Niagara’s Choice

Written by Board Member

Photo Credit: Biz Journals

Life isn’t static.

Life isn’t static. People’s financial situations and needs change with every milestone and life event. When we’re becoming independent from our parents, our needs are very different than when we’re ready to buy a house, send kids to college or get ready for retirement. Niagara’s Choice Federal Credit Union isn’t a one size fits all financial institution, they consider themselves a resource to serve people in their unique journeys through life. CEO, Dan Keleher  says the only way to do that is through personal relationships with members, a proactive approach to service and the ability to be timely.  NCFCU is a not for profit member owned cooperative. Rather than focusing its energy on profits and personal gains, their focus is providing members better rates, convenient services and financial education. 

What began as a small credit union formed by a few people has grown into a 6 branch, 60+ employee neighborhood credit union.  Through that growth, Niagara’s Choice Federal Credit Union remains a “peoples’ credit union. As the second largest credit union in Niagara County, with almost 30,000 members and a highly engaged team, Niagara’s Choice is laser focused on maintaining  their neighborhood atmosphere and serving the community. The team’s mission is to “look for ways to say yes.”   

Over the last 5 years, CEO Dan Keleher has been strategically growing the team and implementing key initiatives to better serve members. He’s a guy who listens carefully  and takes action quickly. Dan’s a Lockport native, spent a portion of his career in Syracuse and then relocated back to Niagara to join the team at NCFCU. He didn’t just want to lead the institution, he wanted to weave the credit union into the fabric of the neighborhoods they serve. Dan’s first priority is always to serve. NCFCU serves the people in the Niagara County  communities far beyond their financial needs. The team has been part of Habitat for Humanity projects, they support 4H at the Niagara County Fair and volunteer at countless charity events throughout the year. “We don’t want to just throw money at stuff, we want to get our hands dirty alongside the people we serve.” said Dan. 

His recent hire, Suzanne Kennedy, Director of Marketing, comes with an enthusiasm to search for ways to  bring people into the conversations around money and finance. She said “many people don’t know there’s a lot of ways we can help them. There’s opportunities to save money long term by becoming a member here.” Suzanne says it’s important to stay connected with people in the community so the credit union can continue to make a difference and serve members better than anyone else. 

Niagara’s Choice has had great success over the last several years. The benefits of this success are now being passed down to its members. In 2019, Niagara’s Choice Credit Union reinstated the member loyalty payout where members get bonus interest on savings accounts and loan interest rebates. They are able to do this because of the capital they’ve built under Dan’s leadership. In 2020, the credit union will launch remote deposit capture and they’ve been able to provide some of  the lowest loan rates of any other financial institution in the area. There may also be some expansion plans in the future. The leadership team and board of directors are focused on reinvestment into the members. They want to provide better choices in personal finance, more services and deeper relationships with members. 

 

Learn more about Niagara’s Choice FCU at niagaraschoice.org

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