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Our Little Science Experiment  by Tara

January7

With the record cold keeping the kids home from school and everyone else shivering to their core, we thought this would be the perfect time for a little science experiment! After seeing videos circulating the Web showcasing people throwing hot water into the air to create snow or a steamy mist, we just HAD to try it for ourselves:
 

Have you done this yet?? Make sure you stand the opposite way of the wind, or else you just might end up like a coach following a winning football game. ;) How are you keeping busy during these super, ridiculously cold days?

MyMoola: Dashboard  by Tara

November7

We are beyond excited to introduce the newest addition to our suite (or should we say “SWEET!”) of products and services… MyMoola!!!

Many of our members have asked for a personal financial management system, similar to Mint.com. We heard you loud and clear! Our answer is this colorful, user-friendly site that is completely integrated with the eBranch you know and love. All of your Linn Area accounts will automatically be added in, but then you can add ANY of your financial accounts. When we say ANY, we mean it. So if you have an account at another credit union or, say, a big bank, you can still add it to MyMoola. You can add credit cards of any kind (even store ones!), retirement funds, loans, and even 529s! Using MyMoola will help you save time, achieve your goals, track spending, and, overall, manage all your bling.

In this video, you’ll get a quick tour of the Dashboard (as they say on HGTV, “Where the magic happens!”), teach you how to add accounts, and how to edit your existing accounts:

We want to know: Have you tried out MyMoola yet?!?! What’s your favorite feature?

VIDEO: I Mustache For Your Advice Winner!  by Tara

July26

Bosking and TaraWe revealed the winner of our “I Mustache For Your Advice” a couple of weeks ago (check out the post here), but have finally uploaded the video! Hey, better late than never, right? ;o)

Steve and his daughter Anna visited with us at our Mt. Vernon Road branch last month. Anna, who is 12, really wanted to get her dad something nice for Father’s Day, but didn’t have the money. She and her mom came across our email about the contest and Anna knew right away that she wanted to enter her awesome dad.

Here is the video of the adorable pair:

Congrats again, Steve! We hope the $200 helps as you redo your basement! (P.S. If you are busy redo-ing YOUR basement like Steve, we have super low rates right now!)

TV Star: Adam  by Tara

July19

EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK! Linn Area Credit Union is about to start running a new and fabulous series of  commercials featuring our members! This spot won’t hit your TV until Monday the 22nd, but we’re giving YOU a special sneak peek. Drum roll, please…

Now, you might recognize Adam (and most of our other featured faces) from the TV Stars contest that we held on Facebook a couple months ago. We had such a great response that we ended up doing a couple more spots than we originally planned and had some cool photo shoots!

Keep your eye right here on the blog, as we’ll keep trying to give you sneak peeks as the spots are completed. :o)

Comment below: What did you think of our first new TV commercial???

Step by Step: Updating your eBranch security  by Tara

June4

Hey eBranch users – yeah, we’re looking at you! (And you look fab, by the way!)

At Linn Area Credit Union, we are always looking for more powerful ways to secure your online data. As an additional security precaution, we just enhanced our eBranch authentication process. (Don’t feel like reading and want someone to just show you? No worries – we made a video. Click here or scroll down!)

This means that the first time you log in after May 30, 2013, you will be prompted to do the following two things:

  1. Select new security questions
  2. Choose a Security Phrase – The Security Phrase is a memorable phrase that YOU choose and will be completely visible on the Security Code page to verify that you are not on a phishing site. Make sure when you choose this phrase you do not use any sensitive information (account number, Security Code, or social security number). You know the image that used to pop up right before you got into your account? Well this phrase will REPLACE that image. I sure will miss looking at that soccer ball… we were tight.

There has been some confusion as to the difference between a Security CODE and a Security PHRASE, so let’s get that cleared up! Your Security Code is what most of us call our password; your Security Phrase is to verify the authenticity of the website (we don’t want you do be putting your info into a fake site!) and will be displayed in full each time you log into your account.

I made a quick video to walk you through the process – hope it helps!

Now wasn’t that fun??? As always, if you have any questions, we are happy to help! Please send us an email at hello@linnareacu.org or call 378-0101.

2013 Nom the Mom Adventure (Part 1)  by Tara

May16

Nom the Mom 2013 finalists blogOne of my favorite things about Linn Area Credit Union is that “We Are Family” isn’t just a tagline, but really, our lifeline. Family is our pulse.

Though we run lots of contests throughout the year, Nom the Mom is the one I look most forward to. Over the last three years we have been introduced to some extraordinary women and the people who love them. This year was no exception. (Click here to read about our our finalists from 2011, 2012 and, of course, 2013.) We had nearly 30 ridiculously wonderful moms nominated, which is actually a record number of nominations. (Want to see our other 2013 nominees? Go here!)

Just like you, when I woke up on Friday morning, I had NO clue which of our deserving finalists had won – Esther, Kaci, or Pat. The race had been too close to call the night prior. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I raced to my computer to pull up the contest software and – AHH – there she was. In the tightest race in our Nom the Mom history, Kaci emerged the winner by only 3 votes.

I hopped into my trusty car, pulled out my GPS (lovingly referred to as Lady Garmin), and began to plug in addresses. My 2013 Nom the Mom adventure was about to begin! Weeeeeee!!!

My first stop was Covington & Company, a fabulous little flower and event shop right by the Paramount in downtown Cedar Rapids. Because all of our finalists were outstanding, we wanted each these jaw-droppingly superb ladies to get something. Covington & Company designed stunning flower arrangements for the two runners up. Now, when I say stunning – I’m not over exaggerating, pinky swear. I was literally squealing with delight inside the shop!

You might be wondering how I go about tracking down each of the ladies. The day before the contest ends, I always contact each person who nominated a finalist and work with them to determine where their mom will be the following morning so I can surprise them either with the grand prize or flowers. The nominator is, of course, invited to be in on all the fun.

The first finalist I was scheduled to meet with happened to be Kaci, the WINNER! What a FUN way to kickoff the day!

Kaci has what I refer to as the “Unicorn Situation”. What on earth is that, Tara? When someone is nominated by their *wait for it* mother-in-law. Yeah, I’ll let that just soak in for a second.*pausing* Yep, totally my idea of a Unicorn Situation because that kind of thing just doesn’t happen.

Kaci was at work on that Friday morning, so Jan, her mother-in-law, met me in the parking lot of her workplace. Naturally, Jan’s first question was, “Did she win?!?!” I simply smiled, opened my trunk and showed her the beautiful City Looks Salon & Spa gift basket. She teared up, now knowing that her daughter-in-law had indeed won the Pampering Prize Package.

That’s when I found out that somehow my new chatty friend Jan had managed to keep the whole contest top secret. She didn’t even tell her own son (Kaci’s husband) or Kaci’s side of the family in fear that it would get back to her. That alone is amazing! (Read Kaci’s nomination here.) Jan reached out to everyone she knew, including her pastor. When he didn’t respond right away, well Jan went ahead and followed up with a “Hey, are you ignoring me?” email. Don’t worry – he ended up pulling through! Shoot, maybe he was one of the 3 votes that helped her win?? Can I get an Amen?!?

Since this was going to be a Kacicomplete surprise, we had to be pretty strategic. Jan had done some behind the scenes work the day before, collaborating with Kaci’s super cool boss. Kaci was pulled into “a meeting” *wink wink* with her boss, which was actually more of a ploy to make sure we would be able to reach her when the time was right. And, good golly, was the timing ever right. :o)

The receptionist called Kaci and her boss up to the front. Naturally, when Kaci saw her mother-in-law randomly there with a stranger (moi), she looked a little confused. Well, very confused. After I assured her that everything was okay, this is what happened:

Later that afternoon I got an email from Jan. In it she shared the text message that Kaci had sent shortly after we Kaci and Jan2surprised her:

“I am STILL in SHOCK and DISBELIEF and I feel like I should SHARE it with you… how stinkin CUTE!”

It is very easy to relate to Kaci. She is just like you and me – just a really GREAT mom who always, ALWAYS puts her family first. And thanks to the love and tenacity of her mother-in-law, Kaci will be able to put herself first, even if only for the duration of her 60 minute massage.

Congratulations to Kaci!

I figured that it would be pretty hard to top the energy of my meeting with Kaci, but was I ever surprised! My next stop was to meet Esther and, I am telling you, you are going to want to read about this dynamite lady.

Join us Monday for her story and to hear about the rest of my 2013 Nom the Mom adventure.

In the comments below, let us know how YOU spent Mother’s Day!

Winner of Marion iPad!  by Tara

March15

You might have noticed a little something extra special on 7th Ave in Marion. That would be us!

We’ve moved over a few blocks into a new, beautiful building at 3375 7th Ave that is now tech savvy enough to handle all of our members’ growing needs! It even features a fresh way of banking – pod style. No, it doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck into a spaceship or anything – we’ve gotten rid of the teller line and now have welcoming areas for you to interact more personally with our team members.

To help celebrate our Grand Opening, we gave away an iPad to one very lucky recipient. And here she is now:

Congratulations, Sierra! We hope you ADORE your new iPad!

Inside look at The Teacher Store  by Tara

September14

If you’ve ever been to Kathy’s Pies, you probably know what The Teacher Store looks like on the outside. But are you curious what The Teacher Store looks like on the INSIDE? Come along, I’m going to take you for a little tour!

Want to know more about The Teacher Store? Click here.

Tell us in the comments below, have you been to The Teacher Store? What kind of cool things did YOU discover while there???