Our Story

A collage of different newspaper clippings highlighting NorthCountry achievements. You cannot read any of the clippings as they are all quite small.

In 1950, the employees of General Electric in Burlington, Vermont organized a credit union where they could lend to and borrow from one another at rates better than those offered by commercial banks. Over time, that little financial cooperative has grown into one of Vermont’s largest and most innovative credit unions, and our commitment to providing people with the best possible value and experience has stayed true.

Near the end of 2001, we opened our doors to anyone in the community and expanded our commitment to include support for the non-profits that make Vermont a better place to live, work, learn, and play. Our employees are provided paid time off to volunteer at their favorite organizations, and funds are set aside each year for college scholarships, community events, and causes ranging from homelessness and disease prevention to hunger and animal welfare.

In an industry where success often seems to be measured solely by a company’s bottom line, we use data from two international outside organizations to gauge the satisfaction levels of our members and employees. These measures allow us to accurately identify in which areas we’re doing well, and where we can improve. Specifically, our strategic plan states we will achieve and maintain a:

Overall Satisfaction Score

It is our goal to provide a world class experience to each of our members. The credit union has partnered with Member Loyalty Group, and uses the Overall Satisfaction Score to measure our success and member satisfaction.

As of  June 2019, our average score was a 9.4 out of 10.

When you open an account with us or perform a transaction, you may receive a short survey regarding your satisfaction with the service you received. The survey may come to you electronically or through the mail. If you receive the survey, please take a few seconds to respond and let us know how we did. Your feedback helps us identify where we're doing well, as well as opportunities for improvement.

Gallup Q12 Overall Score of 4.4 (top 3% of employers worldwide) or Higher

Engaged employees provide the best service. Gallup’s annual employee survey poses 12 questions designed to gauge employee engagement.

Want to know more about us? We’ve included information below that you might find interesting, or stop by any of our branches for a visit. Now that you know our story, we would love to hear yours!

Annual Meeting

The credit union holds its Board of Directors election and annual meeting in the spring. This event is open to the community and includes lunch and an engaging guest speaker. Previous speakers have included Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Jennifer Lim, Matthew Luhn, Robyn Benincasa, and Ryan Leaf.

Please stay tuned for details on our 2020 Annual Meeting. In the meantime, see what we accomplished in 2018 by viewing our Annual Report

Board of Directors

NorthCountry’s Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee are comprised of credit union members who volunteer their time and skills for the benefit of the credit union and its members. 

Candidates for open positions are nominated in one of two ways: by the Nominating Committee, or by petition. Blank petitions are available from the Nominating Committee by contacting the credit union’s Executive Assistant at (800) 660-3258 x6712.

The nomination process takes place annually prior to NorthCountry’s Annual Meeting. If any election is held, the results are announced at the credit union annual meeting.

If you have a passion for sharing your expertise, consider joining! Questions? Please contact Bob Morgan at bmorgan@northcountry.org.

The following members volunteer their time and knowledge by serving terms on the credit union’s Board of Directors:

Rachel Allard, Chair

Rachel has served on the Board of Directors since 2014. Rachel currently works as the Vice President of Operations at Union Street Media. Rachel has her Bachelors in Communication from Boston University College of Communication. During her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and skiing.  


Beth Chenette, Vice Chair

Beth joined the NCFCU Board in 2017 following the merger with Granite Hills Credit Union, where she was a member of the Board of Directors and a longtime volunteer. Beth is the Director of Digital Channel Management at National Life Group and has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, web strategy and management, and digital marketing.

Active in the community, she currently serves as a public member of the Vermont Board of Architects, a governor-appointed position overseeing licensing and supervision for the Office of Professional Regulation. Beth is a former board member and marketing committee chair of Green Mountain United Way, and is a past volunteer for Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice.

Beth holds an A.S. in public relations and communications and a B.S. in business management from Champlain College, and a MBA with a concentration in organizational leadership from Ashford University. She has also earned several insurance industry professional designations. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, live music and snowboarding.


Steve Kirby, Treasurer

Steve has served on the Board of Directors since 2012. Steve is a retired General Dynamics employee. Steve is currently self-employed as a project management consultant. Steve has his Bachelors in Chemistry from the University of Vermont. Steve previously served more than 30 years as a Supervisory Committee member. During his free time, he enjoys hunting and competitive shooting sports.


Frank Thompson, Secretary

Frank has served on the Board of Directors since 1999. Frank is a Licensed Master Plumber and Certified Gas Fitter in Vermont and New Hampshire.  Frank has worked as a Project Manager for New England Air Systems for the past twenty-nine years. Frank is retired the US Navy reserve. During his time in the Armed Forces of the United States he was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea. Frank is also Past President of the Vermont Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors. During his free time, Frank and his wife Elaine spend the free working on their 1910 Victorian and flower gardens at their home in Barre, Vermont.


Francis Taginski, Director

Francis has served on the Board of Directors since 2014.  Francis was chair of the Supervisory Committee. Francis was also the Director of Business Operations for the Vermont State Colleges, and Business Manager for the Barre Supervisory School District. Francis has worked at various Vermont communities as a Town Manager. Francis dedicates his time volunteering for the Vermont Symphony, Vermont City Marathon, Fletcher Library and Charity golf. During his free time, he enjoys fishing, golfing and historical research.


Teresa Kajenski, Director

Teresa wants to use her knowledge to assist in making decisions that will benefit the credit union members while being mindful of the credit union’s core values. She also wants to assist with keeping the strategic plan current and useful.

Teresa is a Certified Public Accountant and current board member of the New England Graduate Accounting Study Conference. She was previously a council member for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and past president of the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants.


Patricia Leduc, Director

Patricia has served on the Board of Directors since 2016. Patricia has been in real estate related fields for over 30 years, including real estate sales; commercial and residential finance; and insurance, and she has owned several small businesses. She is a licensed Realtor and a real estate broker with William Raveis Real Estate in St. Johnsbury.

Patricia earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Lyndon State College/Northern Vermont University with a Minor in Marketing,  and Concentrations in Real Estate and Entrepreneurship from Southwestern College. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Vermont Realtors Association, the National Association of Professional Women, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Patricia has traveled widely as part of a career military family, living abroad as well as in several states. She moved to Vermont in 2004, and with her husband, Mike, a native Vermonter and master craftsman, enjoys renovating their home in Lyndonville, gardening, spending time with family, and enjoying the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.


Charles Roumas, Director

Charles J Roumas has rejoined our board in 2017 after a short hiatus. He had served for 6+ years prior, including several as Chairman.  Charles is a retired American Express executive, and a former Director of the Amex Bank of Canada. Until recently, he was a 10+ year resident of Monkton in Addison County. A graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in accounting and organizational management, Charles brings private and public sector experience, most recently as a Town Treasurer, a Justice of the Peace, a Sewer Commissioner and his proudest involvement-- as a former director and fund-raiser for Vermont's largest special needs therapeutic horseback riding program, CHAMP (Champlain Adaptive Mounted Program). 


Michael Peterson, Director

Mike joined the Board of Directors in 2019, but has been a NorthCountry member since moving to the Burlington area in 1999. Mike holds a MS in Managing Innovation in Information Technology (MSMIIT) from Champlain College, and currently works for GE Healthcare in South Burlington as a Senior Manager, Software Engineering where he has a passion for technology quality and simplification. Mike enjoys travel (especially beaches), being outdoors in warmer months, reading, and home improvement projects.


John Maitland, Director

John joined the Board of Directors in 2019. As a labor and employment lawyer, John works with employers to develop effective solutions that integrate legal compliance, good human resource practices, and strategic alignment with the organization’s mission.

John has served on various Boards, including the YMCA of Greater Burlington, the Visiting Nurses Association of Chittenden and Grande Isle Counties, the United Way of Chittenden County, and the Vermont State Council for the Society of Human Resource Professionals.

CEO

A headshot of NorthCountry FCU's CEO, Bob Morgan. He is smiling, facing the camera, and wearing a black suit with red patterened tie and blue button down. Robert (Bob) Morgan is the Chief Executive Officer of NorthCountry Federal Credit Union. He was born and raised in New Hartford, New York, and later moved to Vermont where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in history and Masters of Business Administration in 1998 from the University of Vermont. Bob began his banking career while in graduate school as an intern for five hours a week at Vermont Development Credit Union (VDCU).  After graduating, he continued working at VDCU in various capacities including lending manager and chief operating officer until March 2000.

In March 2000, Bob accepted a branch manager position at NorthCountry Federal Credit Union in South Burlington and was promoted to Vice President, Lending and Administration in August 2001. In August 2008, he was promoted to Executive Vice President. During this time, he developed and refined lending programs, launched a business lending program, obtained down payment assistance grants for people to purchase homes, and collaborated with local non-profits to create an easy financial solution for people of modest means who encounter emergency financing needs.

 

He also received his Certified Senior Executive (CSE) and Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designations from the CUES Center for Applied Executive Management (2005) and the CUES CEO Institute (2008). 

 

In March 2012, Bob was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer. The outgoing President/CEO, John Benoit, praised Bob Morgan as an innovator, a problem solver, and a qualified leader.

 

Bob has served on the Association of Vermont Credit Union’s (AVCU) Board of Directors for seven years, serving as the Chair of the AVCU’s Social Responsibility Committee, Annual Meeting Committee and Audit and Government Relations Committee. He participated in Filene’s I3 innovation program from 2008-2010 and now serves on Filene’s CEO Research Council. The Filene Research Institute is a nonprofit, independent, “think tank” for the credit union and consumer finance industry.

 

When he is not managing his many duties and staff at NorthCountry, Bob serves as Chair on the Board of the Greater Burlington YMCA in Burlington, VT and is a volunteer coach for youth baseball and basketball. He lives in Essex Junction, Vermont with his wife and three children.

Community

We welcome the opportunity to learn more about non-profit organizations that make northern Vermont a better place for all of us. If you would like to know more about our parameters for giving and submit a request, please complete a Community Grant Application.

In addition to our Community Grant Program, each Spring we distribute our Educator Grants to public schools (K-12) in the following Vermont counties: Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, or Washington. For more information, download an Educator Grant Application.

We like to stay active in our communities by sponsoring, attending, volunteering, and hosting events which bring together neighbors. To see us in action, make sure to check our Facebook Page where we post announcements for upcoming NorthCountry sponsored events and pictures from past events.

NorthCountry Cares

Our staff is committed to serving our neighbors, both in our branches and out in the community. In 2018, NorthCountry held its inaugural "Cares Week". Our twelve branches and home office staff raised $9,220.27 to help local non-profits in northern Vermont by fundraising, volunteering, and raising awareness of important causes including housing for veterans, animal welfare, poverty, hunger, health issues, and community services.

Look for information soon about our Cares Program for 2019 and 2020!

 

Twice as Nice

We're matching contributions to local organizations! Every quarter we will highlight a new institution to receive donations. Donate $5, and we'll donate $5. Donate $100, and we'll donate $100! No donation is too small to make a difference. Ask any of our tellers to help you make your donation. The credit union will match up to a total of $2500 in donations.

If you would like your non-profit organization to be considered for NorthCountry's Twice as Nice program, please contact us.

From 6/1/2019-9/30/2019 we are featuring the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps! The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) teaches young people (aged 15-26) personal responsibility through meaningful work that connects them to the land, community, and one another. VYCC participants gain essential life skills including communication, perseverance, collaboration, and problem solving.

Over 250 young people from socially diverse backgrounds do hands-on paid work in farming and conservation projects via small crews across the state of Vermont. Well over half of Corps Members face physical or emotional challenges, have learning disabilities, have immigrant/refugee status, and/or experience intergenerational poverty.

Conservation crews:

  • Build and maintain trails,
  • Improve wildlife habitat,
  • Improve state park facilities, and
  • Reduce erosion and improve the health of our waterways.

Corps Members also plant, grow, harvest, and deliver organic vegetables and poultry helping to reduce food insecurity throughout Vermont.

Rectangular image, split in two. The left-hand side is a light sage green with darker green text overlay: We’re matching contributions to Vermont Youth Conservation Corps!* NorthCountry logo next to X2 Twice as Nice with two outline hearts. In small print at the bottom, *Between July 1 and Setptember 30, 2019, up to $2500. Right-hand side of the image is three young adults in VYCC uniforms and hardhats working on a wooden trail through the woods. One is using a power drill, one is using an axe, and one is using a pickaxe. All three are smiling for the camera. Vermont Youth Conservation Corps logo is in the bottom left-hand corner of the picture.

Mission and Core Values

For years, when asked about our mission statement, we would talk about our core values; the three C's: Confident, Caring, and Creative. Our core values are what we hold true, but they don't quite answer the question of a clear mission. People want to know what makes us unique, so we explored what really makes us special. When we finished, we had the words to clearly communicate the mission that drives us forward.

Our mission is:

To make dreams come true for all by offering personalized financial solutions. As a cooperative, we are inspired and empowered to do the right thing for our members and employees.

 

NorthCountry’s “Can-Do” core values are the tenets that underlie every transaction, interaction, and decision – internally and externally.

Confident

Our training and mentoring ensure employees at all levels understand our corporate expectations, reflect superb judgment, and are empowered to do the right thing.

Caring

Our success is built on mutually beneficial relationships with our stakeholder groups and our reputation as a reliable, trusted provider of quality service, respect, and community support.

Creative

We provide and create convenient, affordable solutions that improve people’s lives and help them achieve their financial and life goals.

Strategic Plan

Our strategic plan aspires to provide a positive meaningful impact on our four stakeholder groups – our members, our community, our employees, and our volunteers. We will accomplish this through:

  • Acquisition: Support growth by attracting new stakeholders to the credit union
  • Development: Build quality relationships with the credit union’s stakeholders
  • Experience: Provide the credit union’s stakeholders with a world-class experience

News and Press

Governor's Excellence in Worksite Wellness Award

Each year, the Vermont Department of Health, together with the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, recognizes Vermont employers which promote a work environment that encourages and enables employees to improve overall health.

NorthCountry has been selected to receive the 2019 Governor's Excellence in Worksite Wellness Award! We are very excited, as this will be our third year in a row receiving this award! We have been working very hard to promote wellness within our workplace to keep our staff happy and healthy.

 

Best Places to Work in Vermont

NorthCountry was recently named as one of the 2019 Best Places to Work in Vermont! The annual list is created by Vermont Business Magazine, the Vermont Department of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Department of Labor, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) - Vermont State Council and Best Companies Group.

The statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Vermont, benefiting the state's economy, its workforce, and businesses. The 2019 Best Places to Work in Vermont list is made up of companies ranked into small to medium and large employer categories. NorthCountry is proud and honored to announce we ranked #3 in the medium category for the second year in a row!

Check out this Vermontbiz article and the Best Places to Work in Vermont program for more information!

 

Wall Street Journal Recognition

High-cost payday loans are no fun, so many U.S. employers have been working with financial institutions, like credit unions, to offer small personal loans to employees - with much lower interest rates. The Wall Street Journal wrote a detailed article about these worker-friendly income advance loans: “Part of what credit unions are founded to do is to provide small loans to people of limited means,” said Jeff Smith, NorthCountry’s director of credit administration, which works with over 30 employers in Vermont with a combined 4,700 employees. “We are breaking even with this program. It certainly achieves part of what we are founded to do.” Read the full article Here.

 

 

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