Featured Employee

Denora Hall, Lending Sales Representative

July 2017

My name is Denora Hall. I am a full-time Lending Sales Representative at the CPFCU Headquarters location.  I have been with the credit union for nine months.

As a Lending Sales Representative, I assist members with lending products and services. I am a primary point of contact for members to inquire about the various lending products CPFCU offers. I also enter loan applications and advise members about additional products for which they may qualify. Every day at the credit union is different and I am thankful to have such a supportive team around me to achieve our goals.

Prior to joining the CPFCU team, I worked as a financial consultant for six years at Western & Southern Life Company, where I customized insurance programs for individual and business needs. Prior to that, I worked as a member of Investment Operations for 10 years at Marquette Bank. I have also been licensed with the State of Illinois Department of Insurance for the past 15 years.

I have been married to one of Chicago's Finest for the past 17 years and we have six beautiful children. I love being a mother and spending time with my family, especially going out to dinner and a movie. My biggest passion, aside from my family, is traveling and seeing new places.  We love going on vacation to new destinations every year. My most memorable vacation was visiting Cancun, Mexico with my husband.

 

My favorite thing about working for CPFCU is meeting new members every day. I love being able to assist each one of them with their financial needs and goals. I also love the family atmosphere that exists at our organization. Everyone is very willing to assist each other should the need arise. I'm very excited to grow within the credit union for many years to come with all the opportunity for advancement that is offered here. It is a pleasure to be a part of the CPFCU family. 

Previous Featured Employees

Gladys Zuniga, Call Center Representative

June 2017

My name is Gladys Zuniga. I am a Full-Time Call Center Representative. I have been with the credit union for nine months.  

As a Call Center Representative, I provide our members with access to their accounts as well as assistance with day-to-day withdrawals, deposits, and loan payments. In addition, I take loan applications over the phone and refer members to other credit union products for which they may qualify.

Prior to joining the credit union, I worked one year as a clerk at the Erie Family Health Center; and seven years at PNC Bank, where I started as a Teller and worked my way up to a Teller Supervisor.

Chicago is my native hometown, where I attended Carl Schurz high school, followed by Wilbur Wright College. I am happily married with two amazing children. My hobbies include playing soccer with the kids and my husband, going out dancing with my daughter, and cooking for my family. I love learning new recipes to show off for my family.

My favorite thing about working for CPFCU is knowing that the company is growing, and with that growth comes opportunity for advancement. I also love the atmosphere that my co-workers create -- we treat each other as family and that solidifies a very productive environment. I also love helping our members with any needs they may have. 

Jessica Soto, Branch Management Coordinator

May 2017

My name is Jessica Soto and I am a Branch Management Coordinator for the credit union.

My career with CPFCU began 16 years ago, at which time I was hired as a Teller. In my current position, my daily responsibilities include training employees; reviewing and updating training materials and procedures within the credit union; supporting and coordinating branch management efforts as a roving Branch Manager; and  assisting members with their financial needs.

While I have been working with the credit union since high school, I did have several other jobs as I was growing up, including serving as a jewelry cart attendant at Navy Pier; interning at New Trier Credit Union; and fine-tuning my financial services skills as a Teller at TCF Bank.

I married my best friend from high school and now we have a son who will be turning two in May. His name is Iker David Soto, and he is “my  pride, my joy, and my life!” Motherhood is definitely the best experience in my life. We all love watching boxing and soccer, and we really enjoy going swimming -- we are a very sports oriented family!

My favorite thing about working for the credit union is the day-to-day interactions I have with our members. I love being able to assist people and make them feel like they are part of our credit union family. I also love the opportunity the credit union provides for its employees – I am a prime example of career advancement within the company.

Guadalupe Quintana, Senior Branch Representative

April 2017

My name is Guadalupe Quintana. I am a full-time Senior Branch Representative at the Central branch. I have been with the credit union for eight months.

As a Senior Branch Representative I have a variety of daily responsibilities, ranging from assisting our members with basic teller transactions, assisting with the drive-up, disbursing loans, opening accounts, to introducing our members to the various products and promotions we offer. Every day at the credit union brings the opportunity to hone a skill and learn something new, and I am honored to work with such an amazing team here at the central branch.

Previously, I worked at Byline Bank in Chicago, where I served in many different positions during my 18-year tenure there, including starting as a teller and leaving as an Assistant Branch Manager.  I performed many duties throughout that branch, ranging from Operations to Customer Service. I am very thankful for all of my experiences, even the bad ones, because every encounter has made me the person I am today.  

I am a mother of three beautiful, thoughtful, and caring daughters: Crystal, 18; Cristina, 14; and Lili; 12. I really enjoy going out dancing, going to the movies, and spending quality time with my family. I am really passionate about cooking, which I started to perfect at the age of 11 while learning recipe techniques from my grandma. I remember helping her in the kitchen with almost every holiday dinner. Memories like those are cherished forever. The most important thing I’ve learned is that that a good meal brings a family together.

I am very excited to grow within the credit union for many years to come. It really is a privilege to serve our members, who risk their lives for us on a daily basis.​

Previous Featured Employees

Danita Wideman, Branch Representative

March 2017

My name is Danita Wideman and I am a full-time Branch Representative at the South Branch.

After being a full-time mom for seven years, I was proud to break back into the professional industry by joining the credit union team on October 31, 2016.

My daily duties include the wonderful privilege of servicing our members with regular day-to-day transactions, introducing other products and our current promotions, managing account concerns and maintenance, opening and closing accounts, and taking care of various needs as they may arise.  I’m in the process of learning to close loans, and I’m looking forward to helping our members in their financial endeavors.

My previous work experience includes office administration, accounting, and banking.  I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting and a Real Estate Broker’s License in the State of Illinois.

My hobbies include scrapbooking (I also teach it at a library in the suburbs) and reading. I’m very passionate about volunteering and mentoring young ladies.  I absolutely love playing volleyball and I’m an avid ​tennis player.  I’ve visited Ghana, West Africa and Honduras on missions, and I fell in love with the people I served.  Outside of my faith, there is no greater passion than my family, my husband of 21 years and my two daughters, whom I love deeply.  In the summer we enjoy taking bike rides on the lakefront or through our neighborhood.  Our favorite local vacation spot is Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, Illinois.

The best part about working at the credit union is the wonderful team atmosphere that exists in our organization. I appreciate how readily available everyone is to teach or assist you.  I’m excited to be part of the CPFCU team, as well as to be of service to our membership to make their day a little brighter.​

Rosemarie Kennedy, Branch Representative

February 2017

My name is Rosemarie Kennedy and I am a Branch Representative at the North Branch.

I started working at the credit union part time in July 2015, which turned into a full time career in February 2016.

My daily responsibilities include basic account maintenance, loan auditing and disbursals, opening and closing accounts, regular day-to-day transactions, and helping members with any issue that may arise.

I am proud to have two degrees: Accounting from North Park University, and Computer Science from Northeastern University. Prior to joining the credit union team, I worked at Dominick’s for 36 years, where I started as a clerk but finished as a bookkeeper.

My hobbies include sewing and crafting. Also, my family is very sports oriented. I love watching the Cubs and Blackhawks with my three daughters, as well as attending games at Ryan Field with my husband (who is a CPD Sergeant) and cheering on the Northwestern Wildcats!  Two memories I will never forget include being at my daughter’s wedding the same weekend the Cubs won the division, and watching the Cubs win the World Series last year with my entire family!

My favorite thing about working for the credit union are my wonderful co-workers. The credit union prides itself on being a close-knit family with both its employees and our members, which makes working there a very pleasant experience. I also feel grateful being able to assist police officers financially while they serve and protect our city. 

Akymmia Sutton, Call Center Representative

January 2017

My name is Akymmia Sutton and I am a Call Center Representative. I have been with the credit union for nearly a year and a half.

My daily duties include speaking with members regarding their personal share or checking accounts, as well as keeping them updated on new offers and promotions, such as balance transfers, Skip-A-Pay, interest rates, etc. I ensure members have all the information they need to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families, and I work hard to assist each member to the best of my ability.

I went to Monmouth College, a private liberal arts college, where I majored in communication with a minor in women studies. Upon graduating in 2013, I was recruited by ISAC (Illinois Student Assistant Commission) to be a financial aid specialist. Following that one-year stint, I worked for ComEd in their marketing department, as well as the Chicago Transit Authority as a bus operator. I joined the credit union in 2015.

My hobbies include spending time with my family, reading books, traveling, shopping, and makeup. I love to play volleyball, and my favorite sports team is the Chicago Bulls. One day I'm going to open up a housing complex for the homeless so they can have shelter while trying to find a job and make a better living for themselves. 

My favorite thing about working for the credit union is being able to help and interact with the members as well as my co-workers.

Weronika Leja, Branch Representative

December 2016

My name is Weronika Leja and I am a part-time Branch Representative at the Midway branch.

I started working at the credit union in the summer of 2012, at which time I was also attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. By working during holiday breaks I gained exposure to the financial world as well as fine-tuned my customer service skills. My credit union duties began with basic transactions and paperwork auditing; I can now proudly disburse loans and provide suggestions to members relating to financial decisions. I take pride in the services we offer, the trust we build, and the relationships that result as part of the member experience.

I graduated from college in 2015 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Leadership Studies. I am pursuing a career in human resources with an emphasis on ensuring the progression of a business, while maintaining the satisfaction of its employees. Since the credit union was my first professional position, I am able to transfer much of what I learned here to all situations in the corporate setting.

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling to new cities with friends, singing and dancing at musical events, and watching the Chicago Blackhawks win with my dad.

Given that I live in the neighborhood, I feel really lucky to have the Midway branch in my life. My coworkers, as well as the members that come in, truly care about the well-being of each other. I enjoy that I know my members by their first names and can have real conversations with them that ultimately help the financial decisions we make together.   

Doniesha Stanfield, Branch Representative

November 2016

My name is Doniesha Stanfield and I am a Branch Representative at the South Branch.

My duties include providing excellent customer service and processing a wide variety of transactions. I have been in the financial industry since 2001 in various capacities. Additionally, I have worked in the fields of job recruitment and dental assisting. I have a passion for the financial industry and love assisting people in reaching their financial dreams.

I have a daughter who is a senior at King College Prep High school, who has hopes of pursuing a career in the dental industry.

When I am not working hard, I spend my time volunteering, something I have been doing for the past five years. One of the things I do is offer my time at a dental office that services individuals who are unable to obtain health insurance.

 I’m very excited about my future with the credit union, and I hope to spend many years servicing our members and their families.

Damian Taraszka, Marketing Coordinator

September 2016

My name is Damian Taraszka and I am the Marketing Coordinator for Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.

I started working with the credit union in 2013, at which time I was a part-time Branch Representative at the Midway Branch. In that role, my responsibilities included processing transactions, coordinating wire transfers, and disbursing consumer loans. The best part of the job has been meeting and working with many of Chicago’s Finest.

Last month I was promoted to serve as the credit union's full-time Marketing Coordinator. 

I have been working since I was 15 years old. I started  as a busboy at a Polish banquet hall, where I stayed for three years, followed by a one-year stint at Walgreens as a service clerk. When I was 19 years old, I realized my passion for the financial industry and that is when I took the job with CPFCU.

Since starting my career at the credit union, I have finished my Bachelor’s Degree from Saint Xavier University with a concentration in Marketing. I am humbled, excited and honored to be working in my area of study. Simultaneously, I am pursuing my M.B.A in marketing by taking night classes at Saint Xavier University.

My favorite thing about working for CPFCU is the fact that everyone is here to help, and no question is too "silly"  to ask.  Everyone here genuinely wants you to succeed at everything you do.

My hobbies include watching Chicago’s sports teams day in and day out. I especially love going to Wrigley Field and watching my beloved Cubbies. (THIS IS THE YEAR!) When I am not watching sports, I can usually be found cooking, collecting sports memorabilia, playing sports with my friends, or spending quality time with my girlfriend and family. 

Seth London, Consumer Lending Manager

August 2016

My name is Seth London and I am the Consumer Lending Manager for Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.

My responsibilities include managing the Credit Analysts and Lending Sales Representatives. I also assist our Director of Portfolio Management with any out-of-state mortgage applications or home equity loan inquiries.

The Lending Department is very busy on a daily basis. It's a rewarding position being able to help members with their financial needs, and we're constantly thinking of new products and services of value to introduce on a regular basis.

What I like best about the credit union is that each department is willing to help each other. When I started here nearly a year ago, my primary role was to supervise the Credit Analysts. That role has now expanded to supervising the Lending Sales Representative as well as taking Home Equity applications.  Since I’ve started, the credit union has rolled out multiple new lending products to our members. I enjoy working on these projects and completing the testing phases before each “goes live.” Plus, I have an excellent team who strives to exceed our goals.

What led me to the credit union was that opportunity to have growth in my role and expand my duties. It's also a great honor to serve those who protect us.

Before CPFCU I worked for Quorum Federal Credit Union and Midwest Community Bank.

I have a soon-to-be six-year-old son who keeps me busy. He's an avid swimmer and is currently playing ice hockey in Rolling Meadows. Go Renegades!

Kelli Swier, Branch Representative

July 2016

My name is Kelli Swier and I am a Branch Representative at the South Branch.

I have been with Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union since January 4, 2016. Prior to working here, I served as a Branch Representative at University Federal Credit Union in Grand Forks, North Dakota, from where I moved last year due to my husband’s job.

I discovered the financial industry via a variety of jobs with various institutions over several years. When I was 18, I started working in collections, which led to customer service and eventually accounting. Four years ago, we made the decision to move from our home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Following nine months of being a stay-at-home mom, I decided to re-enter the workforce. The financial industry was a good fit for me because of my work history. I personally have always banked with Credit Unions because I appreciate the integrity and high standards they hold, and I just knew that was going to be my next step.

Currently I am focusing on gaining as much knowledge as possible about the Credit Union, my position and our products. Eventually I would like to move up the ladder and into different positions within the ranks of Chicago Patrolmen’s. One of my favorite parts of working at Chicago Patrolmen’s is talking with the members. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know them personally. As a “people person,” I like meeting and interacting with interesting individuals. One of my other favorite things about the Credit Union is the continued support and encouragement by everyone here to make your goals a reality. It is such an inspiration to set future goals. It’s awesome how the managerial staff makes it a priority to help you achieve those goals.

My proudest achievements are my kids. They are growing up to be amazing people – kind, smart and fearless. My daughter Alyssa, 14, is very artistic; she loves to draw, paint and take pictures. My son Elijah, 11, plays basketball and loves card games. We all love to play with Frank, our family pet, who is a red-footed tortoise.

Dorie Kazupski, Branch Representative

June 2016

My name is Dorie Kazupski and I am a Branch Representative.  August will mark my one-year anniversary at the credit union.  Previously, I’ve worked in retail but the bulk of my work experience was in the car rental business.  There have been some adjustments considering that everything at the credit union requires a lot of focus and attention to detail.

My favorite part of my job is getting to know the members.  I am part of a police family so it’s great to help police officers and their families at a convenient neighborhood branch.

I love to spend time with my family; my two sons are my absolute pride and joy.  I enjoy getting everyone together and spending time in our backyard, where I have a beautiful garden full of veggies and flowers.  I couldn’t ask for more!  If I’m not relaxing outside, I like taking in Cubs and Blackhawks games.

In the time that I’ve been at the credit union, I’ve surprised myself with how many new things I’ve learned and have mastered.  I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and I’m excited to learn even more new skills and continue my career here.

Vivian Silva, Branch Representative

May 2016

My name is Vivian Silva and I am a Branch Representative. I have been part of the credit union team for about five months.  I have previous experience working at financial institutions, but this is my first time working at a credit union.  I really enjoy the personal interaction with our members, working with them from start to finish. I feel like I’m able to help our members more comprehensively.

In addition to work, I also go to school at DeVry University.  I’m finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management this summer and I’m considering continuing on to earn my Master’s Degree.  It’s been challenging to keep up with all my coursework- especially since I have a two-year old son.  Luckily, my husband has been so supportive and we really work as a team to make sure that everything gets done.

While I don’t have too much free time lately, I do enjoy traveling and spending time with my family.  It’s nice to get together and have family dinners.  While I’m not a picky eater, I do have some allergies that I have to watch out for, including avocado, of all things!

In the time that I’ve been at the credit union, I’ve noticed that there are tremendous opportunities available.  I’m looking forward to putting my education and my work ethic towards continuing my career at the credit union!

Since this article was published, Vivian has been promoted to Senior Branch Representative.

Norma Aguirre, Call Center Representative

April 2016

My name is Norma Aguirre and April marks my one year anniversary at the Credit Union! I am a Call Center Representative, which has given me the opportunity to learn a lot about the various offerings in a short amount of time. I have previous experience in the mortgage industry, which prepared me for the detail-oriented nature of my position. I enjoy helping people and always try to get to the root of all issues so they don't continue to occur.
 
Many people are surprised to find out that I'm the youngest of ten kids! All but two live close by and we get together every month for breakfast. I love being a part of such a tight-knit family. Even when we were young, we always stuck together and looked out for one another.
 
I hope my two kids have a similar bond through their lifetimes. They are my proudest achievements. Both of my children are doing work that they enjoy and I'm proud to say that I helped my daughter graduate from college. I made a deal with her that I would pay half of her tuition, but only if she completed her degree! My four-year-old granddaughter is the apple of my eye. She goes to a dual-language school and it's such a treat to chat with her in both English and Spanish.
 
When I'm not spending time with my family, I enjoy baking and crafting. I love to work with my hands and be creative!
 
I'm excited to take on new duties and expand my career at the Credit Union.

SInce this article was published, Norma has transitioned into a new role with First Chicago Mortgage Services.

Guirlaine Augustin, Branch Representative

March 2016

My name is Guirlaine Augustin. I am a Branch Representative. I am a Haitian-American biologically but I have socially adopted myself into many other cultures. Being the youngest of four, I have always been faced with challenges of matching my sibling’s achievements. My parents have instilled a firm value to achieve all of your dreams including attaining an education. I love facing new challenges and developing individual goals daily.

I have a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Accounting and Bachelor of Science. This is my biggest accomplishment. Most people describe me as confident, silly and easy-going. I really enjoy volunteering within the community, traveling, laughing, dancing and spending time with my loved ones. However, my biggest fear is heights and rollercoasters. Quite often, I would sing a song to myself riding in an elevator to reduce my fear.

Everyday at the Credit Union, I have a chance to challenge myself and make a difference in our members’ lives. I do this through casual conversation and finding different ways to holistically address their needs. What I love most about my job is building rapport with our members and coworkers. Everyone has different skills and needs that compliment the skills that I have. I look forward to learning more about our members and our successful team.

Caroline Fiore, Branch Representative

February 2016

My name is Caroline Fiore and I am a Branch Representative.  I joined the Credit Union team in July of last year after working in accounting and previously in collections. While that background has provided me a strong financial service foundation, I love that my role with the credit union affords me so much opportunity to interact with our members. My days are a lot more interesting now that I spend more time with people than numbers!

My favorite thing about working here is getting to know so many police officers and their family members!  It’s especially rewarding since I have police officers in my family as well.

My husband and I have two teenage kids who keep us very busy!  My son is about to graduate from high school and my daughter is a sophomore.  When I’m not attending various events that they’re participating in, I love spending time with my family and friends.

In the time that I’ve been at the Credit Union, I have been able to work at two different branches and I’ve learned a lot of new skills.  I’m excited to continue my growth and see what else I can take on!

Dave Dunham, Chief Marketing Officer

January 2016

My name is Dave Dunham, the Chief Marketing Officer.  When I was invited to come on board 11 years ago, I thought a lot about how we could broaden the appeal of the credit union to our membership. Recently, we talked about it again - our vision widened by 11 years of learning; our minds intrigued by the possibilities in front of us.

That vision allows me to line up alongside 70 wonderful and talented colleagues and create member experiences consistent with our mission.  We work tirelessly to help each member feel that we deliver to them the industry’s highest standard of integrity, respect and financial expertise as we help them meet their lifetime financial goals.                                                                                                                             

My highest accomplishment has been shaped by the police whom we serve.  That accomplishment is watching my children grow to embrace the values that I tried to instill in them.  It is expanded when I see them pass those values on to their own children.  Pam and I have talked many times about how we want to positively influence the lives of our grandchildren.   Eleven years ago, I thought I knew – and then I met the men and women in blue.

I have learned the meaning of character and courage from working with our police officers each day.  I see your character when you willingly put your lives on the line for the benefit of individuals who condemn and oppose you, and who would willingly inflict harm upon you.  You are the embodiment of courage when I see you race into live shooter situations and protect the lives and well-being of those who desperately need you.  Your courage is beyond my comprehension.  I want my grandchildren to grow up to be like you.

So whether you are active or retired, whether you are rural or urban, whether you have been injured on the job or whether you safely patrol the streets of Morgan Park, you are our heroes!  I thank you for providing us the blueprint from which to raise our grandchildren, and may God bless, protect and prosper each one of you!

Stephen James, Call Center Representative

November 2015

My name is Stephen James and I am a Call Center Representative. After graduating from Marquette University last year, I was looking for a job opportunity that would build upon my education in Finance and Economics. My aunt, who is a retired police officer, recommended I apply with the Credit Union.  It’s great to be getting involved in the financial sector since the topic is so interesting to me. Economics and Finance are both subjects I hope to further study in graduate school. One part of working at the Credit Union that I really appreciate is the collaborative atmosphere between all of the employees.

Even though this is my first job, this isn’t my first time helping the police.  When I was nine years old I found a gun in the bushes at a friend’s birthday party!  Even at such a young age I knew it was real and I immediately got help.  It turned out that the weapon had been used in an attempted shooting of a police officer.  It was an experience I vividly remember to this day, and I was even recognized for it at a police ceremony!  These days, I stick to helping out our members on the phone.

I’m a huge fan of live music and love catching shows around the city.  The best act I’ve seen live was Iggy Pop at Riot Fest a few years ago.  I’m also a big sports fan.  I’m a loyal Marquette Basketball fan and I love baseball (go Sox!) and hockey as well.  It was great to see the Stanley Cup Parade pass by our headquarters building this summer.

I am looking forward to continuing my career at the Credit Union!

Lydia Hernandez, Administrative Supervisor

October 2015

My name is Lydia Hernandez and I am the Administrative Supervisor at the credit union.  I’ve been part of the credit union team for one year. Previously, I was an Administrative Assistant for Chicago Public Schools as well as for the City of Chicago.  This has given me a lot of experience with organizing and planning.

Supervising is new for me, but it’s been a lot of fun learning about different duties and I am fortunate to have a great team that I work with.  I genuinely enjoy coming in to work every day, thanks in large part to my wonderful co-workers.  I also love finding ways to be more efficient.  I recently wrapped up a project that will help us save money on supply orders!  Projects like that make me feel accomplished at work.

In my free time I love to travel and recently visited Ft. Meyers, Florida for one of the best vacations of my life!  It was the first time that I didn’t plan a busy itinerary and instead took a laid back approach.  It was so relaxing and I had a great time spending some quality time with my family.

I’m interested in going back to school to develop my skills and continue my career growth.  I look forward to applying my education to my role here at the credit union!

Jessica Mitchell, Branch Representative

September 2015

My name is Jessica Mitchell, I am a Branch Representative.  I joined the credit union team in January of this year and became a full time employee in June. Believe it or not, this is actually only my second job.  My first job was at another credit union where I primarily assisted with teller duties.  Now, I’ve taken on additional tasks and have plenty of opportunities to learn new things like how to open accounts. My favorite things about working here are getting to know our members and all the great people I work with. 

My greatest achievement in life is my two year old daughter. She cracks me up because she’s always ready for a snack and she’s not picky about food, at all.  I hope she grows up to be as studious as I was.  I was actually valedictorian of my 8th grade class!

In my free time I like watching Big Brother and cooking shows like MasterChef and Cutthroat Kitchen.  I also enjoy spending time with my family, including my two cats: Buttons and Mittens.

I’m excited to grow into my position at the credit union and continue my career!

Brad Wynn, Building Engineer

July 2015

My name is Brad Wynn and I am the Building Engineer for the credit union.  I oversee and maintain all four of our buildings.  I’ve been working at the credit union for six years.  My prior work experience is varied but has helped me to problem solve and handle the day-to-day situations that arise when managing our locations.  I worked as a diesel mechanic for some time and then was a truck driver delivering gas for various companies.  I’ve also worked as a handyman which is how I got referred to the credit union.  One of the biggest changes from driving is having so much interaction with my co-workers who are great to work with!  I also enjoy being able to spend weekends with my family, which is another big change from driving.

My family is my greatest achievement.  My daughter is a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department and my son has been part of the Chicago Police Department for 15 years in addition to being in the Air Force Reserves!  My wife and I are so proud of them!

My son has two kids and my daughter has one.  Spending time with the kids and grandkids is my favorite thing to do!  A close second would be riding my motorcycle.  I love getting out on the open road- especially when the weather is nice!

People might be surprised to know that I would love to own my own farm.  I have such pleasant memories of my family’s farm growing up that I think it would be really enjoyable.  I know my wife would never go for it, though!

I look forward to continuing my career at the credit union!  As we consistently expand and improve there’s always a new challenge for me to focus on!

Katie Spodarek, Branch Representative

June 2015

My name is Katie Spodarek and I have been part of the credit union team since December of last year.  I am a Branch Representative.  My previous work experience has been in sales and customer service along with a brief amount of time working at a law firm.  I learned solid fundamentals and developed the ability to work well under pressure.  Coming from a more corporate setting has been a night and day difference.  I really appreciate all my great co-workers and the personal atmosphere that we have here.

My favorite thing about my job is getting to interact with our members.  They’re so much fun and great to work with.  I’m proud of myself for making the transition to a financial institution.  There has been a lot to learn, but I’m doing my best and I think I’m catching on pretty quick!

I know in my heart, that I’m setting a great example for my four year old daughter.  She’s my greatest achievement and I couldn’t be more proud of her!  She’s smart, intuitive and independent.  I love seeing her determination to figure things out for herself.

My daughter and I love to watch movies and hang out with family and friends.   I like taking her downtown and taking advantage of all the fun things to do in the city.  I also love to bake and make cakes and cupcakes for special occasions.

As I continue my career at the credit union, I’m looking to build upon my strengths.  I’m a people-person with a genuinely positive attitude.  I want to develop and grow into a role that allows me to help and motivate others around me!

Keri Hill, Card Services Manager

May 2015

My name is Keri Hill and I am the Card Services Manager at the credit union.  I started my career here twelve years ago, following 14 years at United Airlines Employees Credit Union.  I began in their Marketing/ Graphics Department.  I then moved into the Lending Department/Call Center and found that to be a great fit for me.  I carried that experience and expertise over to my first role here: Assistant Lending Manager.  After that, I took on the role of Branch Services Manager where I oversaw our ATM’s, debit & credit card programs along with other operational parts of the credit union.  As our card programs have continued to grow, I now dedicate my time to the Card Services Department.

Throughout these different roles and in addition to my credit union experience, I’ve always worked in customer service capacity.  I find it rewarding to work with people and provide educational information when I can.  I truly enjoy helping people achieve their financial goals.  I also like working with all my wonderful coworkers.  There’s a very supportive atmosphere and people really go out of their way to help one another.  Our workplace culture is very encouraging.  Even if you don’t know how to do something, if you’re willing to learn, someone will take the time to help you. I think our happy employees help to ensure that we have happy members!

I recently accomplished a major goal outside of the credit union when I bought a townhouse!  It’s been very satisfying and I can’t wait to really make it my own.  Throughout the process, I’ve been very grateful for the help and tremendous support of my family.  My parents, step-parents, sisters, nieces and nephews have all been on my side.  My twin sister, who lives nearby, has been especially helpful!  We are definitely twins in the truest sense.  We think so much alike that we’ve showed up to events wearing the same outfits and have even gotten each other the exact same birthday cards… multiple times!

Now that I’m getting settled into my new place, I’m looking forward to pursuing some of my hobbies, like drawing and painting.  At work, I look forward to being a part of the continued growth and success of the credit union!

Shana Cleveland, Branch Representative

March 2015

My name is Shana Cleveland and I am a Branch Representative at the Central Branch.  I joined the credit union team in July of 2012.  Before joining the credit union, my work experience included a few seasonal jobs and plenty of school!  I’m actually in law school right now and I’ve already received my Bachelors of Science in Financial Economics and my MBA.  I love to learn and I’m committed to finding ways to help people.

I decided to look into working at the credit union based on a suggestion from my family. Both of my parents are Police Officers, and my dad encouraged me to stop in and see if any opportunities were available while I was job searching.  It’s been a great fit since I know what police families go through and it’s fun to get to chat with so many people.  I’m definitely a people-person and I enjoy getting to know our members and finding out about their lives.  I also enjoy the collaborative environment here.

I need to be around people, especially since I’m interested in so many things and I can pretty much always find something in common with just about anyone!  In high school, I was part of the Chess Team and in college I played softball. My most recent hobby has been golf, even though I’m still developing my abilities.  I’m also an animal lover and my family just got a pit bull named Myles.  He is so much fun to have around and I love playing with him!

This past summer, I was able to participate in a two week Mission trip to South Africa and it was truly a life changing experience.  In the short time that I was there I painted, hung gutters, laid bricks, volunteered in schools and planted gardens to assist the local communities.  It was very rewarding and confirmed my commitment to helping others.  It has also guided some of my choices as I continue on with law school since human rights efforts are very important to me.  As I continue with both my education and my career I know one thing for sure: I want to change the world!

Jeanette Rodriguez, Call Center Representative

February 2015

My name is Jeanette Rodriguez and I am a Call Center Representative. I joined the Credit Union about five months ago and brought with me several years' of banking experience. I worked for a large bank and thus far, the only adjustment has been the change in atmosphere. I appreciate the sense of community there is not only among employees, but with our members. Larger corporations do not offer that benefit. It was great to kick off my start at the Credit Union with the annual Halloween contest. The costumes and decorations were fun to see!

While my work background is in banking, I also rely upon my education to best assist our members. I graduated from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and two minor degrees  in Psychology and Latin American Latino Studies. What a lot of people don't know is that prior to my last banking job I was doing social work at an early childhood center managing cases and serving families. I've been able to apply my communication skills to the Credit Union and have enjoyed meeting our members' financial needs. Being bi-lingual also comes in handy. I speak both English and Spanish and have enjoyed surprising our members' families when I am able to speak their language and assist them. 

In my free time, I simply love being with my family. We really enjoy our occasional outings around the city and movie nights complete with popcorn! My husband and I have our five year old daughter who is the light of our lives. We're currently in the plans of expanding our family and house hunting. I'm very excited about all that's coming up in the future and look  forward to developing my career at the Credit Union!

Jim Bedinger, Chief Executive Officer

January, 2015

My name is Jim Bedinger and I am the Chief Executive Officer of National Police Credit Union, a division of Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.  I have been with the credit union for almost 18 years and started my career here as the Data Processing Manager.  When I started at the credit union, we only had share savings accounts, share certificates, consumer loans and credit cards. We did not have ATMs, checking accounts, debit cards, mortgages, or parking since we were on the second floor of a high rise in downtown Chicago! I was promoted to Chief Operations Officer in 1999 and also served as the Chief Information Officer for several years. Previously, I had worked at a large credit union in Indianapolis.  The experience I gained there allowed me to help implement many of the products and services our members were looking for.

It has been great to watch the credit union expand and to be able to serve so many more members. In 2014 we expanded our field of membership to be able to serve members of the FOP Grand Lodge!  It’s very rewarding to be a part of that growth.  My favorite thing about the credit union is the people I work with and the members we serve.  It is satisfying to serve law enforcement professionals and their families.

One of my proudest achievements has been being a part of the success of the credit union and knowing that we are making a difference in our members’ lives.  Many people do not realize that my first career choice was to be a Meteorologist.  However, given the prominent use of color radar as a fundamental part of the job nowadays, it is probably best I did not pursue that, since I’m colorblind!  Regardless of the maps, I still find weather fascinating and I certainly get to experience a variety here in Chicago, sometimes all on the same day!

I thoroughly enjoy traveling and seeing new places, however nothing beats a beach vacation in my opinion!  My personal goal is to travel to all seven continents.  I have been to all four in the Northern Hemisphere, now I have to eventually make it below the Equator.

My future goals include ensuring that the credit union will be around for many years to come so that future generations of officers will be able to enjoy a financial institution personalized to their needs.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

 

Authurine Conn, Call Center Representative

 

October 2014

My name is Authurine Conn and I am a Call Center Representative. I began my career at CPFCU in March of 2012. My previous work experience was in a retail setting, so I was more hands on with money there. However, the member service aspect is very similar; it gave me a good foundation to be able to assist our members. One of the major differences is being on the phone rather than face-to-face. People are always surprised by how much we’re able to do in the Call Center! I love being able to deliver more than what is expected, when I receive a call. I really enjoy helping our members and feel like I get to know them very well, even though I’ve never seen them!

My proudest achievement so far has been getting my bachelor’s degree in Finance in May of 2011. I love working with numbers and I find the world of finance very interesting. When I’m not working I love spending time with my family. I know a lot of people may feel this way, but I really believe I have the best parents ever. They have been my inspiration. My mother is no longer with us, but she was always so loving and supportive. My dad still embodies those qualities and I’m so grateful to have him in my life. My siblings and I always try to go all out for his birthday and for Father’s Day. He deserves it! I also love spending time with my two nephews and two nieces. It’s so much fun to take them to Navy Pier, the Children’s Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry. We have a great time together and take advantage of everything the city has to offer. Lately, I’ve also been spending a lot of time with our family’s first pet, an adorable dog named Spot. He definitely keeps us all on our toes! I look forward to meeting more of our members over the phone and continuing my career at the Credit Union.

Jorge Mendoza, Senior Branch Representative

September 2014

I’m Jorge Mendoza, a Senior Branch Representative at CPFCU’s South Branch. I joined the credit union in November last year, with over 12 years of experience in the banking industry. I’ve worked in both management and as a financial advisor, which has come in handy at the credit union. Another strength of mine is my military background. I spent a total of 12 years in the Navy; four years on active duty and eight years as a reservist. I always knew that I wanted to join the Navy. It was such a great experience and truly made me who I am today.

My favorite thing about CPFCU is the personal atmosphere here. It allows us to get to know our members more and understand their entire financial picture so that we can help them best. It’s very rewarding to know so many of our members on a first name basis- you don’t get that everywhere! I’ve also been impressed with how knowledgeable and reliable my co-workers are. It’s a pleasure to work with them.

In my free time I love to spend time with my wife, my 16 year old daughter and my 12 year old son. We love to travel and try to do one big family trip per year. Thanks to my time in the Navy, I can count the number of countries I have NOT been to on both hands! A couple of my favorite locations are Spain and Greece. I’m looking forward to continuing my growth taking on new challenges at the credit union!

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