Iím Stacy Martin and I am a Senior Branch Representative at the Central Branch. I joined the credit union as a Branch Representative and was promoted on my one year anniversary with the company. I come from an insurance background with experience in sales and underwriting. This made my transition to the credit union pretty easy, since Iím familiar with both member service and all the paperwork that goes into disbursing auto loans. It also helped that my co-workers are so genuinely helpful. Everyone here is willing to jump in if needed!
Iím very proud to be working at the credit union since I come from a police family. I feel like I can relate to our members in a personal way. I grew up with a lot of the same concerns that family members face and I have so much respect and appreciation for what all police officers do to keep our city safe.
Iím a single mom to my six year old German Shepherd, Zorba, who I got when she was just six weeks old. When she was a puppy, she barely let me out of her sight and to this day she follows me from room to room. When I do manage to sneak away, I enjoy going to motorcycle events. Even though I donít own one, I LOVE Harley Davidson motorcycles. I also like spending time with my friends and family and enjoying all that Chicago has to offer!
I look forward to being part of CPFCUís ongoing growth and success!
Thank you for your exceptional service to our members, Stacy!
Featured Employee: Branch Services Manager/ Training Coordinator
name is Debbie Zielinski and Iím the Branch Services Manager/ Training
Coordinator at CPFCU. Much of what I do involves learning different
processes and systems then providing training to my fellow employees at
the credit union on how they operate. Iíve been establishing and
expanding this role for the past seven years, but Iíve been with the
credit union for over thirteen! I started my career here as the Data
Processing Manager. As time passed, I noticed a need for more in-house
training and I decided to pursue that path. Even though I had never
done anything like this before, I feel like Iíve found the perfect fit-I
truly love what I do! Part of what makes my job enjoyable is that Iím
an explorer. I love finding out how and why things are done, which of
course makes it easier to train others. I think my co-workers
appreciate that I take their questions seriously and will always find
them answers and solutions.
The other part of my job that makes it so rewarding is the feeling of family. People care about each other and are very supportive. In my role I interact with every single employee at some point, so itís great to know that I work with such a wonderful group of people!
If youíve met me or spoken with me on the phone you may have guessed that I didnít grow up in Chicago. Everyone always wants to know about my ďaccentĒ. For the record: I am originally from Tennessee and I still get season tickets for Tennessee football and basketball every year! My husband humors me even though heís a born-and-bred Chicagoan. We both are big sports fans in general.
Iím looking forward to being a part of the new opportunities that are on the horizon for employees and members!
Debbie- Thank you for your enthusiasm and tireless dedication!
Featured Employee: Branch Representative
Iím Kinga Leja and I
am a Branch Representative at CPFCU. Iíve worked here part-time for
almost three and a half years. My previous experience includes two
years at a bank. I decided to apply at the credit union while I was
going to school at Harrington College of Design since it was much closer
and more convenient. I worked here while I was studying Interior
Design. During my last year of school, I had to complete an internship
and was able to work with the Facilities Manager for CPFCUís buildings.
That developed into a full time position where Iím able to put my
design education to good use. That being said, I still work for the
credit union as well since itís been such a rewarding job for me.
My proudest moment was when I received my Bachelors Degree. As the first in my family, I knew that I was setting a good example and I already see that people are inspired by my success. Iím even thinking about going back to school to study business or economics.
Iím a huge Blackhawks fan and love watching games with my dad! People may be surprised to learn that I collect old money- especially old coins. My hobby started when I was around 12 years old and received a penny from 1906. That got me interested in all the different designs and styles of coins and bills throughout the years. Iíve built up quite the collection since then.
I look forward to continuing my Interior Design career, helping out at the credit union as much as I can and building up my coin collection!
Thank you for your service to the credit union and to our members, Kinga!
Featured Employee: Senior Accountant
name is Korey Martinez and I am the Senior Accountant at CPFCU. I have
been at the credit union for almost 7 years. My work experience has
revolved mainly in Accounting and Finance. My previous employer, a
Public Relations firm, exposed me to financial statements, budgeting and
public speaking. I was part of a team that consisted of 30 employees
and I provided financial updates for the group. When I started at CPFCU
I was ecstatic to bring in my experience to the company. In the
Accounting/Finance world, we have a different approach in delivering a
message to the employees and members. We use numbers to tell the story
and identify how effective our products and services are to the credit
union and our members.
It is a privilege to work for those who serve and protect our city. I enjoy working with the Accounting Department. We are a very dedicated group of individuals that love what we do.
During my spare time I like to be involved with the community that watched me grow. I am a member of the Leadership and Development Group at St. Joseph Parish located in the Back of the Yards community. One of the biggest accomplishments for me was to award 11 applicants with the HOPE Scholarship. The vision through this project is for students to never lose hope and follow their career goals. Education is Power! I know from experience because one of my proudest moments came in December 2012 when I graduated with an MBA in Finance. I am excited to use my education to continue my career growth at CPFCU.
I also LOVE to run. I am a member of Chi City Running Club. We run through the streets of Bridgeport and Pilsen. I am proud to say that I will be running my first Marathon in October 2014!
Thank you, Korey, for your enthusiasm and hard work!
Featured Employee: Call Center Representative
My name is Joseph Luna and I am a Call Center Representative. I started at CPFCU a little over a year ago. Most of my previous work experience has been in retail, which gave me a great foundation of customer service skills. I also worked for the United Center right out of high school and had one of my most memorable moments while I was there. I got the opportunity to meet Michael Jordan and even shook his hand! It was really special since heís been a personal idol of mine for years and basketball is my favorite sport. When I was in 8th grade, I won the chance to play on the basketball court at the United Center. I never guessed that I would get to meet my idol on that same court a few years later!
While basketball is my favorite sport, I love all sports and support (almost) all Chicago teams. I also love to spend time with my family and friends. When Iím with them, I enjoy hearing their stories and experiences. That is also my favorite thing about my job. Our members have such interesting stories to share!
My proudest achievement to date is receiving my Associate Degree in Management/ Marketing. I look forward to continuing my education and building my career at CPFCU.
Joe- Thank you for your service to the credit union and to our members!
Featured Employee: South Branch Representative
Iím Allison Augustine and I am a Branch Representative at the South Branch. While Iíve worked at other banks and credit unions before, I really feel like I have found the right fit here at CPFCU. My previous experience has been in Maryland, where I grew up, Pennsylvania and a short stint in California before calling Illinois home. But there was a lot of pressure to meet quotas and sell things to the members or customers. I love that we donít have that type of pressure here and we are sincere about our product offerings. We only recommend a product or service when we see that it will genuinely benefit someone. It makes it so much easier to get to know our members and build a lasting relationship. Thatís easily my favorite thing about my job!
January of 2014 marked my one year anniversary with the credit union. While Iíve been learning a lot here, Iíve also been earning my associates degree in IT. Iím very excited to be graduating this April! Having read that, you might be surprised to know that growing up I always wanted to be a police officer. Itís probably all due to my childhood love of the TV show Walker, Texas Ranger!
These days when my husband and I are watching TV, weíre joined by my two pups who both love to climb right up on us. Riley is a 95 pound pitbull and Bella is a 55 pound basset hound. Clearly, they are a little confused about what constitutes a lap dog, but I wouldnít have it any other way.
Iím looking forward to continuing my career at the credit union as well as furthering my education!
Allison- Thank you for being a valuable member of the CPFCU team!
Featured Employee: Chief Human Resources Officer
My name is Leslie Pasiewicz and I am the Chief Human Resources Officer at CPFCU. I have been at the credit union for almost 14 years and had considerable experience in the financial industry before that. At my previous employer, a large national bank, I worked my way up from a teller position to a corporate title where I managed multiple departments. My time there gave me a lot of insight into management, human resources and the banking world.
However, when I started at the credit union I was still surprised by one thing: the credit union approach. We treat everyone as a person, not a number which allows us to truly help our members. That is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Another thing I take a lot of pride in is helping to nurture the careers of my fellow employees. I am the first contact person for many of our employees and I love seeing their careers blossom and develop. I feel very fortunate to work with such a great group of people!
I am also thankful to have a wonderful and supportive husband, four bright, responsible daughters and (so far) five amazing grandchildren! I love spending time with them- especially getting outdoors. While I love any time outside I especially love getting to the beach. No matter where we head to, I always find time to look up at the clouds. Sunsets are especially beautiful. Itís the most serene and calming sight. My kids like to tease me about it, but Iíll always look to the sky when I need to clear my head.
I look forward to the credit unionís ongoing growth and continuing to serve both our members and our employees through my work.
Thank you for your dedicated service and commitment to CPFCU, Leslie!
Featured Employee: Senior Branch Representative
Iím Renee Buffurine and I started my
career at CPFCU as a Branch Representative at our North Branch over two
and a half years ago. Prior to this, I worked at another credit union
for over seven years. I came to CPFCU with a lot of knowledge about
credit unions. I love that at CPFCU we get the opportunity to form
relationships and provide personalized service to each member. Thereís a
real family vibe here, which is probably why it feels like such a good
fit for me being that I am a very family oriented person. I really
enjoy helping our members and their families with their financial needs.
My family brings me so much happiness and is the most important thing to me. I have two amazing boys; our eldest son Oliver is almost seven years old and our baby Miles is 16 months. Iím very proud of both of them. With Oliverís sports and Milesí adventurous personality, they definitely keep me busy. When Iím not spending time with my guys, I like a good night out with the girls. I love to go dancing!
Some of you may have even seen me bust a move this past December when I was promoted to Senior Branch Representative! I am very excited about this opportunity and I look forward to growing in my career and my future with CPFCU!
Renee- Thank you for your exceptional service to our members!
Featured Employee: Midway Branch Representative
My name is Margaret Zalewski and the 17th of this month marks my one year anniversary at the credit union. I am a Branch Representative at our Midway location which is right in my neighborhood. When my husband, who is a detective with the Chicago Police Department, heard that CPFCU was going to be opening a branch in the area he suggested that I apply. My position is a great fit for my degree in Finance, and builds on my previous work experience at a family owned jewelry company. I took on a variety of tasks at that job- everything from repairs to payroll! When the owners of the store retired I took some time to focus on my family. My husband and I have two wonderful kids and I got to spend more time with them and I got involved with their sports board at school. I even got the boysí volleyball team started at their school. Now that Iím back to work, I still cheer on their sports teams as well as all of the Chicago teams!
I grew up in the city and with all of my Chicago pride; some people might be surprised to learn that I was actually born in Poland! I find it very rewarding to work with people and I love when I can help find solutions. Iím looking forward to learning more about IRAs and loans, so that I can assist even more members!
Thank you, Margaret, for your enthusiasm and tireless hard work!
Featured Employee: Senior Call Center Representative
My name is Rachel Strong and Iím a Senior Call Center Representative. Iíve been working at the credit union for just over a year, but Iíve worked in the financial industry since 1992. My previous experience was primarily in mortgage lending. Regardless of my role, thereís one thing that is always the same: my focus is on building relationships. Additionally, speaking both English and Spanish always comes in handy. My favorite thing about my job is getting to know our members and being a friendly voice when they call in. Itís a true privilege to assist the officers who serve and protect the city where I was born and raised.
I still live in the city and love to spend time with my family and my two dogs. I have a Miniature Pinscher named Taylor and a Chihuahua named Petey. They certainly keep things interesting!
I look forward to growing within the organization and Iím excited to be a part of CPFCUís ongoing growth!
Rachel- Thank you for your exceptional service to our members!
Featured Employee: Senior Business Development Representative
My name is Therese Keenan. When I first walked into the credit union, at Lake and Wabash, it was June of 1969. I had been referred by the Treasurer, Paul Byrne, who was my fatherís first cousin. I come from a big police family Ė my grandfather Sergeant Peter Byrne was one of the first mounted officers in Chicago, so I was excited at the chance to work for a credit union that served the police.
I thought I was there for an interview, so you can imagine my surprise when the first question was ďDid you bring your lunch?Ē Apparently it was my first day! I started right away and learned all that was required to be a teller and more. The biggest challenge was calculating interest, which we had to do by hand for every transaction! I started out making $60 a week. After taxes I took home $45 cash (yes, cash) per week in a little manila envelope.
I worked hard to keep building my career and learned as much as I could across many departments. With my experience and knowledge of the credit union, I was able to land a job in the IT Department, which was then called ďThe Computer Room.Ē Then in 1978 I left the credit union when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first son after eight years of marriage. We were blessed with two more beautiful children in the years that followed. In 1984 I got a call about a position that was going to be available in IT. This call couldnít have come at a better time since my husband and I were looking at the challenge of Catholic school tuition! When I came back I noticed that a lot had changed. One of the big improvements was the ability to offer payroll deduction. I was especially proud since my sister Mary Ann Galeher, who also worked at the credit union, played a huge role in getting that started. She even designed the blue payroll deduction forms that are still being used today!
Since then Iíve seen plenty of other improvements and growth at the credit union. What I wasnít expecting was to completely change my role here. In 2009 I was offered the opportunity to go into Marketing. It was different from all my work experience. At the time I was really hesitant to make the leap. However, I realized that it would be a great opportunity to use my knowledge and experience to share my enthusiasm for all that the credit union has to offer.
I accepted the offer and Iím so glad I did. My role has grown and now a lot of my time is spent at police roll calls, outings and events. Itís really rewarding to go to different locations and share with others all that the credit union has to offer.
Iíve been fortunate to enjoy so much success and fulfillment in my career. However my proudest achievements are my children and their families, especially my beautiful and talented grandkids. Did I mention I love to dance? At any moment I am prepared.
Thank you for your service to the credit union and to our members, Therese!
Featured Employee: Mortgage Representative
My name is Fawn Larsen and I work for First Chicago Mortgage Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union. Iíve been a Mortgage Representative here for eight years, and Iíve worked in the mortgage industry since 1993. I love helping our members find solutions, and I find it especially rewarding when I work with young couples or first-time home buyers. I enjoy that I can help them achieve such an important milestone in their lives. I also have a personal connection to our members, since my father was a Chief of Police in suburban St. Louis. I really appreciate the chance to give back to those who serve and protect.
I graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. I am licensed with the state of Illinois and I do yearly classes to stay current.
Iím a huge Chicago White Sox fan and was a ball girl for six seasons! My husband and I still love to go to games- if thereís a Sox game going on, chances are Iím there! Iím also an animal lover and I have two cats: Hank and Beck.
Iím looking forward to continuing to find mortgage solutions for our members. Iím proud to say that weíre currently expanding our offerings and improving our online application to make the process even easier. I look forward to meeting and assisting more of our members and continuing my growth in the industry.
Fawn-Thank you for finding mortgage solutions for our members!
Featured Employee: Senior Branch Representative
My name is Allison Daddio and Iíve been with the credit union for 15 months. I started at the Central Branch as a Branch Representative. I was recently promoted to Senior Branch Representative and transitioned to CPFCUís North Branch location. I have over twenty years of experience in the banking industry. Iíve always loved working with people and I knew right away that this industry was the right fit for me. Iím excited to continue my career growth at CPFCU!
My favorite thing about my job is being confident that I can help people and that they will leave with all their questions answered. I believe that the first contact with a person sets the tone for the whole relationship, so itís a priority to make a great first impression and always follow through.
Based on their first impression of me, some people might be surprised to find out that Iím a big fan of motorcycles. My husband and I do the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade every year as well as a few road trips on the bike. I also love to go to street festivals in the summer and really enjoy all that the city has to offer. I love to cook and Iím trying to become a better baker so I can spend some quality time with my grandchildren baking cookies!
My husband, four sons and my two grandchildren are my pride and joy. I love to spend time with them since weíre all really close.
Allison- Thank you for your exceptional service to our members!
Featured Employee: Business Information Systems Manager
My name is Patrick Androsevic and Iíve been employed with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union since March of 2006. I started out with the Targeted Response Team (a term borrowed from CPD) which was a management trainee program that consisted of training with various credit union departments for a period of time. This gave me the opportunity to work with a number of people in different disciplines before pursuing one sector. Based on my career interests and educational experience I felt that Information Systems was a good fit. I am now the Business Information Systems Manager. Iím currently enrolled in an MBA program so that I can continue to grow in my role at the credit union.
It is a departure from my previous work experience at a company that provided translation and interpretation services. I was well suited to that role, since I grew up speaking multiple languages. However, after nearly five years there I knew I wanted to go back to school and advance my career. Shortly after I received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a concentration in Information Systems I began my career with CPFCU.
It is a special privilege to work for those who serve and protect our city. I also enjoy the dynamic work environment at the credit union. I get plenty of opportunities to take on new projects and our continued growth always offers exciting challenges.
My biggest and most rewarding challenge hasnít been at work, though. My wife and I recently became parents to our wonderful baby boy! Between him and finishing up my MBA I am keeping quite busy. When I do find a few moments of free time, I love to be outdoors and work out. I also enjoy reading and cooking as ways to relax.
Thank you, Patrick, for your enthusiasm and tireless hard work!
Featured Employee: Senior Call Center Representative
My name is Evelyn Arroyo and Iíve been working at CPFCU since August of 2008. I started out as a Call Center Representative and not long after was promoted to Branch Supervisor at the Central Branch location. I then made the move to Senior Call Center Representative bringing my frontline experience back to the Call Center! My fluency in Spanish and my previous financial institution experience has been very helpful every step of the way to grow in my professional life. Prior to becoming part of the Credit Union I worked at a community bank for six years. At the bank, it felt like everything was about numbers, and the focus wasnít on helping customers. Here at CPFCU weíre empowered to assist the members, and thatís the bottom line. We are here to help members and their immediate family members with their financial needs. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is when members call back to tell me how much they appreciate my help or advice. I truly enjoy working with our members and my amazing co-workers. I feel like we have a great family vibe!
In my free time I love spending time with my family and friends! I like to play PS3, especially Call of Duty: Black Ops 2! Another hobby that Iím sure my coworkers donít know about, is my secret love of karaoke. I only give it a go when Iím with friends and family, but itís always a good time! Iím fortunate to have found fulfillment in both my personal and professional life. I look forward to growing with in the organization and Iím excited to be a part of CPFCUís continued growth and success.
Evelyn- Thank you for your service to the credit union and to our members!
Featured Employee: Senior Branch Representative
My name is Chrystal Brown and I joined the credit union a little over five months ago. Iíve had the opportunity to work in the financial services industry for over ten years, where I wore many hats. My previous experience prepared me for a smooth transition from a big bank to a credit union, and it has been one of the best decisions Iíve made for my career.
I am currently a Senior Branch Representative at the Central Branch location and I am excited about my role. One of my favorite things about working for the credit union is the sense of family. On a daily basis I get the opportunity to be a part of our membersí financial footprint. Whether itís assisting them in purchasing a new car, or opening up an account for their child who will soon be off to college, I get to share in that special moment.
In my previous place of employment I faced challenges head on. While that has been no different in my new role here at the credit union, I soon discovered that those challenges are not faced alone. I work with an awesome team and at a momentís notice they are willing to roll up their sleeves and lend a helping hand. That spirit of support is given throughout the entire organization.
My career path has been all about maximizing my potential and seizing every opportunity. It is a personal goal of mine to learn something new everyday, no matter how big or small it is. My proudest achievement to date has been continuing my education. I am currently pursing my Masters Degree in Science of Leadership at Benedictine University.
I am proud to be a part of the CPFCU family and I look forward to growing with the credit union for many years to come.
Thank you Chrystal for your outstanding work at CPFCU!
Featured Employee: Branch Services Representative
My name is Cathy Jacobs and Iím a Branch Representative in the Branch Services department at the Central Branch. I have worked at the credit union for almost five years. My department provides back office support, mainly for branch locations, and other departments within the organization. I have been in the banking industry for 20 years. Most of my previous experience was in private banking, customer service, and mortgages.
My customer service skills and previous banking experience are very helpful in my current position. I enjoy interacting with our members. It is a privilege to meet, greet, and direct members each day from the front desk. I am a people-person so itís a perfect fit for my personality. I am sure that it helps that I am able to provide candy and pens to them as well. My job has also introduced me to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and the great work that they do.
What Iím most proud of is being a mom to my two grown, married sons. One is an executive chef and the other manages two animal hospitals. They have always kept life interesting. Now that theyíre both on their own, my husband and I have three dogs to keep us company.
Cathy- Thank you for being a valuable member of the CPFCU team!
Featured Employee: Senior Branch Representative
My name is Shenicka Wiggins and Iíve worked at Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union for over ten years. My career here has been all about starting new endeavors and taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. I began working in the lending department and then jumped at the chance to help launch our Call Center in 2003.
It was a great experience to help build a new department to better serve our members. I gained a lot of knowledge in the Call Center that helped me continue my growth at the credit union. In 2006, I was part of the team that launched CPFCUís South Branch, our first branch location. Iím still at the South Branch and continue to take on new tasks such as developing the credit unionís student loan program.
I am also very involved with my church where Iíve been a youth counselor for four years and a greeter for one year. Itís very rewarding to help young people just by listening to them and being a supportive figure in their lives. We even go on outings from time to time and thatís always a lot of fun. One of the things that helps me connect with kids is my love of sports. I enjoy watching basketball, football, baseball, you name it! I also love to travel.
Iím always ready for new opportunities and I look forward to continuing my career at CPFCU!
Shenicka- Thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm for new challenges!
Featured Employee: CEO, First Chicago Mortgage Services
Iím John Aretos, the Chief Executive Officer of First Chicago Mortgage Services. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union dedicated to serving the financial needs of Chicagoís police officers and their families. 2013 marks the 10th year that I have been affiliated with the credit union helping our members obtain their first home, or refinancing their existing mortgage. I enjoy working with our team who is experienced, friendly, and dedicated to providing exceptional service and competitive rates. It is very rewarding to work with those who protect and serve our community without hesitation.
Prior to working with the credit union I had my own mortgage business. I was born and raised in Chicago and am a graduate of Indiana University. My interests include travel and outdoor activities.
John- Thank you for providing our members with mortgage solutions!
Featured Employee: North Branch Representative
name is Vanessa Contreras and Iíve been a North Branch Representative
for two years. I started as a part time employee, then after a year, I
decided to work full time. I learned so much in my time with the credit
union. With the knowledge of our products and services that I
acquired, I am able to efficiently assist members. I also learned many
things that currently help me with my personal finances. For example,
Iím planning on purchasing a new car soon and my experience disbursing
loans prepared me for the process!
The best part about my job is getting to know our members. An interesting fact that many may not know about me is that I have a twin sister! She recently had a baby boy, making me the proud auntie of Lucius, who is now seven months old. I love spending my free time with him.
While Iím learning many new things at the credit union, Iím also halfway done with obtaining my associates degree. I am involved in the Early Childhood Ministry at my church and Iím also a musician. I love to sing and play guitar. Currently Iím appearing in a play titled Story of Love. This will be my second year joining the cast.
I look forward to continuing my education and obtaining my bachelorís degree in the near future. Iím also excited to learn new things and to continue my career with CPFCU!
Vanessa- Thank you for your service to the credit union and to our members
Featured Employee: Call Center Representative
Iím Maria Di Capua and Iím a Call Center Representative. Iíve been with the credit union for almost one year. Itís been a pretty smooth transition from my previous experience at a pharmacy and positions in the healthcare industry. Iím used to being very detail oriented and itís extremely important to ensure confidentiality in my current position. Most importantly, I get to work with people! I love that every day is different and I also like that itís fast paced because Iím a very active person who loves to stay busy.
My need to stay busy is
probably why I have so much going on in my life! I recently got engaged
and not long after, my fiancť and I bought a home. We have an amazing
pit bull named Jemma and weíre looking into adopting another one soon.
I know some people are weary of the breed, but Jemma is such a sweet
and loveable dog. Iím a big sports fan in general and I really love the
Cubs. In my free time I like to work out and play pool.
Maria- Thank you for being a valuable member of the CPFCU team!
Featured Employee: Staff Accountant
Iím Brian Wierzbinski, and I work at the Central Branch. Iím commemorating two years with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union this month. While Iíve been working here, Iíve also been attending St. Xavier University. Iím proud to say that I recently graduated with a degree in Accounting. I am now making the move from Branch Representative to Staff Accountant, and am very excited to be able to put my education to use. Iím not done with school yet, though. I will be studying at DePaul starting next semester to prepare for the CPA exam.
As a Branch Representative I have really enjoyed taking on new roles and one of my favorites so far has been loan disbursals. I was able to spend more time getting to know our members during loan closings. I also enjoyed getting to know our members and their families, especially if theyíre Sox fans like I am! Taking in a game is one of my favorite past times and one that Iíll hopefully have more time for when Iím all done with school. Until then, Iíll be catching as many as I can on TV.
Congratulations Brian! Thank you for your dedication and hard work!
Featured Employee: Midway Branch Representative
Iím Juli Rios and I started working at the credit union four years ago when I was just 19! I feel like Iíve grown up with the credit union, having worked at the Central Branch, South Branch and now the Midway Branch. No matter where Iíve worked, my favorite part of my job has been the same; building relationships with our members and my co-workers. I learned a lot at each location, but I feel like Midway is the best fit for me. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the 8th District, so itís nice to be close to home.
One of my proudest achievements while working at the credit union has been getting involved with the annual St. Baldrickís fundraiser at the 22nd District. I have been the lead barber for two years and participated in the last four! Itís the perfect way to give back since I recently completed cosmetology school. One day Iíd love to own my own salon.
I recently became engaged and Iíve been kept pretty busy planning my wedding. My fiancť, Esau, and I are going to be exchanging our vows next fall. Clearly, thereís a lot of excitement and growth in my life right now- both personally and professionally. Iím looking forward to all of it!
Thank you Juli for your outstanding work at CPFCU!
Featured Employee: Branch Services Representative
I made another big career move when I decided to go to culinary school. I became a Pastry Chef, and I was even featured in a Starbucks Recipe guide for one of my creations. While it was a great accomplishment, it doesnít compare to my proudest moments: Adopting my two sons. My first son, Noah, was born in Danang, Vietnam. I travelled to Vietnam in the Spring of 1997 to bring Noah home to Chicago. My second son, Griffin, was also born in Danang and I travelled to Vietnam in the fall of 2000 to bring Griffin home. I also have the privilege of raising two stepsons, Kyle and Ethan. My boys have made my life interesting and fun-filled, and everything I ever wanted.
For the past 4 years I have had the pleasure of working with Chicago Policemen and their families. Interacting with and learning about our members is my favorite part of my job! I truly believe that our members sacrifice so much for all of us and I am very proud to help them. I look forward to new adventures in the future working here at the credit union.
Deb- thank you for bringing your energy and enthusiasm to the CPFCU team!
Deb and Bill live on the South side with their four boys, Kyle, Noah, Griffin and Ethan.
Featured Employee: South Branch Representative
name is Stefanie Alvarez, and I am a Branch Representative at the South
Branch. I have been working with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit
Union for almost seven years. I started as a part-time teller in
November of 2005 and six months later accepted a full-time position as a
Call Center Representative. It was a great opportunity working in our
call center because I learned new skills that I use to this day. When
our North Branch opened in 2008, I took on the challenge of working as a
Branch Representative where I learned how to disburse loans. Not long
after that, I took on the same challenge and responsibilities at our
Central Branch where I continued to learn many new skills.
I enjoy serving our members by introducing them to the many great products and services that we offer to help them achieve their financial goals. I have met so many members and now know many of them by name which makes me feel great when assisting them. I also enjoy sitting down with members and answering their questions to find out what best suits their needs. Chicago Police officers are out there serving and protecting our city and we are more than happy to help serve and protect their finances.
I must say I am a very lucky person to be working for such a great organization. CPFCU has not only allowed me to learn many new skills, but also helped me to meet a great person that I now call my husband. He proposed to me in September of 2010 and we were married a year later. I am truly one lucky woman to have met him and I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. We are hoping to start a family next year. I also look forward to the new challenges that CPFCU and life have in store for me.
Stefanie, thank you for your service to the credit union and to our members!
Featured Employee: Branch Services Specialist, Support
As much as Iíve enjoyed my work at the credit union, I am looking forward to my retirement. I wonít be resting anytime soon, though. My free time will be filled with dance, family and volunteer work! The first two go back to my earliest memories as a child; I remember dancing as a toddler with my family gathered around. Everyone was so happy and I knew that dance was a true passion of mine. Over the years I took lessons in ballet, tap and modern dance. You may have seen me on CAN TV dancing away! These days Iím staying fit with Zumba classes and marathons. I also enjoy going out dancing with my husband!
Iím excited that I will be able to spend more time with my husband and with the rest of my family. Iím looking forward to seeing my daughters and grandchildren more often- they are such a blessing in my life. I will also be spending more time volunteering at my church. I like to stay busy and keep learning new things, so I plan to take computer classes in the fall.
I really enjoyed all of my work at the credit union. Thank you to all the members and coworkers who Iíve spent time with. I will miss you all.
Congratulations Angela! Thank you for your exceptional work and enthusiasm. We will miss you!
Featured Employee: Lending Representative
Kristen Kulinczenko, a Lending Representative at the Central Branch.
This month marks my one year anniversary with the credit union. When I
started, I was splitting my time as both a Branch Representative and a
Lending Representative. It was a great introduction because it built on
my previous customer service experience. Now, Iím excited to focus on
lending and continue to expand my knowledge. My favorite thing about
working at CPFCU is the sense of community. Everybody has the same
goal- to help police officers and their families with their financial
Iíve always enjoyed being part of a strong team. I was involved with gymnastics at UIC and our team qualified for the NCAA tournament two times! While Iím not involved with gymnastics these days, I am training for a marathon! Iím also looking forward to going back to school to get my MBA. I want to build upon my education and experience to continue growing with CPFCU!
Kristen- thank you for being a valuable member of the CPFCU team!
Featured Employee: Central Branch Representative
Iím Elisha Smith, a Branch Representative at the Central location on
West Washington. Iíve been with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union
since August 2007. Before that, I worked for nine years as a Customer
Service Supervisor for two sports arenas. Although I do miss the free
concerts and games, the credit union has more to offer. While working at
CPFCU, I enrolled at Malcolm X College, where I received my Associates
Degree in Computer Programming. I enjoy programming, decoding, inputting
data, and preparing flow charts. Before I began my studies in
Information Systems, I was interested in becoming a mortician; yes, a
mortician. While I did not choose that path, itís never too late for
While working here, I learned so much and Iím continuing to grasp more knowledge. I recently took on a new challenge, becoming an IRA specialist. With more training, I will be your go to person for any of your IRA questions. Itís great to be able to provide this type of service to our unique membership. You come to know the members and their families on a personal level. Only great and exciting things can come from your credit union. Chicago police officers serve the City of Chicago every day and as an employee of the credit union; Iím here to serve our members. I am glad to be a part of the credit union, and will continue to grow here as well.
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family. I recently became a first time aunt, to my soon to be seven-month old niece, Autumn Grace. She is really something. My mother prayed for a long time for this moment and her prayers were answered. I also enjoy traveling, shopping with my family and riding my bike along the lakefront with friends. I love going for spa treatments and attending film festivals downtown. I also listen to all types of music, but mostly oldies. Iím what you call an old soul.
Thank you for all your hard work Elisha! We truly appreciate your dedication to CPFCU!
Featured Employee: Midway Branch Representative
Leo Jimenez, a Branch Representative at the new Midway Branch. I
started at the North Branch after graduating from UIC. Earning my
bachelorís degree is my proudest achievement so far, because Iím the
first one in my family to finish college! I built upon my education
with first-hand experience at the North Branch. When I transferred to
the new Midway Branch I was excited to be a part of the founding team. I
love taking on new challenges.
Iíve worked in both the retail and food service industries in the past, so I have a considerable amount of customer service experience. This allows me to feel confident talking to our members, and getting to know them. I love it when I recognize people and can greet them by name.
I have a variety of hobbies outside of work. Iím a huge soccer fan, especially the English League. I watch most of the games on my days off. During the winter I drive up to Wisconsin to snowboard. Itís a tradition that my friends and I started about two years ago.
My plans for the future are to go back to school to continue with my education. I plan to earn a masterís degree in finance. Iím looking forward to growing with the credit union and continuing to help our members with their financial goals.
Leo-Thank you for your ambition and dedication to our members.
Featured Employee: North Branch Supervisor
name is Jessica Soto and Iíve been a part of the CPFCU team for over
ten years! I started as a Branch Representative, and then moved into
the Member Services department. From there, I went into the Card
Services department before joining the Call Center. I believe that all
of these positions helped me gain valuable skills and knowledge that I
use in my current position as a Supervisor at the North Branch.
I interned with a small credit union in high school and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the feeling of helping others. After graduating, I briefly worked at a bank, thinking it would be the same type of environment. This was not the case. They were very sales-focused and had monthly quotas that needed to be met. I knew it wasnít the right fit for me. I feel much more comfortable at CPFCU, since we focus on building member relationships. We truly stand for our mission to serve the financial needs of our members and I believe that this is what sets us apart from other financial institutions.
I really enjoy getting to know our members and their families. Iím really close with my family, so itís nice to see that same bond in our membership. In my free time I love to spend time with my nieces and nephew. I also enjoy dancing, swimming, playing soccer and going to the movies. On occasion, I play with an all girls soccer team during the winter.
I thrive on servicing our membership to the best of my ability and I take pride in my work. Iím looking forward to enhancing my career and continuing to help our members archive their financial goals.
Thank you for all your hard work Jessica! We truly appreciate your dedication to CPFCU!
Featured Employee: Staff Accountant
My name is Josie Ramirez and Iím a Staff Accountant. I started with the credit union in 2004 as a Senior Teller, and advanced to Branch Representative before transitioning to the Accounting Department. I worked for a big bank early in my career, and while I gained valuable experience there, I felt like the emphasis was always on money. I enjoy working at the credit union because our focus is always on the membership.
I think all of my experience at the teller line and in branch services has helped me tremendously in the Accounting Department. I love learning new things and this job gives me plenty of opportunities. Iím also planning on going back to school to continue my growth.
In my free time I love spending time with my family. Over the summer, I spent most evenings outside playing softball with my two daughters. I could always count on my husband to come cheer us on! Now that the weather is keeping us indoors, I love tuning into my favorite television show, Criminal Minds. My mom, sister and I all love it.
I appreciate the flexibility that my job provides, it lets me make the most of my time with my family while-still allowing me to do work that I find challenging and rewarding. My goal is to keep learning more, and keep bringing my best to the CPFCU team.
Thanks for your hard work Josie!
Featured Employee: Business Information Systems Representative
Jorge Soria and Iíve been with the credit union since 2008. I started
out in Branch Services, and after about a year I moved into the IT
department. Iím always excited by new challenges, so it was a very
fulfilling transition. One of my biggest accomplishments in my new role
was helping to reformat our statements. I know people were looking for
a better and easier-to-read format and Iím proud that I helped to
My favorite thing about working at CPFCU is the
personal attention that we give to every member. Everyone is important
and we work hard to figure out whatís right for them- never trying to
meet quotas, like some banks do. This ensures that our relationships
with the members are genuine.
Going back to my love of
challenges, I have a variety of hobbies outside of work. I love to
travel, and recently spent a week in Spain! I also love to watch
foreign flicks, which led me to start a weekly movie night with some
friends. Another favorite pastime is running. I love running along
the lakefront, and I enjoy participating in the Run to Remember every
As CPFCU continues to expand, Iím eager to face new and exciting challenges!
Thanks Jorge for all your hard work and dedication!
Featured Employee: South Branch Supervisor
Kacey Smith and I joined the credit union as a Branch Representative
about five years ago when the South Branch opened. I had some prior
credit union experience, but I was excited about CPFCUís exceptional
sense of community. I even have a couple cousins on the job, so it is
really rewarding to work for a credit union that only serves officers
and their families. Our branch has become a part of the neighborhood,
and Iím pleased to be a part of that. One of my proudest career moments
was getting promoted to Branch Supervisor a little over two years ago.
a big departure from my first job, acting on the set of a TV show in
the late 80s when I was a toddler. My mother thought Iíd be a huge TV
star! Things obviously have changed quite a bit since then but I am
enjoying all of the new challenges my career brings. In my free time I
have another amazing challenge: to learn two new languages! I look
forward to growing both personally and professionally with the credit
union, and bringing my best to our members!
Thank you Kacey, for being an outstanding member of the CPFCU team!
Featured Employee: Call Center Representative
name is Janeth Franco and Iím a Call Center Representative. November
will mark my three year anniversary with the Credit Union. I really
enjoy my job because it is both challenging and rewarding. Working in
the Call Center provides me with a substantial amount of product
knowledge which enables me to help members with things such as loans,
certificates, payroll, and much more. I take every call seriously and I
like being able to complete the majority of requests that are presented
to me. I believe members appreciate the fact that they can have all
their questions answered by one person.
I enjoy getting to know
our members and sometimes mention the most important part of my life: my
family. Because of my voice, members are usually surprised to learn
that I have children, but thatís just the voice! I have two boys that
are both animal lovers, so I like to take them to the zoo on weekends.
feel like Iíve found a great balance at the credit union. I take pride
in my work and enjoy time with my family as well. To better service
our membership, I work hard to keep up to date on all of our new
products and services. Iím excited to grow with CPFCU.
Thank you Janeth! We are excited to have you on the CPFCU team!
Featured Employee: Branch Representative,Credit Card Specialist
My name is Patricia Watson and I recently celebrated my 20 year
anniversary with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union! I didnít
expect to be working for a credit union after completing my degree in
Fashion and Merchandising, but after two years in the retail game, I was
ready for a change.
I started out as a teller in 1991, and Iíve
seen a lot change since then. I am currently a Branch Representative,
Credit Card Specialist. I helped launch our very first credit card in
1993, and Iím now an expert on all of our credit and debit card
products. Despite all of the changes, my favorite thing about CPFCU
hasnít changed: I get to establish a great rapport with many members.
I try to know people both by name and account number. I thrive on
giving members great customer service and finding the right products for
Even though my career path has changed, I still put my
fashion degree to use! I love to shop and travel in my free time. Some
of my favorite souvenirs are the unique additions to my wardrobe from
all over the world.
Thank you for all your hard work Patricia! We truly appreciate your dedication to CPFCU!
Featured Employee: North Branch Assistant Branch ManagerMay 2011
My name is Cynthia Baird and I enjoy working at the Credit Union for many reasons. First and foremost, is our membership. Working with a select group, such as the Chicago Police Department, creates a sense of family. The staff is also top notch: we have great teamwork and support throughout the entire organization. We are always looking for ways to enhance products and services to our membership.
I started out in the lending department where I enjoyed helping members with their loan requests. Itís very powerful when you can help someone repair their credit, regain their financial independence and get them back on track. I recently was promoted to Assistant Branch Manager and was transferred to manage the North Branch at 5310 N Harlem. I look forward to creating a welcoming environment for each and every member that visits our branch. I have been working in the Credit Union industry since 1979 and can honestly say we have the best members here at the Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union. If youíre on the North side of the City, I hope you allow us the privilege of assisting you with all of your financial needs.
Cindy-Thank you for your service and dedication to our members.
Featured Employee: Controller
My name is Tom Nyhan and I have been with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union for 2 years. As Controller, I manage the Accounting and Finance Department and report to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Bryan Milligan. My duties as Controller include preparing and reviewing credit union financial statements like the Income Statement and Balance Sheet, managing the Accounting Department, reviewing all company transactions to ensure proper accuracy and quality, and working with our auditors to ensure proper adherence to accepted accounting standards.
In January of 2008, I was laid off from my previous job as Controller. In my search for a new position, I came across a job opening at Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union. My dad was a Chicago Police Officer for 33 years in the 18th District. I knew he was a member of a police credit union, but I was not sure if Chicago Patrolmenís was the one he was in. I did not tell him I was considering the position because like most cops that have worked 30 years he knows everyone. I knew that he would have tried to ďpull some stringsĒ to get me the position if he could and though I appreciate that, I wanted to make sure that if I got the position it would be on my own merit.
During the interview process I was very impressed with the personalities of those I interviewed with. I got the feeling that CPFCU was a place where the people are very friendly and like to have a good laugh, but also had a strong work ethic and sense of purpose. This was exactly the type of environment I was looking for. In addition, I was very impressed with the strength of CPFCUís Balance Sheet, which is a great indicator of a companyís overall financial status.
In February of 2008, I accepted the position and let my dad know. He was thrilled that I was working at CPFCU, though probably more thrilled that I had a job! He has been a member at CPFCU for many years. Since then, he has asked me to give him my opinion of the financial strength of the credit union. I was pleased to tell him that the company is in excellent shape financially and that there is not a better place for him to take care of all of his banking needs including different types of loans and credit cards. We also discussed how commercial banks are for profit institutions that are more concerned with their profits and stockholders than their Ďcustomerí. On the other hand, our credit union is not for profit, owned and directed by its Ďmembersí. This philosophy puts the memberís needs and desires at the forefront of everything we do.
In the past year, I became a member at CPFCU by opening my own share account and re-financing my house through CPFCU. Now my dad and I are both members and have one more thing in common. Itís one thing to have a job, but when you work at a place where you believe in the quality of service or product that is being provided, youíre twice blessed. Iím proud to help provide a valuable service to the men and women in blue.
Tom, thank you for your work and support of CPFCU.
Featured Employee: Real Estate and Business Lending ManagerMarch 2011
My name is Nick Gregor and Iíve been with the credit union since 2003. I have always been involved in the lending area, starting my career gaining familiarity with Chicago Patrolmenís consumer loan products. Over time I acquired status as a loan officer and began shifting my focus to real estate lending via servicing our home equity and first mortgage products.
In 2008, the credit union opened a service organization, First Chicago Mortgage Services. Until that point, we had outsourced all of our first mortgage origination to third party vendors. This new organization allowed the credit union to bring that service in house, and created an exciting opportunity for me. I have been involved with nearly every aspect of the business, and have gained invaluable experience with respect to the mortgage origination process as well as the general operations of the company. These experiences have provided me first hand knowledge of what it takes to run a successful business.
Towards the end of 2010, I took on the challenge of managing the credit unionís real estate and business loan portfolio, in addition to maintaining my role with First Chicago Mortgage Services. Chicago Patrolmenís business lending program offers one of the largest areas of potential growth for the credit union, and I look forward to playing an intricate role in the programsí continued development.
Chicago Patrolmenís FCU has offered me many unique opportunities that I believe will serve me well throughout my career. It has been a privilege to serve the Chicago Police, and I cherish the relationships that have come as a result of interacting with members through some of the largest financial decisions they will face in their lifetime.
Nick, we thank you for your service to both the credit union and First Chicago Mortgage Services.
Featured Employee: North Side Branch RepresentativeFebruary 2011
My name is Sanam Kazi and I have been with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union for two and a half years. My previous experience was at a smaller credit union in my hometown of Madison, WI. I learned how credit unions differ from banks and I became dedicated to the credit union philosophy of ďpeople helping people.Ē When I relocated to Chicago I really wanted to stay with a Credit Union, and found a great fit with Chicago Patrolmenís Federal Credit Union. I am so happy to be a part of the CPFCU team, both because of the ďnot-for-profitĒ philosophy, and the outstanding membership that we serve.
I work at the North Branch as a Branch Representative. My job allows me to get to know our members, their families and their financial goals. I love finding solutions that fit each memberís needs. The Credit Union offers an array of amazing products and services and it is really rewarding to find the right ones for each individual.
I am proud to serve Chicagoís police officers and look forward to continuing my career with CPFCU!
Sanam, we thank you for your service to the credit union and our members!