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NIHFCU Receives the NIH Good Neighbor Green Champion Award

ROCKVILLE, Md. (October 14, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU), which marked 80 years of continued service this year, announced that it received the 2019 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Good Neighbor Green Champion Award.

The NIHFCU won this award for its active involvement in community planning and sustainability initiatives in support of NIH’s energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets.   The credit union’s 2019 NIH shred events, which safely shredded and prepared 3.66 tons of paper for recycling, was recognized.

“Our support of the NIH community is in our actions,” stated NIHFCU Vice President of Community Engagement Cassandra Hairston. “The shred event provided an opportunity for the NIHFCU and NIH-Office of Research Services staff to work as a team, which further strengthens our long-term partnership in promoting initiatives of the NIH.”

The HHS Green Champions Awards were established by Health and Human Services (HHS), of which NIH is a part, in response to an Executive Order issued by then-President Obama in October 2009, challenging Federal agencies to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water consumption, and pollution.

“My division was looking for new and creative ways to service the NIH community.  We came up with the NIH community shred event and asked our NIHFCU partners for support,” said Susan Cook, director, Division of Amenities and Transportation Services, NIH of Office of Research Services. “We were pleased to see the event was successful and to receive the HHS Green Champion Award.  A big thank you to NIHFCU!”

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National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union Announces Expanded Charter

ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 9, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU), which marked 80 years of continued service this year, announced their new multiple common bond charter. NIHFCU’s new charter allows it to continue serving the financial needs of the area’s healthcare and biomedical professionals while expanding membership eligibility to those outside of these industries and local region.

“We are proud of our healthcare and biomedical roots and our brand position, and our marketing focus will remain on the professionals within these industries we know so well,” stated Rick Wieczorek, NIHFCU’s President & CEO.  “With our new charter, we can now serve more of these dedicated individuals, during the current pandemic and into the future, but also assist a whole new group of potential members, as we bring our Banking With Heart mission beyond the healthcare and biomedical industries.”

To support the new charter, NIHFCU has invested heavily in new financial technologies (Fintech). Jesse Boyer, NIHFCU’s EVP/Chief Operating Officer noted, “Our transformation to a mobile-first institution has positioned us well for long-term growth fueled by the new charter.” Boyer continued, “We have already on-boarded several world-class digital banking delivery channels that are second to none and have others planned for the remainder of the year including remote video banking, online chat, and industry-leading person to person payments. Meanwhile, our retail branching staff remains committed to delivering exceptional service for in-person banking needs.”

Also aiding NIHFCU’s expanded charter is a burgeoning demand for commercial and small business loans both within and outside of the healthcare sector. Frank Amantia, SVP/Chief Lending Officer said, “Our highly trained and experienced Business Lending Team has been lending to a wide range of businesses for more than 20 years.  With SBA lending as a primary focus, new or existing businesses now have a trusted resource that has not been widely available.” Amantia added, “And, coming off our success with the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has preserved over 1,000 jobs, we know the demand for our programs is high.”

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Paycheck Protection Program Saves Over 950 Healthcare Jobs in the DMV

ROCKVILLE, Md. (May 21, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU) participated in the first phase of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the Small Business Administration. Healthcare businesses and practices had access to this program so they could stay open. To date, the NIHFCU PPP has helped save over 950 healthcare professionals in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area from the unemployment line due to COVID-19.

The PPP allowed small businesses to obtain funds for payroll and other qualified expenses. Because the initial funding was quickly exhausted, a second phase of funding began on Monday, April 27, 2020 and will remain available until the appropriated funding is exhausted.

“During these uncertain times, we must provide more support than ever before,” said Senior Vice President/Chief Lending Officer, Frank Amantia. “The NIHFCU’s Paycheck Protection Program offers just that. It can help bring solace to our healthcare workers who put their lives at risk every day knowing they will still have a job the next day.”

The NIHFCU is also supporting healthcare workers through their recently launched website, SendaMessageofHope.com.  The site welcomes everyone who wants to post an inspiring video or photo message to share with healthcare professionals during this challenging time.

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New Website Helps People Send Messages of Hope to Healthcare Workers

Rockville, Md. (April 23, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU) launched  SendaMessageofHope.com, a website where anyone can post an inspiring message of gratitude to healthcare workers, showing support for them during this challenging time. As video or photo messages are posted, they are shared with hospitals, healthcare clinics and more.

The idea for the site came from watching an interview where a health professional was asked, ‘what do you need more than anything as you fight against this virus?’ The answer ‘what all healthcare workers could use right now is a little hope’ became the inspiration.

“We have always been honored to serve those who help keep the world safe. From the committed healthcare professionals who care for our health to the amazing biomedical professionals at the National Institutes of Health,” said Rick Wieczorek, NIHFCU’s President and CEO. “In these unprecedented times, there are so many people, including our members, who have stepped up to combat this crisis on the frontlines and we wanted to find a way to express our gratitude and share support.”

The site welcomes everyone who wants to post a video or photo message to share with healthcare professionals. For example, messages can consist of a child’s work of art, a tribute song and so on. When the frontline workers take a short break or get home from their shift, they can visit the site and get a big dose of hope from all who contribute. Additionally, NIHFCU will donate $1 per post on the site through end of April 2020 to the Friends of Patients at the NIH.

Steve Levin, NIHFCU’s VP of Marketing and Business Development added, “Thousands of our credit union members are among the millions of healthcare heroes worldwide fighting COVID-19  and through the site, we can all a send a message of hope to these amazing people as they make sacrifices for the rest of us.”

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NIHFCU Unveils Interactive Teller Machines at Multiple Locations Within the DMV

Rockville, MD. (February 25, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union’s (NIHFCU) Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) allow for live face-to-face video interaction with NIHFCU Rockville-based tellers via many of the credit union’s ATMs.  This new technology is now available at the credit union’s Rockville, NIH main campus and Silver Spring branches, with additional installations scheduled at more NIHFCU ATMs this year in the D.C. Metro Area and Research Triangle Park, NC.

ITMs allow members to connect instantly with a video teller for virtually any traditional teller-assisted transaction such as making account transfers, loan payments, and depositing checks and cash, and there are no additional costs for members to use this transaction option.  “Technology has come a long way in making banking transactions faster and more accessible, but it often lacks in human interaction,” said NIHFCU President and CEO, Rick Wieczorek. “Our ITMs are one more example of how we strive to enhance our members’ banking experience and continue our legacy of providing banking with heart, with just one tap of the ATM screen.”

Additionally, video teller hours extend beyond normal branch hours, adding over 12 hours of teller-assisted convenience for members. The list of weekly hours can be found here.  “We continually search for ways to give our members a personalized banking experience paired with premier financial services. The ITMs provide both,” said NIHFCU Executive Vice President and COO, Jesse Boyer.

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NIHFCU Opens State-of-the-Art Branch in Silver Spring

Rockville, MD. (February 4, 2020) – The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union’s (NIHFCU) new Silver Spring branch opened for business on February 1, 2020, providing a modern, technology-focused banking experience for its members. The branch features Interactive Teller Machines (ITM) where members can choose to see, talk, and text in real time with live video tellers (LVT). LVT-assisted transactions allow for a highly personalized experience and are available for everyday needs such as cashing and depositing checks, making loan payments, and account transfers.

With innovative technologies and contemporary design, the new Silver Spring branch will offer the community in-branch solutions, as well as online and digital services to help address customer banking preferences. Members will be able to work with financial experts to discuss personal loans, credit cards, student loans, business loans, mortgages, and more. Customers will also be able to receive tailored advice through an interactive technology bar.  “As the banking world continues to evolve, offering the latest banking technology to our members is critical,” said Rick Wieczorek, NIHFCU’s President & CEO. “Opening this new, modern branch is another milestone in our long 80-year history of banking with heart.”

The Silver Spring branch is located at the main entrance of Blairs Shopping Center and directly across East-West Highway from the Silver Spring metro station. In addition to the branch opening, this year commemorates 80 years of continuous operation for NIHFCU.

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NIHFCU Commemorates 80 Years of Banking with Heart

Rockville, MD. (January 8, 2020) – This year, the National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU) marks 80 years of continuous operation. On January 11, 1940, when nine federal employees pooled $75 and began transacting business out of a shoebox, the NIHFCU was born.  From a cramped 5’x6’ space at NIH (Bethesda, MD) to today’s advanced mobile banking solutions, the NIHFCU has enjoyed a fascinating history.  “The evolution of the NIHFCU from its humble beginnings is quite remarkable.  Its ability to grow through the vast social, regulatory and economic changes over the decades is a tribute to all those who have touched the NIHFCU in some way,” said Rick Wieczorek, NIHFCU’s President & CEO. “This includes our volunteer Board and Committee members, dedicated employees, and of course, our incredibly loyal members who continue to provide us with the privilege of serving their financial needs.”

To help celebrate, the NIHFCU has a Celebrate 80 Years webpage where members can share their stories about how the credit union has made a difference in their lives or for their loved ones. Members who provide their stories will also be entered to win a share of $800 in cash prizes. The credit union will highlight some of the most unique stories throughout the celebratory year.  Steve Levin, NIHFCU’s VP of Marketing and Business Development states, “Our story search is a great way for our members to chronicle their experiences over past decades. With NIHFCU’s new Discover Banking with Heart brand position, the timing of our anniversary celebration is perfect, and we look forward to receiving and sharing the many genuine and powerful stories from our membership.”

In addition to the Celebrate 80 Years story search, the credit union will also mark their 80th anniversary by opening a new “branch of the future” in Silver Spring, expanding its community service and volunteerism engagements, and announcing a variety of member special opportunities throughout the course of the year.  The NIHFCU remains honored to serve all those dedicated to making the world a healthier place.  In 2020, it celebrates not only its past but the promise of a bright future ahead.

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NIHFCU receives 2019 Partnership of the Year Award with Friends of Patients at the NIH

Potomac, MD (February 8, 2019). The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU) received the 2019 Partnership of the Year Award from Leadership Montgomery (LM) and the Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC). The NIHFCU proudly accepted this award at LMs Annual Corporate Volunteer Luncheon, a gathering of local business, political and other distinguished guests, which recognizes local businesses for their support to the Montgomery County community through employee volunteer engagement. Members of the public were asked to nominate organizations and businesses in one of six award categories. Winners were selected by an independent committee consisting of local leaders and previous award winners.

“We are so proud to honor the NIH Federal Credit Union for making a difference through employee volunteerism.” said C. Marie Taylor, President & CEO of Leadership Montgomery. “We hope that by casting a spotlight on their tremendous efforts, more businesses will be inspired to engage their employees and give back to the local community through service.”

Cassandra Hairston, NIHFCU’s Vice President of Community Engagement stated, “We are thrilled to bring the credit union’s ‘people helping people’ approach to financial services into the communities we are proud to service.” She added, “I am so pleased to accept this award on behalf of our entire staff. It is a great honor for us to be recognized for our partnership with Friends of Patients at the NIH, and our passion and commitment to volunteerism. It is great to know our efforts are making a real difference in the lives of many.”

NIHFCU’s community engagement program, RISE (Respect, Inspire, Support, Engage) – whether through volunteerism, sponsorships, advocacy or other civic activities – is a core part of the credit union’s overall business plan, as well as its workforce objectives.