Arlington Community FCU receives two NAFCU Honors

ARLINGTON, VA (May 7, 2014) — Arlington Community Federal Credit Union was honored twice earlier this week by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) when it was named the 2015 Federal Credit Union of the Year, and Amy Thomas, Arlington Community FCU VP of People & Culture, was selected as the 2015 Credit Union Professional of the Year. Both honors were awarded among credit unions with assets of $250 million or less.

Some of the key success indicators that led to Arlington Community FCU being named NAFCU’s 2015 Federal Credit Union of the Year were the Credit Union’s emphasis on providing lending solutions for individuals and businesses in the Arlington Community, a product line that focuses on the unique needs of the Arlington Community, and the Credit Union’s commitment to community involvement and supporting those who live, serve, learn and lead locally.

“Our core purpose is to serve the Arlington Community,” remarked Karen Rosales, President & CEO of Arlington Community FCU. “Over the last few years we have more closely aligned our business strategy with our core purpose and focused our efforts on providing loans, products and services that help better the financial lives of the Arlington Community.”

During the last year, Arlington Community FCU has recognized double digit loan growth which has propelled the borrowers-to-members ratio to 85% compared to 50% for peers. The Credit Union focused on consumer loans and helping members of the Arlington Community, many of whom are younger and need access to loan products that can help them borrow at competitive rates while still saving for the future.

Arlington Community FCU also listens to their members, who told them that local matters, so the Credit Union designed an Arlington Visa card that earns double points for any purchases made in Arlington and earns triple points for donations to Arlington-based charities. Also in the last year, Arlington Community FCU introduced a Your Choice Checking Account that rewards

Arlington Community FCU lives up to its name and its core purpose by helping members, who live, serve, learn and lead in the local community. In 2014 the Credit Union offered several no- cost home buying seminars to help members live local, supported the County employees who serve local by volunteering at the Police, Fire and Sheriff 9-11 Memorial 5k, sponsored those who want to learn local by supporting four in-school branches at Arlington County Public Schools and devoted resources to those who want to lead local by sponsoring Leadership Arlington’s Young Professionals Program.

In early 2014, Amy Thomas was promoted from Arlington Community FCU’s Human Resources Director to Vice President of People & Culture. In this role, Thomas set out to guide a cultural transformation at Arlington Community FCU and build an organization where leaders are listeners, not tellers. She focused her efforts on developing an employee experience centered on the Credit Union’s values, grounded in conversations and led by “whole-person” thinking.

“Amy believes that happy employees equal happy members,” commented Rosales. “Our core purpose is to serve the Arlington Community. Amy has built an organizational culture centered in the values of service, community, opportunity, integrity and passion that our Credit Union shares with the Arlington Community.”

During the last year, Thomas facilitated focus groups that involved employees in the conversation about how the Credit Union could live its values in the service it provides to its members. The result was a set of values that didn’t just live on the wall or in the strategic plan, but values that are talked about with members and each of which have statements of practice and habit to help live the values every day. Thomas also eliminated the traditional performance appraisal and championed the idea of taking a “whole-person” approach where employees participated in “stay interviews” and quarterly conversations.

“We are quite honored to receive both of these distinctions,” Rosales said. “We are extremely proud to be the only not-for-profit local financial cooperative that serves the entire Arlington Community and I want to thank our members and employees for their commitment to us as their local Credit Union.”

Arlington Community FCU (, for over 60 years, has remained committed to its core purpose to serve the Arlington Community. With over $225 million in assets and three branches, the Credit Union serves nearly 19,000 members who live, serve, learn and lead LOCAL in the Arlington Community.

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