Author Archives: Carrie Susemihl

Sustainability Update: As the Grass Greens, So Do We


Exciting plans are being laid by Consumers’ Committee for Sustainability to push new initiatives out to all our 15 buildings, including initiatives for a Sustainability Champion at each office, reducing paper consumption, encouraging recycling, and reusing office supplies. We’re also researching new ideas for making future building projects lean and green. We’ve also been taking a look at the things that we’re already doing well. Ordering supplies containing post consumer recycled content From January to October of 2013, our post consumer recycled content represented a savings or reduction of 323.14 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent, 2.47 trees, 1,483.31 gallons of water, 17.67 gallons of oil, and 2,473,397.46 BTUs of energy. DocuSign In 2013, Consumers launched a new program for signing and transmitting documents securely and electronically. Early estimates of resource savings are anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 pieces of paper a year, as well as hundreds of staff hours. … …continue

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Committee for Sustainability

Green Business Hero - iStock_000015249096Large

Consumers is proud to announce the establishment of a Committee for Sustainability. What is sustainability? Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. (United States Environmental Protection Agency) Sustainability transcends environmental concerns to encompass the social and economic wellbeing of our community on local, regional, national, and international levels. Consumers’ mission is “to provide quality, innovative products and services that contribute to the economic and social well being of our membership,” a sustainable principle. In 2014, Consumers has established an ad hoc Sustainability Committee to review Consumers’ environmental and socially sustainable practices, to document and celebrate our achievements, and identify actionable areas for improvement. … …continue

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I’m in Partnership with Consumers

Everybody knows my name, and I know theirs… Peter S. joined Consumers in 2008 – taking advantage of our personalized, small business solutions to establish his business. “I came into Consumers with the concept of building my business through my savings program – my 401(k).” Peter had been to numerous banks looking for support, but none seemed willing or able to help. Consumers listened and worked with Peter to overcome a number of initial obstacles while our expert on 401(k) planning stepped in to assist. Together, we supported Peter’s efforts, and after discovering his unique needs, a solution was devised and his small business born. “Consumers was interested in what I was trying to do,” adds Peter. “They knew and understood the little things that made a difference to me. They listened and helped.” Eventually Peter brought his other business to the credit union – mostly because of the service experience … …continue

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Goals: The Gateway To Dreams

Take These Steps to Budgeting and Goal Setting Stephen Covey, author of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” wrote, “Begin with the end in mind.” When you sit down to map out your financial dreams, remember that advice. Do you want to be a millionaire? Do you want to own multiple homes? Or is your goal something more basic like paying off your credit cards or putting your kids through college? It doesn’t matter because in all the scenarios, you need to know where you are going so you can plan how to get there. Step One: Write down your goal. Step Two: Break that goal into smaller, incremental goals. For instance, if your goal is to be “debt-free”, smaller goals would be “pay off store #1 credit card by a certain date.” Another would be “don’t add more credit debt this month.” Step Three: Assess where you are now. … …continue

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Crashing the AC&E: (Positive) Peer Pressure and the Generation Gap

Perhaps the most valuable part of my experience Crashing the AC&E was the opportunity to network with peers in my industry from credit unions of all sizes from all across the state. I have rarely had the privilege of being part of such a noteworthy group. These individuals represent the best of our generation: scary smart, caring, and fun loving. Over the course of the days we were together, we became close. We had the opportunity to openly talk about our goals, our experiences, and our concerns and get feedback from people in similar situations but with varying areas of expertise. I appreciate their sincerity, their insight, and their desire to listen and help. If these young people represent the future of the credit union industry, rest assured it’s in good hands. I was, however, disappointed to hear from a peer who attended an educational session on GenY (approximately 18-25 … …continue

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Crashing the AC&E: 40 Things You Should Do For Your Career Before You Turn 40 – Shari Storm

A list curated by Shari Storm for the 2012 AC&E Crashers (aimed at young credit union professionals, but generally applicable to anyone… my favorites are in bold): Take one year of accounting. Take one year of finance. Take a mentor out to lunch. Every day, ask a question you think you already know the answer to. Ignore an email that makes you angry. Join Rotary. Subscribe to (and read) a magazine fully outside your area of expertise. Do something that leads to rejection. Run a long distance race. Pay off your credit card debt. Interview for other jobs at least once a year. The goal isn’t to skip from one employer to the next. The goal is to keep your interview skills sharp so that when an important interview comes along, you’ll be ready. Continuously look at and evaluate your career. Be good at articulating what you do well. Recommit … …continue

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Crashing the AC&E!

This past weekend (July 11th through 14th), I attended the Michigan Credit Union League’s (MCUL) Annual Conference and Exposition (AC&E) in Traverse City. Why is this noteworthy? Because I’m not a credit union CEO, VP, or board member, the typical audience at such an event. I’m a 27-year-old with just two years in Marketing at Consumers Credit Union. “How did this happen?” you ask. Well naturally, I Crashed. “Crashed? Like crashing a party uninvited?” Well, sorta. Allow me to elaborate. To Crash in the credit union world means to give young professionals (30ish and under) the opportunity to attend major conferences frequented by senior managers and board members. These young up-and-comings are selected by application and sponsored to attend at little cost to their credit unions. These folks are the future of credit unions, soon expected to step up into leadership roles. How can we prepare them for such responsibility? … …continue

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Safety Deposit Boxes…Why Are They Useful?

Our Portage Road location offers a variety of safe deposit boxes for your needs.

Safety deposit boxes protect your family’s and your important valuables and documents from fire, water, natural disasters, and theft. On top of that they ensure you have added privacy for your items. This week our Consumers team was thrilled to open our new Portage Road location featuring 260 new safety deposit boxes! The Portage Road office will now be the second office (with South Haven’s office as the first) to offer members this valuable service. People use safety boxes to store a number of important documents and valuables. A blog article on by author, JLP, along with Paul Bomberger’s online article, “What not to store in your safe-deposit box” list some examples of things that you might want to put in a safety deposit box. This includes: a copy of your will, your birth certificate, family heirlooms, gems, a copy of a your passport, your marriage certificate, separation /divorce papers, college … …continue

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Housing Questions? Turn To Us And Accel…

house with daisies

Are you looking for advice on purchasing a home, default issues, foreclosure avoidance, or reverse mortgages? Accel’s housing counseling services can help you. Since Consumers Credit Union is partnered with Accel, all of these services are free to you! Accel counselors are HUD-approved, knowledgeable and extremely helpful in assisting you with a variety of housing counseling services, including: Mortgage Default and Delinquency Housing Counseling If you are behind on your mortgage payments, Accel’s certified housing counselors can help you get back on track. They can help you to establish a budget, set priorities, and determine strategies for saving your home. First-Time  Home Buyer Counseling Accel can help you prepare for buying your first home. They will help educate you on the home buying process and prepare you for the requirements and responsibilities of home ownership. Reverse Mortgage Housing Counseling Available for homeowners over the age of 62, reverse mortgages use your home’s equity to increase monthly … …continue

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