Revamped Manual Helps CUs Bring New Hires up to Speed on Philosophy

What began as a handbook for credit union advocates in the mid-1990s has turned into a larger look at the philosophy of the Credit Union Movement, overall.

The Credit Union Philosophy Manual has been a go-to resource for those new to the Credit Union Movement here in the Northwest, and those who train them. And it has been recently updated.

“As a member-owned cooperative, understanding and espousing the cooperative principles and the Credit Union Difference is essential to the engagement of our members and community at large,” said Steve Pagenstecher, CUDE, VP of Member Experience for Portland, OR’s Point West Credit Union, which uses the manual for onboarding new employees.

“The enhanced credit union philosophy manual and quiz helps us bring new team members up to speed and serves as a great reminder to all of us of our history and cooperative spirit.”

The manual helps those new to credit unions get a grasp of traditions begun by Alphonse Desjardins, Edward Filene and Roy Bergengren, forefathers who built the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” which has guided the financial cooperatives for more than 100 years.

“It gives credit union leaders and staff the flexibility to learn on a platform that works for them,” noted Kaitlin Ramos, Program Manager for NWCUA.

“It’s great to see so many credit unions use these resources for their existing onboarding processes,” added Christine Ruzzi, NWCUA Director of Member Resources. 

According to the manual—and rightly so—the most “powerful spokespeople for the credit union movement are…directors, managers and staff. Educating the public about credit unions, while essential, is not enough. It’s critical to make sure that credit union staff and volunteers understand credit unions’ unique history and philosophy.”

“Many consumers are making the choice to join a credit union, especially here in the Northwest. This manual simply helps our members better serve theirs,” Ruzzi said.

The manual and the credit union philosophy quiz are available here.

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222,





Posted in NWCUA.