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Collaboration assists CUs quick relocation
PITTSBURG, Calif. (11/19/08)--Collaboration between two California credit unions helped one that was forced to relocate on short notice. Pittsburg (Calif.) Employees FCU (PEFCU) was given 90 days to relocate before its 1,250-square-foot facility was razed to make way for a new city complex. Faced with the task of finding a new location and moving by the end of April, Sophia Kern, CEO of the $8 million asset PEFCU, turned to industry peers for help. Kern had connections with the local credit union community as a result of spending eight years with Concord Diablo CU and nine years with Metro 1 CU--both located in Concord, Calif. At a local chapter meeting, Tina Fields-Dillow, CEO of the $200 million-asset Metro 1, offered to mentor Kern through the processes of funding, leasing, designing and coordinating PEFCU’s move into a new facility. After receiving several unsolicited merger offers from credit union of all sizes, Kern accepted Fields-Dillow’s offer. “I liked the way [Fields-Dillow] offered to mentor me,” Kern said. “Sometimes it is all about the approach, offering help without strings attached. A few other credit unions offered help, but when it came to crunch time, I called her first and she was there.” Kern needed to determine the credit union’s space needs, size, location and affordability. A location was found directly across a freeway from its original sight. Together, Kern and Fields-Dillow analyzed the credit union’s balance sheet and operations, allowing Kern to recommend several operational changes to her seven-member board. The move took place the weekend of April 18-20. PEFCU was open for business in its new location April 21. “PEFCU would not have been able to make this move in less than 90 days if Tina Fields-Dillow had not stepped forward to assist us in the process,” Kern concluded.
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