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Go Team Katie Bug!  by Tara


Meet Katelynn. Katelynn was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes on September 11, 2010. Since then, she has endured approximately 2,325 shots and over 3,720 finger pokes for blood sugar testing. She now wears a pump that continuously gives her insulin. She wears this pump 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As Katelynn’s parents Eric and Julie point out, “The pump has changed Katelynn’s life, but it is not a CURE.” 

Over 3 million people live with Type I diabetes every day and that number continues to grow. Katelynn’s family and friends have formed a team (lovingly called Team Katie Bug) to participate in the Walk To Cure Diabetes on February 25th at Westdale Mall. Team Katie Bug is raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which funds research to find a cure for diabetes. The Walk To Cure Diabetes is the largest fundraiser for JDRF. 

Linn Area Credit Union is a very proud sponsor of Team Katie Bug. Their goal is to raise $4,000 and, as of today, they are about 30% of the way! If you would like to help them reach their goal by making a donation to Team Katie Bug, just click here. Remember that donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. One more cool thing – you can use your PayPal account to make the donation through the JDRF website, so it really couldn’t be any easier!

Let’s find the cure!

GREAT News, Marion!  by Tara


Hey, Marion! You are lucky! I mean, REALLY lucky! We’ve signed on the dotted sign and are excited to announce that we are moving the location of our Marion branch from 985 31st St in Marion to Lincoln View Square, at the corner of 35th St and 7th Ave in Marion! 

Construction is slated to begin in April and we hope to be open for business before next winter.

If you’re curious what the new building will look like, swing into our Edgewood location or click here to see some pics. The new Marion branch will be very, very similar.  Warm, friendly and chalk full of the latest technology to make your banking experience more efficient. This also means that instead of a teller counter, you will be able to conduct all your banking business side-by-side with one of our friendly Financial Services Representatives in one of our teller pods – something that members who go to our Edgewood branch have raved about! Hooray!!! 

What sorts of things are you hoping to see in the new Marion branch? Let us know in the comments below!

Members vs. Customers: What’s the diff?  by Matt


Ever wonder why we call you a member instead of a customer?  How about when one of us asks for your member number instead of an account number?  There’s a good reason for it and it’s not even sneaky or anything!  To us, you aren’t just some random person that is only defined by what you have sitting in your accounts or inside one of our vaults. You’re a member and you own a share of the credit union.

On the other hand, a customer is a random person that walks in, buys a thingamajig and walks out.  Yes, they may be pleased with their purchase or have accomplished their goal, but do they feel cared about or important?  Probably not. 

Members though…they come in, stop at the front desk for a quick chat (Bonnie at our Blairs Ferry office loves this!) and try to decide which of the smiling faces they’d like to visit with today at the teller counter!  We will definitely take care of anything you need, but what we really strive for you to leave in a better mood than when you came in.  We whole-heartedly care about our member and your satisfaction is our goal. Members own the place… We work for you!

Sure, you are part of our business, but – even more importantly – you’re part of our family. “We Are Family” is our motto and we believe in it! Not only do we help you with your financial decisions and help you manage your day-to-day purchases, but you share a part in the ownership of the Credit Union just by having your account with us. 

And, yes, what you just experienced is what I consider a rah-rah blog!

Dude, where’s my phone?  by Ellen


Losing your mobile phone is more than a pain in the patootie, it can be almost paralyzing. (Who memorizes phone numbers anymore, for Pete’s sake?!) Think of everything you have on there: contacts, pictures, calendar/reminders, saved logins, your current level of Angry Birds… and possibly access to your bank account information. 

This infographic is awesome. It talks about common yet lousy places to leave/forget/lose your phone and offers come great preventative measures for you to put in place now should it ever happen to you. 

Mobile banking is incredibly convenient and we’d love all of our members to check it out because it puts all of your account information at your fingertips and you can do transactions anywhere. (Seriously, it’s free and quite fabulous.) What’s more, it’s very secure and you have to enter your password each time you log in. Even if your phone falls into evil hands, they can’t get into your account information. 

Maybe this would be a good time to look into backing up the information on your phone or updating your old-fashioned address book. What would you do if your phone fell in the bathtub tomorrow?

Spotlight: Slayton  by Tara


What is it like being a TV star? I don’t consider myself a “TV star,” the real stars of that commercial are the kids and ALICE 

How have your family and friends reacted?  My brothers have always considered me to be a bit of a “ham” all of the time anyway.  Seeing me in this commercial is nothing different.  My son thought that I was the perfect choice for Linn Area, and that was not a solicited comment either.  In fact a former student of his sent him a message upon seeing the commercial, this morning, and responded “that was really cool.”  My friends loved it, and said “Yep that’s Slayton” 

Has anyone given you a nickname? For some reason, appearing in that commercial has caused people to think I have a lot of money, so they call me “Big Money.” 

What’s the funniest/craziest thing that has happened to you as a result of your new fame? Handing a deposit slip, from my job, into another financial institution and having them recite my lines from the commercial, they usually respond “Hey we know you, and know your name.” 

What did you think about filming the commercial? My first thought was “This commercial should not just be about me, but what makes me who I am; the corps, the kids, and my 38 years of service to the Cedar Rapids School District are the perfect examples that define me. 

What do you do when your commercial comes on TV? I open all the doors and windows, and announce to the entire neighborhood “Turn your TV’s on now!! I’m on TV.”

What’s your favorite part about being part of the Linn Area family? My favorite part about being a member of the LACU Family is the mere fact that I’m fortunate enough to have been a part of one institution for so long.

Do you have a favorite Linn Area product or service? The special savings programs, such as the “kiddies programs” and the on-line banking service 

What are three words you’d use to describe Linn Area Credit Union? It’s about YOU 

Anything else you’d like to add? When I became a member, many of the current employees were not there.  However the tradition of family service has been passed on brilliantly.  The difference between a bank and a credit union is efficiency.  Items will be taken care of the day you ask for assistance.

Spotlight: Marge  by Tara


What is it like being a TV star? I’m not. 

How have your family and friends reacted?  They have commented on how good the commercial is and what a good job I did. 

What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you as a result of your new fame? I was in a store one day, and this lady I didn’t know said to me, “Aren’t you that lady that’s in the commercial for the credit union?”

What did you think about filming the commercial? I couldn’t believe how LONG it took for a 30 second spot on TV, plus the amount of makeup a person needs! 

What do you do when your commercial comes on TV? Watch and say “I don’t remember saying that.” 

Do you have a favorite Linn Area product or service? I really like being able to pay the bills for school online and knowing they will be done on time, and it only take about 10 minutes, and I’m finished. No stamps, envelopes or anything. 

What are three words you’d use to describe Linn Area Credit Union? Very very helpful. 

Spotlight: Candy  by Tara


What is it like being a TV star?  It’s funny the places I will meet people and they will recognize me from the commercial.  It’s neat that our commercial has been shown all over Eastern Iowa and Illinois.  We were back home for Christmas and my aunt who lives in East Dubuque was talking about seeing the commercial.  My mother-in-law talks about how she sees it in Cedar Falls as well.  We had a CD made so Jay’s grandma could see it.  She had been hearing all about it she told his mom she wanted to see it! 

What do your kids say when they see themselves on TV?  They think it is exciting to see each other on TV.  The first time we watched it, our son Parker had us rewind it over and over again so he could see it!  I bet we watched it at least 5 or 6 times that first night. 

How have your family and friends reacted?  They have all been excited for us.  Some of my friends at work will tell me when they woke up to my voice in the morning.  The first night the commercial was on, our cell phones were buzzing and our Facebook pages had people sharing they saw us on TV!     

Has anyone given you a nickname?  I can’t think of any nicknames other than people joking that they are among celebrities when we are with them. 

What did you think about filming the commercial?  It was a very cool, sunny May morning.  You know Iowa weather, you never know what to expect!  I was a little worried how the kids would do with the shoot.  They had so much fun watching the ducks, playing with the soccer ball, and going over to use the equipment on the playground.  Daniel, who was shooting the commercial, was so easy to talk with!  He was reassuring and would ask questions in different ways for me to answer.  When you are the person answering the questions, you don’t know how you sound!  I thought after seeing the commercial that he made me sound good!

What do you do when your commercial comes on TV?  Quite often, as mentioned above, we will rewind it and watch it a second or third time.  The kids really get a kick out of that!

What’s your favorite part about being part of the Linn Area family?  Everyone is so helpful and kind!  We have had nothing but wonderful customer care since joining Linn Area.  Linn Area is so sweet to send out Kirby Kangaroo birthday cards and different mailings for events occurring throughout the year.  They not only make Jay and me feel involved, but Parker and Marin as well!  For us, that is pure gold!

Do you have a favorite Linn Area product or service?  I must say my favorite feature is the online banking.  It is so easy to track our spending and check to see if checks cleared, checking both our balances and our kiddos’ balances.  We have a loan through Linn Area as well, so I am able to quickly move money to pay the loan or move money to my kids’ accounts whenever it is convenient for me.  

What are three words you’d use to describe Linn Area Credit Union? Friendly, First-Class Service, Dependable 

Anything else you’d like to add?  We feel so honored that you chose our family as one of the four commercials to air on behalf of Linn Area Credit Union.  It was our 30 seconds of fame and will be a memory we cherish forever!

Spotlight: Barry  by Tara



What is it like being a TV star? No different

How have your family and friends reacted? They seem very proud 

Has anyone given you a nickname? A few people call me “Hollywood”

What’s the funniest/craziest thing that has happened to you as a result of your new fame? I got stopped at Airport security because of the metal business card that commercial production crew gave me. It took TSA about 15-20 minutes to clear me after they found it going through the X-ray machine.

What did you think about filming the commercial? It was a blast. We kept laughing the whole time. 

What do you do when your commercial comes on TV? I look away. 

What’s your favorite part about being part of the Linn Area family? Everyone seems to know me now! 

Do you have a favorite Linn Area product or service? E billpayer 

What are three words you’d use to describe Linn Area Credit Union? Fast, Friendly & Efficient

Anything else you’d like to add? Just that I’m waiting for my chance at a sequel.

Spotlight: Our TV Stars!  by Tara


They’ve made you laugh. They’ve made you cry. They’ve made you want to run through a field of wildflowers.

Okay, maybe not. But if you’ve seen our commercials featuring REAL Linn Area members, you probably at least smiled and thought, “Heck yeah, I’m glad to be part of the Linn Area family!” 

These commercials have been running for almost a year now, so we thought it would be fun to go back to our four TV stars (Slayton, Marge, Candy and Barry) to see what life has been like since the spots began to air. Each Friday for the next few weeks, we’ll highlight one of the stars! 

Now… we don’t normally like to toot our own horn, but this time I just can’t help it!!! I thought that you guys would like to know that our four TV spots received several marketing awards at the 2011 Credit Union National Association Marketing and Business Development Conference. Although more than 1,000 entries were submitted, our ads won Best TV Ad (single – Slayton), Best TV Ad (series) and, the granddaddy of them ALL, Competition’s Best!!! Not only do we have the BEST members around, we have the best TV commercials, too! I dig that. :o) 

And, P.S., if you think you have a GREAT Linn Area story to tell, go up the top right hand corner of this page and click on “Tell Your Story!” Who knows, you could be featured in a blog, on our home page or maybe even one of our next TV spots!

And the winner of our “My First Ride Contest” is…  by Tara


Thank you to all who voted in the “My First Ride” contest! It was super close, but the winner is… 

*drum roll please


Congratulations, Denise (read her story here)! You and that slug bug story stole the hearts of the voters. For that, you receive a $200 Atira gift card!

Don’t worry, folks, our creative 2nd place winner David (read his story here) gets a $50 Atira gift card and fast drivin’ Tom (read his story here) will speed off with a $25 Atira gift card. (Winners – I’ll be contacting you via email to coordinate the pickup of the gift cards!) 

Well that was loads of fun, don’t ya think!??! Be sure to keep your eye on the blog, Facebook and Twitter – who knows what kind of contest we’ll have up our sleeves next! 

Got a great idea for a contest? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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