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Contest: Our Family Tree!  by Tara

March15

When did you join our family tree?? Let us know and it could be worth $250 to ya!

The addition of the new Facebook Timeline has caused us to reminisce on our Linn Area past. We would love to see how our family has grown since we first began waaaaay back in 1935! (Click here to check out our Timeline!)

We thought it would be fun to hear YOUR stories and see some pictures of our extended family. Each entry will be put into a drawing. The winner of that drawing will receive $250!

How to Enter

To enter, email the following four items to me (Tara) at tbross@linnareacu.org:

  1. The year you became a member (you can estimate, if you can’t remember back that far!),
  2. a couple sentences talking about why you joined, what you like about Linn Area Credit Union or even share your favorite Linn Area experience,
  3. one picture of you or your family and
  4. your contact info (NOT your account number, please!) so we can let you know if you’ve won the $250!

The Rules

• All entries must be received by tbross@linnareacu.org no later than midnight on Monday, April 9th. The winner will be contacted on Tuesday, April 10th.

• One entry per household.

• Incomplete entries will not be eligible (see the four entry requirements above).

• Your entry must be emailed to tbross@linnareacu.org – no hard copies or other forms of entry will be accepted.

• All people that enter must live in Linn or surrounding counties.

• Linn Area Credit Union employees and their immediate families (spouses and children) are encouraged to participate, but are not eligible to win.

• No purchase necessary.

• By submitting an entry, you are giving permission for Linn Area Credit Union to use your name, picture and submission for promotional and advertising purposes, including but not limited to our website, our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Questions? Just shoot me (Tara) an email at tbross@linnareacu.org. WE can’t wait to see all the members of our family tree!

Since we’re chatting about family trees, have you ever dug into your family history? How far back did you go? Tell us below in the comments!

Exclusive interview with the Ugliest Sweater winner!  by Tara

January11

I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat just WAITING and yearning to know who was the big winner of our Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. The time has come to tell you, grasshopper. The votes poured in and the race was tight! But I can tell you that *clearing throat* the winner is FRANK, er, I mean, MALLORY!!!!

Mallory is famliar to many of you loyal blog followers as she is one of our talented contributers! Well it turns out that she can also make a mean ugly sweater. She penciled us in for an exclusive interview where I asked some pretty hardball questions (take that, Barbara Walters!). Enjoy!

What inspired you to make your Grinch themed sweater?
The Grinch has always been my favorite Christmas story so when I Googled ugly sweaters and a picture of the Ginch came up, I couldn’t resist!

That was a pretty crafty sweater you crafted. What sorts of materials did you use? How long did it take you?
I got a sweater at Goodwill and then I bought a lot of felt… too much felt. Then it was just a matter of cutting stuff out and using heat and bond. I used some jewels for bedazzelment, some mini lights and, of course, jingle bells. 

Did you have the “He’s a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” song playing on repeat while creating your sweater?
No, but now I wish I would have.

How did Frank react to his part in the theme?
Well normally he loves to get his picture taken, but he seemed as thrilled as Max (the dog he was playing) to have the reindeer antlers on.

Do you see yourself donning this sweater again?
I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. It is stashed away with all my other Christmas decorations, just waiting to be unveiled in the future. 

Your sister launched an all-out online assault to lobby for your win. What did you think about that?
I knew my sister had some techy friends because she works at Apple, but I had no idea how far she would take it! I feel like I owe her big time now. 

Did any of your friends of family give you a hard time about your fabulous sweater?
They thought it was great! They are all big fans of Frank. I’m not sure they even saw me in the picture.

How many poses did you try before you settled on the one to submit?
I had to take the picture the morning it was due ,so I had to get my husband out of bed to be the photographer. He was still half asleep so he was not willing to take multiple pictures. I tried to take a few by myself after he went back to bed, but it just wasn’t working out. So what you see is pretty much the only picture that turned out.

Congrats, Mallory!

A big THANK YOU to the LACU peeps that participated in the contest and a very special “Holla!” goes out to all of you fabulous people that voted! Keep your eye on the blog – you never know when that next contest is going to pop up!

In the comments below, tell us about the ugliest sweater you’ve ever worn!

Our Hearts vs. Our Wallets  by Tara

December12

To say that I LOVE infographs is, quite frankly, the understatement of the century. As I scoured the internet looking for financial news for you crazy kids, I ran across this gem on Wallet Pop. Created by the good people at Deals.com, this infograph compares how people spend their money. It is ominously entitled “Our Hearts vs. Our Wallets.” Dummm dumm dummmm… Or, let me rephrase, fa la la la laaaa la la la laaaaa!

Round One of this infograph pits Gen Y-ers (born between 1981 and 1991) against the Baby Boomers (birthed between 1947 and 1964). I’ll give you one guess at which generation thinks secret spending is more kosher than the other…

Round Two tests financial tensions within couples. Warning: This round is a real nail biter.

Round Three, the one I personally found the most interesting, examines how four very different types of living situations spend their money within the same six categories. (I’m not going to lie – I’d love to hang out with the single ladies who are spending over $6,000 on travel and leisure annually!)

Check out the infograph below. Did you see anything surprising??

The Word “Fiduciary” Makes Me Snicker  by Ellen

November29

Remember this song from Mary Poppins? As a kid I thought it was the most boring song in the whole movie. As and adult… well I still think the same thing.

If you’ll remember, Jane & Michael Banks go to work with their dad, a banker. Michael wants to spend his tuppence (a coin equal to two British pennies) to feed the birds like Mary Poppins suggested. His dad and his stockholder buddies would rather he invest that money in their bank so they can eventually get richer.

This boring song would never be sung at a credit union because we don’t have stockholders –we’re a not-for-profit and owned by our members. Plus, we’re not as uptight so I think any show tune we sing about saving money would probably be closer to this:

Spotlight: Marge  by Tara

September16

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

September9

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

September2

 

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

August30

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

August15

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

*drum roll please

Denise! 

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!

Contest: My First Ride  by Tara

July22

Congratulations, loyal Linn Area fans! You made it through one of the hottest weeks we’ve ever had! We think it’s time to focus on something besides the heat wave!

To celebrate this summer’s amazing auto rates and the vehicles we LOVE, we want to hear all about YOUR very first car! Come on, I’m sure I’m not the only one that has some pretty fond memories of my first ride. Was yours a piece of junk like mine or were you one of the lucky ones that was gifted a brand new, shiny car?? 

We know you’d love to reminisce about that first car just for fun…  so we’re going to start a contest to make it worth your time! Just by telling us a fun story about that very first car of yours, you could win a $200 gift card (there are prizes for the runners up, too)! Check out all the deets on our “My First Ride” contest: 

How to Enter:

• To enter, email tbross@linnareacu.org a fun story about your first car (500 words or less, please!). Don’t forget to tell us the make and model of the car. Oh, and HOW did you pay for it?? Of course, we’d LOVE to hear that you got your loan through Linn Area!) We will also consider video entries that are 3 minutes or less. The more creative, the better!

• Make sure to attach a picture of the car (if you don’t have one because your car went kaput before you ever had a picture taken, try to find one similar out on the internet!)

• All entries must be emailed to tbross@linnareacu.org. With your submission, be sure to include all of your contact information. You’ll receive an email back letting you know that we’ve received your entry.

• DO NOT submit your entry on Facebook.

• All entries must be received by tbross@linnareacu.org no later than midnight on Sunday, August 7th

• On Tuesday, August 9th, the top 3 submissions (as selected by Linn Area Credit Union) will be announced on our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

• Area residents will then be able to begin voting for their favorite story immediately on our blog! The entry that receives the most votes will win the grand prize of $200 (2nd place receives $50 and 3rd place receives $25).

• The winning entry will be announced on our blog on Monday, August 15th.

——————————————————————————–

The Rules:

• Entries received after midnight on Sunday, August 7th will not be considered (only one entry per person).

• All people that enter must live in Linn or surrounding counties.

• You do not have to be a member of Linn Area Credit Union to enter.

• Linn Area Credit Union employees and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouses) are not eligible to enter.

• No purchase necessary.

• By submitting an entry, you are giving permission for Linn Area Credit Union to use your name, picture and submission for promotional and advertising purposes.

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