REGIONAL federal credit union Team Members Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk with Community Involvement

The REGIONAL federal credit union team takes pride in its involvement with a wide variety of organizations making an impact within Northwest Indiana communities.

Whether through its award-winning Student Credit Union program, involvement with area chambers of commerce, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, education foundations in Hammond, Portage and Valparaiso, or annual Next Generation scholarships, REGIONAL is proud of its community service activities.

How does the REGIONAL team feel about the credit union’s community involvement? Below are some thoughts from just a small sample of team members who take pride in helping make their community a better place!

Diane Martin, Vice President of Finance / Technology
I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that TRULY cares about the community it serves. Not only has REGIONAL allowed me to volunteer during the workday, they have encouraged me to so. Most of us, throughout our lives, are presented with challenges and because of the help and support of others, we have been able to make it through those times. I am of course, one of those people and with the help of REGIONAL, I now have opportunity to pay it forward.

Michael Peters, Executive Vice President
When we encourage our team members to participate in community activities we embody the credit union mission of “people helping people” and REGIONAL’s values of “Service” and “Compassion.” We are here to serve our community and members in the best way possible. As a result, we partner with our members to assist them in making educated and sound financial decisions to reach their financial goals. Similarly, by partnering with local organizations through our community involvement, we ensure Northwest Indiana is as strong as we can make it now and into the future.

Kevin Kosek, Vice President of Marketing / Business Development
Those who know me know that it is a core belief of mine that we should give back to our communities, locally and beyond. I feel so blessed to have a career that allows me to do that daily. It’s one of many reasons I chose REGIONAL for my career. There are many things that make REGIONAL different. We are encouraged to give back to the Northwest Indiana communities from the top down. After all, these communities are the ones that support us. I believe our core values of service, respect, trust, communication, education and compassion illustrate why the REGIONAL team is so passionate about volunteering. I always like to add another word to those core values: “help.” The REGIONAL team is here to help, no matter how big or small, or whether anyone is watching. Helping is what REGIONAL is all about. That is why I am proud to say I work at REGIONAL!

Jill Banning, President / CEO
I am proud that REGIONAL allows its team to participate in a variety of community events and organizations. It’s exciting to see an individual’s passion shine in the community and how welcoming the community is to our team. I have been participating in the Hammond Education Foundation for the past six years. It allows me to help an organization that focuses on the education of our students – nothing can be better or more important! REGIONAL strongly believes the entire community is needed to educate our youth. We are proud to have myself and others participate in Education Foundations while supporting student-run credit unions in ten Northwest Indiana schools, offering a six-week financial education class to the school systems for free and having several team members participate in district wide Envision the Future education events.

Irma Torres-Cantu, Vice President of Branch Development-Portage
It is so “awesome” that REGIONAL supports and encourages us to participate in community events, volunteer opportunities and to actively reach out to educate those that are in need of a financial relationship. I have built a partnership with Gabriel’s Horn Homeless Women’s Shelter that started a little over two years ago. I cannot express into words how fulfilling it is when I am at the shelter sharing, educating, and demonstrating to the ladies opportunities that REGIONAL has to offer them so that they can once again have that financial relationship that they need to get back on their feet to continue moving forward.

Analisa Warring, Vice President of Branch Development-Valparaiso
REGIONAL and its team members have a desire to not only to improve our members financial situation, but to also make an impact in our communities. We do this through various sponsorships, volunteer opportunities, and financial educational engagements. We truly are living out the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.” I am honored to work for an organization that has so much passion for bettering our local areas. When your philanthropic passion lines up with the organization you work for it is a win every time.

Sara Meyer-Zasada, Director of School Initiatives
I am grateful to be a part of an organization that is committed to educating the youth in our community. Through REGIONAL I have the privilege of working with students in our area to help them understand the importance of setting goals, sticking to a budget, using credit responsibly, choosing a career and preparing them to make SMART choices. Students who have attended our Insight programs have increased their financial knowledge by 44% which can only lead to a more secure financial outlook as they move into their adult roles.

Cathy Gonzalez, Director of Lending
The community involvement that each team member at REGIONAL engages in every day comes very naturally to everyone. We truly care about the long-term success of our members and the communities in which we serve and live, which is one reason our goal is to make each member's visit at the credit union a memorable one, whether the visit is in person, on the telephone or using technology such as online or mobile banking, members will always find a product or service that meets their needs.

Patricia Makarounas, Vice President of Branch Development – Hammond
REGIONAL is an organization that cares about its team, the members and the communities we serve. I am proud to be part of an organization that is so ready and willing to serve its communities through volunteering, sponsorships, and educational opportunities. When people throughout NWI hear REGIONAL federal credit union, they know the passion and drive we bring with to help build stronger communities. Our actions behind our values and principles are what sets us apart from others.

Katie Cortes, Member Service Representative
I have been with REGIONAL for many years and family is very important to me. I knew I was in the right place when REGIONAL encouraged me to volunteer at the Valparaiso Turkey Trot, and that I should bring my family along. This past Thanksgiving was the fifth year that I volunteered and now it has not only become me being involved in the community, but a family event, as Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without starting the day at the Turkey Trot.

Deb Hannon, Call Center Representative
When I joined the REGIONAL team I quickly got the sense that this team really enjoyed giving their time to the community. I was even more surprised just how much support was given to the team to volunteer. The best part of volunteering for me was the sense of camaraderie I felt with my fellow team members during a project. It made me feel good about the people I work with and that a few people can make a change.

Stephany Meredith, Member Service Supervisor
Coming from the banking world, I know that banks and credit unions all say they care about and are involved in the community. REGIONAL is different in that they are very passionate about having every single team member volunteer in our community. It could be planting flowers or sitting and talking with the elderly, it doesn’t matter—they want us out there interacting with our community. It is a great feeling to know that I work for a company that wants to make an impact other than just the bottom line.

Dana Sabo, Director of Training
I am proud to work for an organization that encourages and supports community involvement. As team members of REGIONAL, we have opportunities to share our time and skills with food pantries, soup kitchens, serving on Boards, helping with Chamber events, working on community clean-up and restoration projects, reading to students in schools, and so much more. Team members always talk about how good participating in these types of activities makes them feel - myself included. We form special bonds with the people we serve. We get to enhance our current skills and learn new ones. We get to contribute to the wellness of the areas we live and work in and to the people we live with - our neighbors. I am honored to be a part of an organization that truly lives its mission of service.