Category Archives: News

Board of Directors Election Information

Board of Directors Voting

In accordance with the credit union’s bylaws, the Nominating Committee has nominated the following individuals for three-year terms on the Board of Directors:

  • Shelia Anderson
  • Richard LeMoyne
  • Nadine Tibbs-Stallworth

Also nominated for three-year terms on the Supervisory Committee:

  • Lola Foster
  • Yvonne Willis

As stated in the bylaws, Michigan First members in good standing may place their names in nomination. Petition forms, along with instructions, may be obtained by emailing Christine Wismann, Executive Assistant. These forms require the valid signatures of one percent of the total membership, each of whom must be a member in good standing. The completed forms must be returned in person by 5 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2016, to the President/CEO’s office at the Evergreen branch.

EMV Chips Coming to a Michigan First Card Near You

EMV Chip
You may have heard about EMV smart-chip technology for credit and debit cards in the news. EMV is a new technology designed to increase security and reduce fraud for credit and debit card transactions. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. EMV cards contain a small, metallic chip embedded on the face of the card that allows for more secure transactions. In order for us to take advantage of this latest technology, Michigan First is working to replace all credit, ATM, and debit cards with the new EMV chip cards in summer 2016.

Why the change?
An embedded chip on the face of the card enhances the security of your card transactions when used at a chip-enabled terminal by encrypting your card information into a unique code that makes fraud more difficult.

How do I use it?
If the merchant you are shopping at has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your card, follow the screen prompts, sign and remove your card. The main difference is that you will now insert your card instead of swiping it. It’s similar to what you currently experience at an ATM. If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

Can I make a purchase using my new EMV chip-enabled card at a retailer that doesn’t have the new card reader?
Yes. The new EMV cards will be equipped with both chip and magnetic stripe functions to allow merchants time to adopt the new card reading terminals.

Will chip cards stop all fraud from occurring?
No. As the industry continues to develop new ways to protect consumers, criminals continue to look for new ways to commit fraud. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring already being provided.

While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to our members. Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.

Additional information will be provided to you as we get closer to replacing your card(s) with EMV chip-enabled credit and debit cards. If you have questions in the meantime, please stop by a Michigan First branch office, or call us 365 Live at 800.664.3828.

We’re Giving Away Up to $85,000 in Scholarships, Again

College is expensive, to say the least. Since 1982, the cost of college has gone up more than 500%! To put that in perspective, that is twice as much as the increase in health care costs over the same time period. In 2015, the average annual cost for a four-year degree at public institutions was $9,139*.

To help our student-members with their college expenses, each year we hold a scholarship competition. To enter, students are asked a question and they answer it via video or essay submission. The scholarship question will be posted on YoungFreeMichigan.com on January 6.

YF Nerdwallet

As a credit union founded by the education community, Michigan First continues our commitment to education. Our Young & Free Michigan Scholarships, funded by the Michigan First Foundation, will once again award up to $85,000 in this year’s scholarship program. We encourage all students from Grand Rapids to Traverse City to southeast Michigan to apply for our scholarships.

Win up to $10,000!
We’re excited to award scholarships of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 in the following three categories:

  • High School Senior Video
  • High School Senior Essay
  • College Student Video

Plus, we’ll be giving additional scholarships of $1,000 to eligible high school seniors. Visit YoungFreeMichigan.com for details, or follow Young & Free Michigan on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

* Source: collegechoice.net

Michigan First is an Award-Winning Credit Union

Once again, Michigan First is proud to share we’ve received awards for being a top workplace! Our 2015 awards include:
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  • Detroit Free Press as Detroit’s Top Work Place – 6th year
  • Corp! Magazine as a Best & Brightest Company – 7th year
  • CU Journal’s Best Credit Unions – new award this year and we’re on the list!
  • Vote4TheBest – WDIV-Channel 4 News – voted best credit union in metro Detroit.

Thank You for Making 2015 One of Our Best Ever

Michael PoulosA special thanks to each of our members for helping make 2015 a very special and memorable year at Michigan First. Since we first started as a credit union in 1926, the mission has been to serve people at the highest possible level. We have not wavered from that mission, knowing that serving people well would help us to grow and be able to serve even more.

Success is often measured in numbers and the numbers tell a strong story of success in 2015. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The merger with Grand Rapids Family Credit Union took place on January 1, 2015, bringing 5,000 members and three additional branches into the Michigan First family. During the year, two of the branches were remodeled and a brand new 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art branch was built in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • During 2015, Meijer ended its relationship with us, but a new relationship started with Kroger. Four Kroger branches are now in place, with at least three more to follow in 2016.
  • Total membership has now exceeded 115,000 and total assets are greater than $760 million.
  • 2015 marked the first time we have opened more than 2,000 accounts in one month and the number continues to rise.
  • Our 365 Live Call Center has been serving members around the clock and total calls per month are now approaching 50,000.
  • More and more members continue to get their mortgages through Michigan First Mortgage. Members can apply and close on loans at a location of their choosing.
  • More than $140 million in loans were granted to members, a record number.
  • More than 94% of members were served within seven minutes at our teller lines.
  • 90% of members visiting our financial service representatives received service within ten minutes. This represents more than 140,000 visits to our branches.

The list goes on and on, but we are thankful to you, our members, who are making this possible. Thank you for the referrals and the new business you send our way. We are humbled to have the opportunity to serve you. During 2016, look for more changes and even greater enhanced service. We will do everything we can to continue earning your business, confidence, and trust. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Supervisory Committee, and the entire Michigan First team, I wish you a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2016.

Michael Poulos, President/CEO

 

Michigan First Toastmasters Club Receives Awards

From left: Toastmasters District 28 Program Quality Director LaShon Bowers, Michigan First Toastmasters Officers Scott Hughes, Nicole Gambrell, Cheryl Ryder, and Desi Johnson II

From left: Toastmasters District 28 Program Quality Director LaShon Bowers, Michigan First Toastmasters Officers Scott Hughes, Nicole Gambrell, Cheryl Ryder, and Desi Johnson II

The Michigan First Toastmasters Club received two awards from Toastmasters District 28: the Chris Hiller Award for the club with “the greatest percentage increase in membership from July 1 to June 30”, and the Harold Eastman Award for the club with “the greatest net increase in membership from July 1 to June 30.”

Michigan First recently revamped our Toastmasters Club, including it as part of our exclusive Leadership Academy and further developing our PR and membership tactics. We are very proud of our Toastmasters and their commitment to excellence!

Our club is open to the public – for information on how to join, visit our site! 

Complimentary Seminars

Seminars

For additional information or to register, visit our online event calendar or call our 24-hour call center at (800) 664-3828 and then press 0.


Evergreen Seminars
27000 Evergreen Rd.
Lathrup Village, MI 48076


Business Lending Basics
Tuesday, February 2, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Lonnie Edwards and Troy Thurston, Michigan First Business and Community Relations Reps

Elder Law
Wednesday, March 9, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Presented by Deborah Lampar, Attorney, Planning for Your Future, PLLC

How to Prepare, Pay, and Stay in College
Thursday, March 10, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Jillian Gajtka, Student Choice (a partner of Michigan First Credit Union)

Understanding Mutual Funds
Tuesday, March 22, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Jamie Russell, Michigan First Wealth Management Group

Credit Scores: Understanding Credit Reports
Tuesday, April 19, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Michael Poulos, Michigan First President/CEO


Gratiot Seminars
21650 Gratiot
Eastpointe, MI 48021


Estate Planning: Basic
Tuesday, March 29, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Deborah Lampar, Attorney, Planning for Your Future, PLLC


Breton Seminars
1815 Breton Rd. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506


Estate Planning
Tuesday, February 9, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Deborah Lampar, Attorney, Planning for Your Future, PLLC

How to Prepare, Pay, and Stay in College
Wednesday, March 9, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Jillian Gajtka, Student Choice (a partner of Michigan First Credit Union)

Elder Law
Tuesday, March 15, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Deborah Lampar, Attorney, Planning for Your Future, PLLC

Grand Rapids Louis St. Financial Store Grand Opening

Louis St Ribbon CuttingMichigan First Credit Union is expanding its Grand Rapids presence with a new downtown financial store at 50 Louis St. NW. This new location more than doubles the size of the old Monroe St. branch and offers more space to serve mortgage and wealth management needs, as well as more room for MoneyWorks ATMs, high-speed coin counters, and additional staff.

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The financial store grand opening, held on October 19, 2015, hosted several local Grand Rapids personalities and invited the public inside to see the stunning architecture, designed by Saroki Architects and built by Pioneer Construction.

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“For Michigan First, it’s all about finding ways to better serve our members. This new location will give us the ability to do more and grow the offerings we provide for those who live and work in the city,” said Michigan First President/CEO Michael Poulos. “Our whole team is excited to expand into the new space on Louis Street and make this investment in downtown Grand Rapids. This is a community that truly takes pride in its vibrant central business district—making it that much more meaningful to be able to do our part and contribute to its growth and redevelopment. We are grateful for the assistance of the commercial real estate brokers of NAI of West Michigan, led by Principal Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely, as well as the team at CDW Real Estate Investment, our new landlord.”

2015 Fall Seminars

Seminar Audience

All seminars will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. unless noted. For additional information or to register, visit our online event calendar or call our 24-hour call center at (800) 664-3828 and then press 0.


Evergreen Seminars
27000 Evergreen Rd.
Lathrup Village


Basic Estate Planning
Thursday, December 17, Noon – 2 p.m.
Presented by Deborah Lampar, Attorney
Planning for Your Future, PLLC


Elder Law
Tuesday, November 10
Presented by Deborah Lampar, Attorney
Planning for Your Future, PLLC


An Introduction to Annuities: Funding Your Future
Wednesday, November 4
Presented by Jamie Russell, Advisor
Michigan First Wealth Management Group


Credit Scores: How do you rate?
Tuesday, October 27
Presented by Michael Poulos, President/CEO
Michigan First Credit Union

Our Mortgage and Lending team members will
be available to answer credit report questions too!


Protect Your Identity from Online Scams
Wednesday, October 21
Presented by Jamie Russell
Michigan First Wealth Management Group


Social Security: When Should You Start Receiving Benefits
Tuesday, October 6
Presented by Doug LaTour, Risk Management Director
Michigan First Credit Union


Gratiot Seminar
21650 Gratiot
Eastpointe


Mortgages in Today’s Marketplace
Tuesday, October 13
Presented by Jeff McGee, Executive Vice President
Michigan First Mortgage


Estate Planning Basics
Thursday, October 8
Presented by Deborah Lampar, Attorney
Planning for Your Future, PLLC