Leadership at Educators Credit Union includes (front row, from left) Sharon Schroeder, vice president – accounting; Carol Bailey, teller supervisor; Monica Krenek, vice president – lending; Jim Smith, business development; (back row) Rachel Wilde, marketing director; William Palasota, CFO; and Joe Hutyra, CEO.
Since 1938, Educators Credit Union has been helping Central Texans meet their financial goals, and while they've grown over the years, the business hasn't lost the personal touch in serving members and communities in and around the Waco area.
“From the beginning, being involved and trying to make a positive impact in our local communities was something that was very important to ECU,” Marketing Director Rachel Wilde said. “The philosophy of people helping people is one that ECU fully believes in, and we know that support, whether large or small, matters.”
Regardless of occupation, anyone who lives, works or attends school in McLennan, Bosque, Hill, Falls, Coryell or Lampasas counties is eligible for ECU membership.
Within the last 10 years alone, ECU has awarded $85,000 in scholarship money to assist student members in defraying costs at the college of their choice.
The credit union recognizes successful students are the result of hard-working teachers, thus teachers are eligible for a spot to shine, Wilde said.
“Every month during the school year, ECU honors an area teacher with the Educators Student’s Choice Award,” Wilde said. “Each teacher is recognized on News Channel 25 and given a monetary sum to use in the classroom.”
To enhance learning further, funds are donated to support grants for classroom teachers.
Employees are encouraged to volunteer to causes they feel worthy, and many of them give their time to Brookhaven Boys Ranch, Waco ISD Education Foundation, Providence Foundation Forum, NeighborWorks Waco, Stilwell Retirement Residence and the Gatesville ISD Education Foundation. A favorite cause among the employees is the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Raffles and bake sales are held to raise money in the battle against cancer.
Wilde said many employees have been affected by the disease either directly or indirectly.
Some employees volunteer in local classrooms to teach on topics such as the importance of developing and maintaining good credit.
“We are so honored to be recognized,” said Joe Hutyra, Educators CEO. “Giving back and being involved in the communities we serve isn’t something that we seek any sort of recognition for, it’s simply part of our core values.
“We have strived to make a positive impact for our members and for the communities we have served over the last 80 years, and we will continue those efforts long into the future.”