Mindful Growth

3Rivers Federal Credit Union expands its footprint while focusing on what’s best for its members.
Dec 4, 2019
Jennifer Blomquist
Jeffrey Crane & provided

Growth is great… if it’s done the right way.

“Over the past ten years 3Rivers has nearly doubled in asset size. Growth is the result of success, and success comes from growth,” says Don Cates, president and CEO of 3Rivers Federal Credit Union. “When our members are successful, the cooperative will be successful. With one in four Allen County households having some relationship with 3Rivers, we need to be strategic in growing within and beyond our current footprint to serve more members. 

That’s the mindset behind 3Rivers’ recent expansions. 

In late September, the member-owned credit union opened its Stellhorn Crossing Branch and Mortgage Center off Stellhorn Road, on the city’s northeast side. Replacing the leased branch in Chapel Ridge was an opportunity for them to address a good growth problem. When 3Rivers built the Northland Campus in 2013, the campus housed just over 100 employees. Prior to the mortgage department moving to Stellhorn Crossing, Northland – with a design intended to hold only 168 – had become the home base to over 200 employees. A significant portion of that growth was focused in the mortgage area. As volume increased, so did the size of the team, warranting a dedicated facility. 

“The new Stellhorn Crossing Facility is something one must see to appreciate. It’s breathtaking,” says Melissa Shaw, marketing director for 3Rivers. “Designed for collaboration, our Northland Campus serves us well, and Stellhorn takes that to the next level in a very modern way – in both design and function. We’re very excited to share this innovative facility with our members, partners and community.” Additionally, Stellhorn Crossing marks a pinnacle in 3Rivers’ growing local art initiative. This is the eleventh 3Rivers facility to feature all local art, with more to come. ”The Stellhorn Crossing facility alone houses more than 50 pieces of original, locally-created art. This art initiative allows 3Rivers to promote the visibility and appreciation of local art, help artists grow their businesses and gives 3Rivers branches a warm, community-focused feel. 

Another big development for 3Rivers is the upcoming acquisition of West End Bank, based out of Richmond, Indiana, serving Union and Wayne Counties. 3Rivers currently operates 16 branches in a 7-county area in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. 

The full conversion of West End Bank to 3Rivers is expected to take place in the first half of 2020, pending regulatory approval. West End Bank has four branches, which will bring the total number of 3Rivers branches to 20. The strategic acquisition will also increase the number of 3Rivers employees to over 400, members to over 100,000 and assets to approximately $1.5 billion.

“We mutually feel that this is an ideal fit, as we are both deeply engaged in the communities we serve, have a strong organizational culture and sincerely care about our members’ financial wellness,” says Cates. “We believe we can expand on an already strong brand and bring resources that will foster growth and excitement to the community.”

Cates is actually a native of the Richmond area and can attest to the complementary nature of that business community. Since Cates became CEO seven years ago, his leadership has focused on helping 3Rivers establish a culture of collaboration, community and financial wellness. West End Bank is a natural fit. 

With rapid growth, there is an ongoing need for recruiting and developing top talent. And 3Rivers is an employer of choice in the region, with 900 people applying for 148 jobs last year. “If you ask people here why they feel 3Rivers is a great place to work, the top answer would be our people-first culture,” says Carrie Jones, recruiting and retention manager for 3Rivers. “We focus on doing what is right for our members, our team members and the community. It feels good to make a positive impact in somone's life every day.” 

3Rivers invests in its team’s training and development. The company always focuses on what is right for the member, helping its team prepare for ‘what’s next,’ all while striving for healthy work-life balance. When team members can show up as their best selves every day, it is a win for all.

As 3Rivers grows and makes changes to continually improve, Cates assures that the credit union’s core philosophies will remain in place.

“As a larger credit union, we have an opportunity to strengthen and expand our presence and create greater economic growth in the areas we serve. Above all else, our focus will always be on doing what’s best for the membership as a whole.”  

3Rivers Federal Credit Union Corporate Northland Campus

Address: 1615 Northland Blvd. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825

Phone: (260) 490-8328

Website: 3riversfcu.org

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