Hill District Federal Credit Union brings more than financial services to the community they serve

NAPERVILLE, IL, (January 31, 2014) – When Richard Witherspoon, CEO of Hill District FCU (Pittsburgh, PA) was first approached by the Rand Corporation regarding their participation in the Pittsburgh Hill/Homewood Research on Eating, Shopping and Health (PHRESH) study, he was excited and saw a win-win opportunity.

His small $3.9 million credit union is community-based and located in the Hill District. Witherspoon saw the potential to be involved in a project that would impact his community and provide an opportunity to highlight a program currently offered by his credit union.

The PHRESH study is a five year project that began in 2011 to analyze eating, shopping and health decisions people make in neighborhoods described as “food deserts.”  Neighborhoods are designated as “food deserts” for the lack of a full service grocery store located within their community. As part of the interview process, households participating in the study will receive gift cards for their time and cooperation in the study, and this is where Hill District FCU comes in.

Hill District currently sells gift cards to its members through a partnership with LSC, a national provider of payment solutions for credit unions. Witherspoon quickly got in touch with LSC representatives to see what could be done on a collaborative effort for his credit union to be that gift card provider.

“I was so excited to think my small credit union could be part of such a large project that would ultimately benefit the community in which I serve,” explained Witherspoon. “I turned to LSC in hopes they could bring my vision to reality!”

After presenting his plan to LSC representatives, the wheels of motion were put into place.

“We are always looking for ways to promote our philosophy of ‘Helping Credit Unions Compete’,” said George Fiegle, chief operating officer of LSC, and continued, “and when we were approached by Hill District FCU, we jumped at the opportunity to help both the credit union and the community they serve.”

LSC worked with Witherspoon to produce the 2,800 gift cards needed for the project, at a competitive cost that led to being selected as the provider to the Rand Corporation.

“I am so pleased to be a part of this project,” said Witherspoon. “I was able to provide a service benefitting the community we serve, and in the process, we also generated additional bottom line income for my credit union. It’s a great day for the Hill District and my credit union! The Hill District is finally getting a new full service Shop ‘n Save store and my credit union was able to provide some additional funding for that store.”

LSC, formerly known as ICUL (Illinois) Service Corporation, is a credit union service organization offering a wide array of products and services and is dedicated to helping credit unions compete.  Its products include credit, debit, pre-paid debit, portfolio development assistance, ATM services, mobile applications, and debt collection.  It serves nearly 2,500 credit unions in 50 states.  More information can be found at:

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