What were you doing 20 years ago? Were you playing snake on your old Nokia phone? Or were you watching the top movie of 2000, How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey? Well, back in 2000, Yolo Federal was voted Yolo County’s #1 Best Credit Union for the first time. And let’s just say we hate to break tradition because we’ve held that title for the LAST 20 YEARS! We are honored to continue being Yolo County’s #1 Credit Union.
How did we earn the title for 20 years? We continually push ourselves to find better ways to serve our members. Just think how different Yolo Federal was back then. We’ve gone through remodels, moved branch locations in both West Sacramento and Davis, and built the Winters Branch, giving us a presence in every major city in the county—and that is just physical changes! Our online presence has upgraded significantly with our current website’s launch in 2017, mobile app in 2018, and scheduling system in 2019.
We asked some of our tenured employees to share their experiences from the last 20 years—here’s what they said.
How has Yolo FCU changed?
Since 2000, Yolo Federal has grown from a fairly simple organization with 46 employees to one with 71 employees and more product options, including Real Estate Loans, Business Loans, and our own branded Credit Cards. Cookie Kinser, Branch Operations Supervisor, started at Yolo Federal 30 years ago and remembers when cash was counted by hand. “Now we have the technology to count for us, and our ability to use it has been a real asset,” says Kinser.
We have also expanded our physical presence in the community. Jewel Trottier, Director of Risk Management, recalls when “Our Davis Branch was a tiny, 1-person branch, and we only had an ATM in Winters.” The Davis Branch is now the home of our Real Estate Center, where Real Estate, Consumer Lending, and Business Lending work collaboratively to serve our members better.
What is something that Yolo FCU has excelled at over the years?
“Our member service is what sets us apart from other financial institutions,” says Kinser. “Our focus is on building relationships, not on making a sale.” Though we’ve always focused on providing excellent service, we officially launched our 5-Star Member Service campaign in 2019 to solidify our dedication to our members. Trottier put it best, “Where else can you walk in and chat with the CEO?” As we continued to grow, it was important to keep a down-to-earth feeling while providing exceptional member service.
Jenee Rawlings, President/CEO, is proud to say, “Yolo FCU excels at developing and encouraging a culture of teamwork, accountability, and competency. The team members who make up the current Yolo Alliance are stronger and more capable than ever in the credit union’s history.” Pennie Holck, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, adds, “We’ve received an award as the Best Credit Union to Work For in a national survey. We pride ourselves in creating an environment of high morale, good work-life balance, and where employees feel valued and appreciated. In turn, our employees work very hard to provide excellent service to our members.” It further proves that great things can be accomplished when a collective of people come together to make a difference.
Share a favorite memory.
Yolo is known for employee appreciation. Whether it’s an employee summer picnic or the annual holiday party, they’re bound to have a great time—and there have been so many great memories, it was hard for us to pick! A highlight for Holck was kicking off 2020 with the celebration of her 40th Work Anniversary. She is the first to achieve this milestone and shared, “I will always cherish having been a part of this company’s journey to help our members achieve financial success.”
Over the years, the Yolo Alliance family has grown and celebrated countless life events. “My favorite memories are always related to the personal celebrations and milestones we have individually and as a credit union family—weddings, birthdays, and babies!” states Rawlings. She also shares how the Yolo Alliance family extends beyond the employees. “Pennie Holck’s daughter used to babysit for me, and now she is a grown woman with a family of her own.”
We think it’s safe to say we’re no longer that “little” credit union down the street—but our standard of providing excellent member service hasn’t changed. And whether you’re a member or an employee of Yolo Federal, you’re family.