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Direct: Michelle Hunter


Success Attributed to Strong Corporate Culture and Preparedness

BREA, CA—The third quarter of 2012 was history in the making as Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) consummated mergers with three local credit unions over a short 63 day period. With a committed team and experienced information technology (IT) department, CU SoCal forged ahead integrating the employees, accounts, and financials of Inland Empire Credit Union (IECU), North Orange County Credit Union (NOCCU), and Family 1 Federal Credit Union (Family 1) to form a united organization of $700 million in assets serving nearly 55,000 Members.

“We knew that timeliness was a key factor for the partnering credit unions,” shared Michelle Hunter, SVP of Marketing and Development. “Our primary focus was on our Members and employees. By leveraging our strong corporate culture and putting extra emphasis on collaboration, communication, and transparency, we were able to successfully handle this undertaking.”

“Having engaged team members and a common focus are critical to the success of any partnership” stated CU SoCal President/CEO Dave Gunderson. “CU SoCal, IECU, NOCCU, and Family 1 all shared a commitment to building better lives for Members, employees and those in our communities. Rooted in that common foundation, we knew that uniting as one credit union would position us to better address this commitment.”

Complexities were mitigated by the organization’s ability to rely heavily on the expertise of its IT department. Their broad, yet detailed knowledge of the intricate Member data systems played a crucial role in seamlessly integrating the four institutions.

Much of the department’s expertise is due in part to their unique, dual function. Since 2007, they have simultaneously operated as a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), CU SoCal Partners LLC, providing comprehensive information technology services to other local credit unions.

“Because credit unions handle sensitive information, having both proper security and trusted resources are critically important. We simply wanted to extend our knowledge and abilities to other credit unions that needed them. Applying our capabilities to the recent mergers was icing on the cake,” stated Jim Holden, CU SoCal Vice President of Information Services.

“We’re fortunate to have a talented team that can manage both the internal initiatives of CU SoCal and those of our clients. Our team’s experience serving multiple credit unions in multiple capacities—including partnerships—proved invaluable during these mergers,” offered Ray Rounds, CU SoCal SVP of Information Services.

“We could not have hoped for a better partnership or a better outcome,” commented IECU President/CEO Rick Hoffman.

NOCCU President/CEO Marjorie Tester shared equally positive thoughts stating, “CU SoCal is an outstanding organization. Throughout the entire process, we were confident the transition would be smooth, allowing us to remain committed to the high level of service our Membership deserves.”

“The merging of these four credit unions creates tremendous opportunities,” offered Family 1 President/CEO Patricia White. “It allows us to build on the successes that each credit union has achieved individually. We expect to continue carrying this positive momentum well into the future.”

The staff from all four credit unions continue to be employed, and all branches remain open. Dave Gunderson remains President/CEO of the newly combined organization, which has retained the CU SoCal name, while IECU President/CEO Rick Hoffman serves as Vice President of Business Development and Legislative Affairs, NOCCU President/CEO Marjorie Tester as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, and Family 1 President/CEO Patricia White as Vice President of Strategic Projects.

About Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal)

Founded in 1954 as Whittier Area Schools Federal Credit Union, CU SoCal has a five-star financial rating from BauerFinancial, a nationally recognized independent research firm. Today, CU SoCal has nearly $700 million in assets and is dedicated to Building Better Lives for its nearly 55,000 Member-Owners through World-Class Service, competitive products, and convenience. Membership is open to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, the cities connecting those geographic areas, as well as Chino, Chino Hills, Ontario, and Pomona. For more information, visit

About CU SoCal Partners

CU SoCal Partners, headquartered in Brea, California, is an information technology support provider that offers a wide spectrum of technological services to help small to mid-sized credit unions across North America gain greater efficiency and effectiveness. CU SoCal Partners is available by email at or by phone at 866.979.6482. For more information, visit

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