October. We will be sure to notify you with exact dates as soon as possible via our website and Facebook page. Our Stanley Avenue office in Cloquet will be able to help you when this office is closed. “This project is part of a long term facilities strategy to address member service efficiencies as well as space issues. We had this plan approved by our Board prior to COVID-19 and have decided to continue at this time. We hope you have some patience with us the next few months and we look forward to having you all back in the office for a tour once it’s safe to do so,” says NCU President and CEO, Doug Wolf.
Employee Spotlight - Cindy

Cindy started as a member at Northwoods Credit Union. She liked coming into the branch because Northwoods was helpful and she was able to get one on one time with her teller/Member Service Representative.

Cindy joined the Northwoods Credit Union team in 2005. She loves being a member service representative. Her love of learning and willingness to grow has made her the outstanding MSR she is today.

With the Northwoods Team, everything is about our members. Cindy’s mission is to go out of her way to help a member because she says, “It feels good when I can help a member out.”

Cindy loves that Northwoods is a true team and that everyone works to help each other out! She stated that team spirt has sparked her to stay with Northwoods. Cindy’s favorite thing to do is ”greeting the members with a smile.” She says, “The easier we can make things for the member the better. I would like people to remember we are always here to help them out. We are happy to see that people come to us when they need our services. We are always happy they came to the Northwoods team to meet their needs.”

“Cindy is a great part of our Member Service Rep team. She always comes to work with a smile on her face and has a great attitude. Our members love seeing her when they walk in the door and she is always a friendly voice on the phone waiting to help our members any way she can!” says Janell Rewitzer, Director of Branch Operations.
Shred N Go, Inc Truck parked in front of 902 Stanley Avenue, Cloquet NCU office
Shred N Go truck parked in front of 902 Stanley Ave office in Cloquet. Doug and Kate pictured.
Thank you to everyone that came out for our Annual Shred Event on Saturday, September 26th! We were thrilled to see so many people at our event and we're thrilled to report that we shred more than 6,800 pounds!
Federally Insured by NCUA. Membership Eligibility Required.
NCUA
FOLLOW US