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 Dan St. Hilaire, President/CEO of Northern Credit Union, began the CEO’s Corner in order to personally communicate with you, our members, write directly to him anytime at

As we usher in the New Year with great celebration and expectations, we are mindful of our most notable achievements in 2016 and how vital your unwavering support is to your Credit Union’s past and future successes. For this, and for the privilege of providing you with the personalized service, guidance and financial solutions you expect and need, we are truly grateful. 

Read the latest CEO Corner below and please feel free to write me anytime!

Winter 2017

  • Northern Chosen as a "Best Company to Work for in NY"

  • Personal Teller Ribbon Cutting at Commerce Drive Thru

  • Coming Soon: After Hours Debit Card Support Call Center

  • 7 Best Ways to Use Your Tax Return

  • Why Branch Staff Often Changes

  • Promotions and Anniversaries

Service at the Heart of Northern Selection

It is with great excitement that I announce that Northern Credit Union has been chosen alongside only forty five other companies, with 100-500 employees who submitted applications, as one of the best companies to work for in New York State; a rare feat with this being our first year to vie for this coveted award. It is both gratifying and validating to see that our passion and commitment to the development and overall well-being of our people, is worthy to be included amongst this select group of highly-regarded organizations. 

The Best Companies to Work for in New York State awards are celebrating 10 years of recognizing the best employers in the state. It is a distinctive program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment based on employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies. Northern Credit Union will be honored at a public awards dinner to be held at the Hilton Albany on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Personal Teller Ribbon Cutting at Commerce

Northern is consistently striving to enhance your banking experience by providing you with more convenient transaction options, with advanced technology a significant part of the equation. Recently, a new Personal Teller was implemented in the drive thru at our Commerce branch location. 

In early December, we hosted a Ribbon Cutting ceremony in celebration of this exciting new addition. Pictured below is one of our longtime members, Brent R. who proudly cut the ribbon at the unveiling event.

We also awarded a surprise gift of $50 to Rainee D., our first member to use the new technology. 

A fellow member, Heidi H. pictured below with our Commerce Branch Manager, was the lucky winner of a $100 Stewart’s gift card. Every member who used the technology in the month of December was automatically entered for a chance to win.

Here is what Heidi H. had to say about her experience:

“It was my first time using the Personal Teller Machine and I was really surprised when a real person popped up on the screen to greet me. The whole process was very easy.”

Northern is consistently striving to bring our members the best in banking technology. Our Personal Tellers allow us to serve you more efficiently. You won’t have to wait as long for service in branches, and now you are able to stay dry and warm throughout the winter. 

Coming Soon: After Hours Debit Card Support Call Center

It pleases us to announce the launching of an after-hours, weekend and holiday call center service for your debit card needs on February 6, 2017. Now, if you have a question or concern about your debit card outside of regular business hours, the necessary assistance will be available through this service. A trained team of experts will be happy to answer any questions regarding your debit card including:

- Transactions inquiries
- Increase debit card limits
- Reset PIN attempts
- Report lost or stolen cards
- Order a new or replacement card
- Place travel exemptions on your card for out of state or country purchases
- Verify travel or vacation beforehand to ensure your debit card works seamlessly

Have one or more suggestions to improve service? Please share them with me at!  

7 Best Ways to Use Your Tax Return

Expecting a substantial income tax refund this year? If so, here are a few suggestions on how to get the most value out of your cash:

  1. Pay down high interest loans and lines of credit. The average credit card rate is 24%. It makes sense to pay down your debt, consolidate your debt into a personal or Home Equity Loan and/or consider getting a lower APR card like our credit cards.

  2. Fund your retirement. About 32 % of all working Americans have no money invested for their retirement. Get started or make sure you are on the path to success with a consultation from Northern Financial Services, our investment and insurance partner.

  3. Invest it. Instead of just working for money, let money work for you. Of course, do your research first before making any investment decisions and talk to Northern Financial Services

  4. Open an emergency account. Most people don't have money set aside for financial emergencies. Experts recommend you should have between three to six months’ worth of expenses in a savings account.

  5. Pay for repairs. Maintenance now will result in dollars saved tomorrow. For example, use the money to repair that leaky roof before it develops into a bigger problem.

  6. Make an extra home mortgage payment (or two). Though you won't feel the benefit immediately, doubling up on a mortgage payment now can save you months of mortgage payments later.

  7. Open a College Savings Plan for your child. A four-year college education can cost upwards of $100,000. Start saving for your child's college education now!

While the preceding ideas are all excellent uses for a lump-sum amount of cash, in some instances, it may be more beneficial to just breakeven. A tax refund represents an interest-free loan to the government. If you have been getting a refund back each year, you might want to consider changing your withholding exemptions so less tax is withheld from each paycheck with more money going for more worthwhile purposes. I suggest you consult an accountant or financial advisor for the best advice for your situation.

If you expect to receive a refund and plan to deposit it into your Northern Credit Union account, please remember to do the following:

•  Use Northern Credit Union’s Routing Number 221380936 and your 10 digit account number. It can be found on the account summary page in Online Banking, on your statement, or on your membership card.

• Specify savings or checking, depending on which account you wish to have your funds deposited into.

• To receive funds into an account, your name must be listed on both the tax return and the account. Spouses filing jointly must both be listed as account holders. 

Why Branch Staff Often Changes

Over the course of time, I have received numerous inquiries regarding employee turnover in our branches. While there are a number of reasons for this, I am pleased to share that your Credit Union’s commitment to supporting the career aspirations of our internal owners (employees) through earned promotions or transfers to other departments is the primary reason! Here is what two of them have to say:

“Helping people achieve financial success has always been a passion of mine.  During my time at Northern, I have enjoyed helping our members achieve financial success. Northern has given me the privilege of taking this passion to a whole new level by leading fellow owners in a shared vision of financial success through lending solutions. Understanding what it takes to help our members achieve financial success from a hands-on standpoint has given me great perspective on how to lead others in facilitating our shared vision in my new role.”

– Daniel Estal, Assistant Vice President of Lending

“Northern has given me a great opportunity to move into a role I am extremely passionate about, the IT field. My experiences’ as a part of the Member Solutions team have taught me a great deal of knowledge which helps tremendously in my new position. Knowing the ins and outs of the day to day operations, our technology, programs and membership needs, helps to better understand the importance and urgency of matters. I look forward to providing great service for all of our members for years to come!”

– Justin Deem, Information Technology Specialist

As your CEO of 14 years, as a lifelong member of several credit unions from Iowa, Maine and New York, and as the spouse of a woman who is very sensitive to doing her transaction business with a familiar, trusting face, I can certainly understand and relate to the confusion and disappointment you feel whenever an internal owner that you’ve built a strong relationship with, suddenly departs.

At Northern, we aspire to strike the ideal balance of meeting our member’s service expectations with affording career opportunities to our motivated and talented internal owners. Filling branch vacancies with individuals that reside in your community and possess a strong desire for working in a home-town branch environment is a primary objective that Northern diligently strives to achieve.

As always, I will look forward to receiving feedback on this, or any other topic you are most passionate about. For the quickest response, please email me at

Promotions & Anniversaries

Congratulations to the following owners on their service to your Credit Union!




Our milestone service anniversaries observed during the second half of 2016 include:

  • Erica Frattali, Consumer Loan Closer/Funder, 15 years

  • Dorothy Wolff, Facilities Supervisor, 10 years

  • Ross Virkler, IT Specialist, 5 years

  • Jessica Klepacz, Credit Solutions Professional, 5 years

  • Ashley Schillinger, Member Advocate, 5 years

  • April Bookout, Talent Recruiting & Training Specialist, 1 year

  • Ashley Sweet, Virtual Service Professional, 1 year

  • Bhavik Patel, Home Lending Professional, 1 year

  • Eileen Snyder, Accounting Manager, 1 year

  • Rose Perkins, Credit Solutions Specialist, 1 year

  • Tara Durgan, Member Relationship Specialist, 1 year

  • Christine Booth was promoted from AVP of Member Solutions to Interim VP of Member Solutions.

  • Justin Deem was promoted from Member Relationship Specialist to IT Specialist

  • Mariah Garrett was promoted from Accounting Intern to Accountant I.

  • Lisa Goutremout was promoted from Member Relationship Specialist to Interim Member Relationship Specialist Lead.

  • Flora Kampnich was promoted from Virtual Service Professional to Lead Virtual Service Professional.

  • Sara Matthews was promoted from Central Loan Processing Specialist to Home Lending Processing Professional.

  • Cara Mercer-Venable was promoted from Member Relationship Specialist to Member Advocate.

  • Bhavik Patel was promoted from Home Lending Apprentice to Home Lending Professional.

  • Jana Tharaldsen was promoted from QC Specialist to Lead Central Loan Processor.

As always, if you would like to chat with me regarding your ideas or experience, please email me at I respond to each and every email personally. Thank you for choosing Northern as your financial institution. We look forward to servicing you throughout 2017.