Great Companies to Work For

June 23, 2008

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting our members and potential members at Columbia Forest Products in Chatham, VA. It was perfect timing! On the second day of my visit the management team cooked and prepared a fantastic lunch for the entire plant. It wasn’t cheap burgers and hot dogs either. Mike Lee, the plant manager should open a restaurant when he retires. His barbecued chicken was incredible! It’s great that a big company like this has the desire to do more for it’s employees than just provide a pay check.

Events like this really go a long way towards building a strong and loyal team. But I got the impression during my visit that CFP treats it’s people very well every day. Possibly one reason for this is that Columbia Forest Products is an employee owned company. (Sort of like our credit union is owned by it’s members. When you’re an owner of something you tend to get treated better.) Today they are one of the largest employee owned company in the U.S. Read more about the CFP story here. It’s good. Since 1957 they’ve become the largest producer of plywood and hardwood veneer in the nation. Keep it going Columbia Forest Products! Your credit union looks forward to helping you save money for many years to come!

Another Piedmont Credit Union member company which does this sort of thing (picnics not employee ownership) is Techma-USA. Every Spring they host a great picnic for their entire plant with lots of fun and prizes. They’re located in Gretna and produce parts for many domestic cars. They’ve been recognized time and time again as a very positive influence in the small town of Gretna, VA.

I don’t know if anyone has a “Best Places to Work in Southside Virginia” list, but I would not be surprised to see the likes of Columbia Forest Products and Techma-USA on that list along with many more of our other member group companies. Hmm…I wonder if the benefit of having a good credit union would have anything to do with that?

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Magic, Meetings, Tornado Warnings, and a Four Alarm Blaze!

May 8, 2008

What a night! Tonight Piedmont CU had it’s 39th Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting brought good food, good company, a great magic show, and an inspiring God’s Pit Crew presentation. However, the most memorable part of tonight will likely be the BIGGEST FIRE in Danville, VA history! One of the old Dan River Mills buildings went up in flames tonight. There are a few photos below. We saw the smoke rising from our meeting place 2 miles away at the community market. On the way home I could see it while crossing the Central Blvd. bridge. The fire closed down the Union Street bridge which provided a great place for onlookers to watch the fire from a safe distance. That’s where these photos came from.

To top the night off there were tornado warnings for Northern Pittsylvania County all over the radio and tv. I’ll do a follow-up post about the Annual Meeting in the coming days, it really was a good one.


New Advantage Cards are Here!

March 20, 2008

The Advantage Card is a must have for every wallet or purse in Danville, or southside Virginia. It’s free and contains discounts for all sorts of things. We’ve been including it with every spring quarterly account statement for several years now. This year’s card is not all that different from last year’s. It still has every Mexican restaurant in Danville, and many Italian restaurants too. There’s a discount for Caswell Pines Gold Club, One Stop Cellular, Martinizing Dry Cleaners, Sterling Optical, and many others. The only newcomers to the list are AAA Transmissions, Smith-Stokes car dealership, Aaron’s, and Bronx Boy Bagels (which I hear is quite a hit with the school board employees who work across the street from it).

Below are front/back images of the card. You’ll get one in your next Piedmont CU statement, or we’ll have them at the office too.

Advantage Card - Front

Advantage Card - Back

You can also download and print your own Advantage Cards from www.freeadvantage.com. As of 3-20-08 the new cards are not online yet.  But drop by our office and we’ll give you one!

Happy Saving!


e-Signatures Frequently Asked Questions

February 7, 2008

This week we began using our new fraud prevention and e-Signature System. Our staff has really picked up on it well, learning the subtle nuances of scanning driver licenses and resetting the occasional frozen signature pad.  What surprised me most about this new setup is that very few credit union members have asked any questions about it.  So here is my starter list of e-Signature questions and answers.

  1. Where does my signature go? Signatures are attached to an electronic copy of your receipt.  They are stored in a secure database which is only accessible by designated credit union staff.  In the past, signed receipts were stored in a box in our storage room.  The new electronic storage is actually much more safe and secure than the previous method.
  2. What else are you going to put my signature on? When a signature is captured electronically, it is actually merged to become a permanent part of the document you are signing, just as if you had sign an actual piece of paper.  Our e-Signature system does not have the ability to move your signature once you have tapped the “OK” on the signature pad.  At that point it is made permanent and can only be slightly re-sized for legibility.
  3. Why is my signature still on the pad when I’m ready to leave? Your signature will disappear from the pad as soon as our teller has completed the transaction.  The teller may have more work to do on your transaction such as scanning some kind of document relating to the transaction, such as a Power of Attorney or a Marriage Certificate.
  4. Why do you need to scan my ID? We’re required by law to accurately identify everyone who does business with us.  Since most of our members come in regularly, we know them pretty well and don’t need to request ID for each and every transaction.  By scanning ID’s into our computer system, we’re making it so that we don’t have to ask for ID in the future because we’ll already be able to see that you look like the ID we have on file.  So it not only saves time, it potentially eliminates any possibility of face to face fraudulent activity on your account. 
  5. Do you need to scan my driver’s license every time I do a transaction? No. Once we scan your ID the first time it is saved once and for all. This way we can pull it up on our screen every time you come back for a transaction and we can be sure it is you.
  6. Will this help make my money more secure? Yes. Having the ID quickly assessable by our computer system will ensure that no one can just walk in pretending to be you and try to transact business on your account.  In the long run it’s also faster than having to ask for ID and virtually eliminates face to face fraudulent activity.

Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2007

Here’s wishing all of our members and friends a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful Holiday Season!

We’ll be opened Friday, the 21st(that’s today), and we’ll be opened until 12:30pm on Christmas Eve.  The credit union will be closed on Christmas Day and the day after Christmas.

Remember we’re still collecting items for our local homeless shelter until the end of the year! Click here for a list of items they could use.

Here are a few photos from our recent Piedmont CU staff and volunteers Christmas Party. It was alot of fun and the jazz band was really good too. Here also are photos of our first “Christmas at the Credit Union”. (There wasn’t time for many photos because we were really busy!)


A Special Day at the Cordan Branch

December 13, 2007

Today was “Credit Union Member Appreciation Day” at our Piedmont CU Cordan Branch! It was great to visit with all the employees at the Corning plant in Danville. Thanks to all of you for hanging out at the credit union today! Congrats to Wiladene K, Robert A, Winston B, and Charles D who were winners in the prize drawing. For those in the cafeteria who were wondering if your chances increased by folding your entry, you were right! All four winners had folded entry forms. One was folded diagonally.

Our Cordan branch has such a long history. The Cordan Federal Credit Union was one of the first credit unions established in Danville. For decades it served Corning employees as well as any credit union could. A few years ago it joined up with Piedmont Credit Union. Perhaps a future blog post will be an interview with some of the directors and staff of the original Cordan FCU. We’re so glad to be welcomed at Corning and hope that Corning has a long and successful future in Danville.


All the Signs of an Election, & Voting

November 5, 2007

One thing I love about credit unions is that, like our great country, they are democratically run. Once per year everyone is invited to come to our Annual Meeting to cast their votes about major issues facing the CU. I am thankful for one big difference though… CU elections are not marked by an invasion of multi-colored signs which appear at every stoplight and every other lawn in the county. Here is but a single view from the stoplight in Gretna.

Campaign SignsIt’s almost as colorful as the Blue Ridge Parkway! There are 78 signs within 50 yards of this intersection! But this myriad of signs is itself a sign of a flourishing democratic society. Lets hope the candidates are as committed to representing their constituents as they are to getting elected.

Don’t forget to get out and vote tomorrow! It’s your responsibility for being part of a democracy.