Campus credit union merges with Fulton group

imageThe Oswego State Federal Credit Union will feature a new name and some new faces, but the changes will only enhance the organization, officials said.

After nearly 32 years of serving SUNY Oswego, it officially merged into the Oswego Heritage Federal Credit Union, joining a Fulton-based organization of the same name, on Feb. 1. The change took place after the campus credit union’s membership voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of the plan, said the campus credit union’s manager, Jim Mahoney.

Mahoney said the merger was something he hoped to accomplish for the sake for the continued success of the credit union and its membership before he retired. With the pieces in place, he was able to follow up on those plans in late February.

He had already worked with, and has high regard for, Sally Godfrey, who will now supervise the branch in Culkin Hall and her existing branch in Canalview Mall in Fulton. Godfrey served as a kind of mentor, since the campus credit union was working with the same computer system Oswego Heritage currently uses.

“About a year or so ago, if people had asked if we would merge, I would have said no,” Mahoney explained. “But the timing was just perfect.”

For one thing, both credit unions were looking into an expensive server upgrade—in the neighborhood of $30,000—and wondered whether joining memberships for this and other logistical reasons would produce large enough savings to proceed with a merger. The more their respective boards mulled the move, Mahoney and Godfrey said, the more it made sense.

The merger represents strength in numbers, Mahoney observed. It brings the new credit union’s membership to around 2,000—with about half coming from the campus branch—and also provides $7.2 million of assets, three times the amount the campus credit union had on its own.

But Godfrey also pointed to a number of new services as a value added, such as individual retirement accounts, student loans and home mortgages, with additional enhancements such as home banking and bill pay under consideration.

Godfrey and Melissa Myers, also from the Fulton branch, will split time in Oswego, and Sherri Baker will expand her role as member service representative.

“One thing making this nearly seamless is that we share the same philosophy of ‘people helping people’ and ‘where people are worth more than money’ and providing personal service,” Godfrey said.

The campus branch of Oswego Heritage Federal Credit Union is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and can be reached by calling 312-2191.

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PHOTO CAPTION: New union—On Feb. 1, the Oswego State Federal Credit Union merged into the Oswego Heritage Federal Credit Union, joining an existing entity based in Fulton. Jim Mahoney (right), manager of the campus credit union, works with Sally Godfrey, who will direct the operation of the merged organization. Mahoney said the merger will benefit members through added services, reduced costs and the strength of combining assets, but emphasized that customer service will remain a priority.

(Posted: Feb 23, 2005)