by Bill Ferrence
Boulder Dam Credit Union
In 1939, residents of Boulder City had to drive the unpaved road to Las Vegas to do their banking. So a group of men met to consider forming a Credit Union. In February of 1940, with very modest monetary beginnings (less than $100), Boulder Dam Federal Credit Union was chartered.
Growth was very slow at first. It took 24 years to reach $1 million in assets, and ten more years to reach $3 million. But from the ten year period 1974 to 1984, the Credit Union grew to over $50 million and then, over the next 20 years, by over $400 million.
During those first 35 years, the Credit Union offered two basic services: modest sized, low cost loans and simple savings accounts. However, over the last 30+ years, all of the modern banking services have been added. From A.T.M., I.R.A., VISA Credit and Debit, to electronic services like Direct Deposit, Audio Response Telephone systems and Home Banking.
Long time members have commented that the one constant for all of those 68 years has been the Credit Union’s friendly, efficient employees. Four employees have been at the Credit Union for over 30 years (Pat Klinger for 37 years!), 15 for over 20 years, and 29 of our 41 employees have been on staff for over 10 years. 35 of our employees are women and we have 5 men. For many Credit Union employees, the number one activity outside of work involves spending time with their children and/or grandchildren. And many of our employees are involved in volunteer work for their church, their favorite charity, or a fraternal organizations and/or civic group.
Over the years, the Credit Union has changed and evolved into a modern financial institution serving over 22,000 members. But we continue to strive to provide “Old Fashioned” service. Each generation of Credit Union members can identify their favorite employees and for almost 7 decades, Credit Union employees have prided themselves on delivering professional service with a smile.
In 1990, Boulder Dam Federal Credit Union became Boulder Dam Credit Union, converting to a State Charter. Its field of membership (those who are eligible to belong) includes people who live, work or own property in Boulder City, government workers headquartered here, and parents, children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters of members.
Unlike a traditional bank, which has stockholders as owners, the Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative owned by each of its members. Also unlike a bank, members of the Credit Union’s Board of Directors are unpaid volunteers elected from the membership.
As the Credit Union looks to the future, more and more services will be offered electronically. Young members will demand it. But when things go wrong, even they like to deal with a real person and not a complete stranger located in a call center in India. At the Credit Union, our members deal with real people they know right here in Boulder City. Our members know that the Credit Union will be there for them.One of the Credit Union’s biggest challenges today is to prevent our members from being victimized by crooks or con artists whether by phone, computer, mail or even scarier, in person. The explosion of cons and scams (a new one seems to pop up every day) keeps all of our staff members busy trying to diminish their success. Unfortunately, the Credit Union’s elderly members are the primary target market for these heartless criminals. If you are ever in doubt about the authenticity of any offer, the Credit Union encourages you to be skeptical and run the offer by a Credit Union employee before you respond with money or any type of personal information.
Our Boulder Dam Credit Union’s success is unheard of when looking at the statistical data for financial institutions in general. We are a $480 million financial institution serving a community of only 15,000 residents. That’s a market penetration where 9 out of every 10 of the residents are members!
What could be the reason for such a success story? The Credit Union supports every phase of the Community. We strongly support recreation programs, schools, clubs, churches, organizations, businesses, and government entities, including the City of Boulder City. And in turn, the community supports the Credit Union! Could it really be that simple? YES!
Very few cities or towns would point to a “financial institution” as one of the cornerstones of their community life. But thousands of Boulder City residents consider the Credit Union just that. It’s a win/win relationship and one not often duplicated.
The Boulder Dam Credit Union has served Boulder City and its members for 68 years, and we plan to be there for you for many, many years to come.