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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!

Kirby Fun Day 2011!  by Tara


Some of America’s finest savers are safely stockpiling their moola here at Linn Area Credit Union. Did I mention that they are, on average, among the shortest of our members? Okay, I’ll cut to the chase. These members are part of our Kirby Kangaroo Club (age range of baby to 12 years old)!

Each year we invite our super-savers of the future, a.k.a. our Kirby Kids, to Kirby Fun Day held at the PlayStation. For two hours, these kids can run carefree throughout the enormous indoor jungle gym. Each kid gets two tokens to spend wisely (naturally, they know how to do that!) as well as their fill of donuts (Sprinkle, Chocolate, Blueberry and, my personal fave, Cherry!) and soda. Our guest of honor, Kirby Kangaroo, even stops by to hang out with the Club members. Talk about a photo op! Go here to see all the pics from the rip roaring good time!

It was such a fun day and all the kids had a b-l-a-s-t! *whispering* We’re hoping lots of naps were taken in the afternoon as a result!

Is your child a Kirby Kid? Let us know what you think of the program in the comments below. Do you have a little one who wants to join in all the fun? Check out this page for the details and then stop on by to get that little whipper-snapper signed up!

And the winner of our Father’s Day contest is…  by Tara


We are very pleased to have randomly selected the winner of our Father’s Day Contest! Before we announce who won the $200 Atira gift card, we’d like to say THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to tell us about their fathers!  We received so many entries and certainly enjoyed reading all about the rock star dads that were nominated for this contest. Unfortunately, there could only be ONE winner. Everyone that entered the contest was placed into the drawing.

Last night the VP of Human Resources at Linn Area Credit Union drew the winning name – which was Brian Johnson’s entry about his inspiring father, Rob Johnson. (It should be noted that he was also nominated by another of his sons, Lee!) 

Rob and his son Brian just stopped by the Blairs Ferry branch to pick up his Father’s Day prize. It was so fun chatting with them! I found out that Rob and his wife, Diane, have been part of the Linn Area family for nearly 30 years (which definitely wasn’t a requirement for this contest – it just worked out this way!). All three of their sons (Brian, Lee, and Luke) followed in their footsteps, beginning with Kirby Kangaroo accounts and have continued bringing their business to us. 

In fact, on the drive over, he and Brian were having a laugh over memories of the Kirby days. Rob’s rule was that whatever money the kids got, they could spend half, but the other half had to go straight into their Kirby account. Brian said that learning this early on actually transferred into his adult life. 

Rob was ridiculously flattered that he was nominated by his sons. I think the fact that two of his adult sons took the time to very thoughtfully write about how inspirational he’s been says a lot about what a great dad he is. (See their entries below.) 

How will he spend his big gift card? He’s taking a big trip in the fall to Colorado and will most likely use the money to do something fun there! (Excellent choice!) 

A big CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Rob! Not a bad way to kick off Father’s Day! :) (Below are the original entries by both Brian and Lee!)

Brian: I thank my father for inspiring my love of many things – including cycling. It is amazing to have him join me through part of RAGBRAI. He is supportive in all my activities throughout life and been powerful model of how to live my life.  Seeing this photo always makes me smile. This one’s for you Dad.


Lee: My father, Rob Johnson, is one of the most caring, positive and empathetic individuals imaginable.  Besides unquestionably supporting our family Rob started Lamba, The Linn Area Mountain Bike Association –, to freely share his zest for existence with all Iowans.  Through education and countless hours of volunteer work this man has single handedly promoted optimism and creativity to worlds of students, strangers, and friends.

Father’s Day Contest!  by Tara


With Father’s Day just around the corner we are ready to celebrate those goofy gents in our lives. That’s right – the spotlight has now shifted to you, proud papas! Hey, we’re all about family at Linn Area Credit Union so we couldn’t let this momentous day slip past us!

This contest is going to be rather simple – just post a picture of your favorite dad (your dad, your grandpa, your honey, your neighbor, your co-worker) and tell us in one or two sentences why he’s the best! The winning dad will get a $200 Atira gift card to spend however he chooses!

Enter one of three ways:

1) Go to our Facebook page (here) and upload a picture of your favorite dad. Be sure to tell us why he is the best when you upload the pic!

2) Upload a pic of your fave dad to your Twitter account and include @LinnAreaCU when telling us why he rocks!

3) Email the picture of your favorite father to along with a few words as to why this papa is simply the best. (You will receive an email back to confirm we’ve received the picture.)

The rules:

1) One entry per person. (Although one dad can be entered by more than one person. See rule #2.)

2) There can be no duplicates of pictures, even if they come from different people.

3) Pictures must be appropriate or they will be disqualified.

4) The dad that is entered MUST live in Linn or surrounding counties.

5) You do not have to be a member of Linn Area Credit Union to enter or to win.

6) Linn Area employees and their immediate families are not eligible to win, but they are still welcome to post pictures!

7) All entries must be received no later than 5:00pm on Thursday, June 16th.

8) Once an entry is submitted, the submitters name will be written down and placed into a drawing.

9) The winning entry submitter will be contacted on Thursday, June 16th to get contact info for the winning dad. The winner of the drawing will be notified in the same way they submitted their entry (eg. If you submitted via Facebook, you’ll be contacted via Facebook message. If you submit by email, you will be contacted by email.). Once contacted, we must hear back from the entry submitter by noon on Friday, June 17th. If we have not heard from the submitter by that time, a new winner will be drawn.

10) As soon as a winner is verified, we will announce it on the blog!

11) No purchase necessary.

Now go find those fun pictures of your favorite dad and get to posting!!!

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