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June 24, 2019

New Hampshire Credit Unions Donation Totals $2.9 Million to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire

L-R New Hampshire Social Responsibility Committee Chairman Brian Hughes from HRCU; Make-A-Wish New Hampshire CEO Julie Baron; Jim (Allysaís father); Wish Child Allysa; Wish Ambassador Padraic; and CCUA President Ronald McLean.The New Hampshire Credit Unions recently presented a record-breaking $210,000 donation to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, an organization that grants the wishes of children facing critical illnesses. This marks a 23-year total of more than $2.9 million raised by the New Hampshire Credit Unions, members of the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA).  The New Hampshire Credit Unions remain the largest corporate partner of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

Make-A-Wish New Hampshire CEO Julie Baron praised the credit unions for their passion. “The skills, time and resources of the employees and members of the credit union movement have been transforming the lives of children with critical illnesses here in New Hampshire for more than 23 years one wish child at a time through their continuous support. Their ongoing commitment to help us one day reach every eligible child each year is inspiring.”

 

The donation exceeded the annual goal by $25,000 and was the culmination of a year-long effort by the New Hampshire Credit Unions. Cooperative Credit Union Association President/CEO Ronald McLean applauded the credit unions for supporting their charitable partner. “The New Hampshire Credit Unions have a tremendous history and wonderful traditions to support Make-A-Wish New Hampshire. Surpassing the goal set by the New Hampshire Social Responsibility Committee speaks highly of the commitment made by each credit union, their staff, corporate donors and the more than 600,000 credit union members in the state. Your efforts make the world a better place for so many Wish children whose dreams will come true.”

 

This year’s Wish Child, Alyssa (15) and her father attended the check presentation ceremony, which took place following the 18th Annual Richard D. Mahoney Charity Golf Tournament.  Alyssa’s wish was to have her Jeep Wrangler get a special makeover. The credit unions had the opportunity to see the fulfillment of their efforts as Alyssa and her father revealed the transformed car at the event.

According to New Hampshire Credit Unions’ Social Responsibility Committee Chairman Brian Hughes, “Make-A-Wish New Hampshire is an extraordinary organization and thanks to the employees and members within the Credit Union Community, they are able to grant a wish every 4 days to a child. The impact a wish has leaves a positive impression for all who play a part in making a dream come true. And for all this, the credit unions are truly grateful to be part of a cause with a great mission.”

 

About Make-A-Wish® New Hampshire
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Since 1986, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire has granted more than 1,620 wishes to New Hampshire children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish New Hampshire serves children throughout the entire state and is proud to share that eighty-seven percent of each dollar spent directly benefits the New Hampshire wish-granting program.

About the Cooperative Credit Union Association
The Cooperative Credit Union Association is a regional trade organization serving as the voice for nearly 200-member credit unions located primarily throughout Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. CCUA members hold combined assets in excess of $45 billion and serve a collective membership base of more than 2.3 million consumers. It’s on behalf of these member credit unions that CCUA advocates before Congress and state legislatures, regulatory bodies and the general public through its Better Values—Better Banking consumer awareness campaign. In addition to advocacy, CCUA also engages its members with an array of industry resources, from compliance assets and marketing support to vetted products and service providers; an array of educational workshops and conferences; and a variety of communication channels that include a daily e-newsletter, live and recorded video programs, and a quarterly magazine focused on CCUA’s advocacy initiatives. For more information, visit www.CCUA.org.
 


March 28, 2019

Bellwether Community Credit Union Announces Nathan Saller as Incoming CEO

BeNathan Sallerllwether Community Credit Union's Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Nathan Saller as the successor to current President/CEO, Michael L'Ecuyer. Saller has been named President/COO and will transition to CEO when long-time leader L'Ecuyer retires October 1.

"It was really important for us to find the right candidate, one who was committed to the values of the organization, and who at the same time possessed the industry knowledge necessary to create an incredible experience for our employees and members," said John Gennetti, chairman of Bellwether's Board of Directors. "We were thrilled that we were able to choose a strong internal candidate whose experience and desire to do what's right for all constituents makes him the perfect person to take the helm."

"Bellwether is an absolutely incredible organization," said Saller. "We have amazing people, a strong commitment to delivering extraordinary service and tangible value to our members, and a history of impact on the communities we serve. I look forward to building on this strong foundation to further extend our positive impact on our members and the community."

Saller joined Bellwether in 1997 in a marketing role, then led the company's retail banking and call center teams and later was placed in charge of corporate strategy. He was named chief operating officer in January 2017 and executive vice president in May 2018. Saller has overseen tremendous growth in the organization. Over the course of his 20-year tenure, he has been influential in growing Bellwether's membership from 10,000 to over 36,000 members today.

Saller has a strong commitment to community. He currently serves as vice chairman on the Board of Directors for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the Board of Advisors for StayWorkPlayNH, and chairs the marketing committee for America's Credit Union Museum in Manchester. Prior to joining Bellwether, he began his career at Ford Motor Credit Company. He received his Master of Business Administration from UNH Manchester and has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Evangel University. He is also a graduate of the American Bankers' Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the Wharton School of Business/University of Pennsylvania and of Leadership Greater Manchester. 

"I am thrilled with the Board's selection of Nathan," said L'Ecuyer. "The service and value he brings to our members is immeasurable, and he is well respected by his colleagues and in the communities Bellwether serves. I look forward to working with him during the transition period and then watching him continue to forge his own legacy as a business and community leader."


March 22, 2019

Bellwether President and CEO Mike L'Ecuyer named Citizen of the Year by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

{This article was featured in the Union Leader}

Citizen of the Year 2019 Michael L'Ecuyer

Perhaps Michael L’Ecuyer can help improve the toxic political climate in Washington after he retires this fall.

People who know him well think he’d be up to the challenge.

“For me, I’ve seen 15 times, in the middle of a spirited debate with no easy answer, he’s able to smile, hesitate for a second and find a way to bring people together to a common core, which is hard to do,” said Peter Ramsey, president and CEO of the Palace Theatre.

“He just has the ability to read the room and give a great response at a critical time,” Ramsey said last week.

L’Ecuyer, president and CEO of Bellwether Community Credit Union, was named this year’s Citizen of the Year by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

“I think Mike really has a true skill and ability to make people feel comfortable and welcome about expressing themselves and bringing those viewpoints together,” said Michael Skelton, the chamber’s president and CEO.

L’Ecuyer, 61, of Bedford, came to Bellwether in 1998. Since he became president and CEO in November 2001, the credit union has grown from $197 million to $500 million in assets and more than doubled its workforce.

Over the years, L’Ecuyer has helped many causes in the Manchester area, including serving on the Palace Theatre board since 2001.

“I think he’s an expert at assigning duties, determining what’s essential for a business to be successful and managing his resources,” said Ramsey, who called him a mentor and “a very good friend.”

A native of Fitchburg, Mass., L’Ecuyer said he learned working in banking that “you have to give back to the communities you do business in.”

He admits to his wife that he occasionally gets “temporarily overcommitted.”

L’Ecuyer is a board member at Northeast Delta Dental and has served with many local organizations. He has served as chairman of New Hampshire Go Red for Women, board member of City Year New Hampshire and chairman of the March of Dimes signature chef’s auction.

“I don’t think he knows the definition of the word ‘no,’ ” said John Gennetti, Bellwether’s chairman of the board.

“You meet interesting people,” L’Ecuyer said in an interview Friday. “You learn new things without going to a classroom.”

People who volunteer “get that the world is bigger than them,” L’Ecuyer said. “I’ve never gotten anything accomplished by myself.”

Bellwether provides each of its 92 employees with eight hours of paid time each year to volunteer. Many workers volunteer many more hours of their own time at various nonprofits.

New Hampshire, he said, might rely on volunteers more than some other states.

“Communities have needs, OK, and if government is relied upon to meet those needs, you may have less requirement for nonprofits,” L’Ecuyer said. “For us, we seem to take care of our own. We deal with it locally.”

L’Ecuyer will be feted at the chamber’s annual dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown hotel on April 18.

Skelton said a secret chamber committee scrutinized the nominations of about 20 people this year.

“Mike was a perfect example of the exemplary business leader who’s achieved tremendous success with his company and growing his company while at the same time giving selflessly to his community and setting an example of how others should and can do that,” Skelton said.

L’Ecuyer served twice on that awards committee and once chaired the chamber board. He also introduced Joe Reilly, a former banking executive, at a 2013 dinner honoring Reilly as the chamber’s Citizen of the Year.

Former Mayor Sylvio Dupuis said winning the 1979 award “taught me that hard work and strong relationships could be rewarded.”

L’Ecuyer offered advice to those thinking of volunteering:

“Find something you love, find a mission you’re passionate about and it won’t feel like work,” he said.


March 22, 2018

Palace Theatre and Bellwether Announce 10-Year Partnership

{This article was featured in the Union Leader}

RexTheatre

Officials with the Palace Theatre announced this week they have reached a 10-year partnership with Bellwether Community Credit Union for naming rights at a newly-renovated Rex Theatre, scheduled to open Oct. 1.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Jan. 28 for the renovation project at the Rex Theatre site at 23 Amherst St.

Aldermen voted in October to approve a partnership between the Manchester Development Corporation (MDC) and the Palace Theatre to renovate and operate the Rex Theatre as a performance venue. Under the agreement, the MDC is loaning the Palace Theatre $1.7 million to renovate the building into a 300-seat multi-use theater and function space.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Palace Theatre will repay that loan — with a 2 percent annual interest — over 10 years.

According to a release, for the next 10 years following the opening of the Rex Theatre on Oct. 1, Bellwether Community Credit Union will hold exclusive naming rights in regards to the performance venue’s marquee, point of sale and general marketing. The terms for the agreement begin directly after the Rex opens, the release states.

Peter Ramsey, head of the Palace Theatre Trust, announced the partnership at a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday.

“They (Bellwether Community Credit Union) will partner with the Rex Theatre for the next 19 years, and help us pay back our loan,” said Ramsey. “It’s an incredible financial institution, and we’re very proud to have them join us.”

“This is a great example of collaboration between public sector and private sector, in terms of Bellwether and not-for-profit Palace Theatre,” said Michael L’Ecuyer, president and CEO of Bellwether Community Credit Union. “We’re thrilled to do this. Any time you’re in a partnership with Peter it’s exciting, and hopefully we can have a little bit of an impact on downtown Manchester. We look forward over the next 10 years to having an impact.”

Also on Tuesday, aldermen unanimously approved, without discussion, a request from Ramsey to waive building permit fees associated with the renovation of the Rex Theatre property. Ramsey estimates the cost for general building permits for the site at $18,000.

Cornerstone Construction is handling the project. Paul Ramsey, former vice president of operations at Eversource, is overseeing the renovation work for the Palace Theatre. Peter and Paul Ramsey are not related.

In 2001, Manchester officials temporarily closed a club at 23 Amherst St. because of crowding they deemed life-threatening and for other safety code violations. A fire that same year also temporarily shuttered the club, which came under scrutiny because of patrons getting arrested after leaving. The club finally closed permanently several years later.

A purchase and sale agreement for the property between the MDC and The Rex LLC — a partnership between philanthropist Liz Hitchcock and Gray Chynoweth, chief membership officer for the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute — fell apart when the pair pulled out of negotiations with the city, saying their plan to use the site as a performance venue was no longer “economically viable.”

That marked the second time in less than a year a potential buyer walked away from a proposal for the property. In March 2017, Matt Wilhelm, executive director of Old Sol Music Hall, Inc. — who proposed a live music venue for the site — said after months of negotiations, Old Sol Productions and the MDC were unable to agree to terms for a purchase and sale agreement.


September 10, 2018

NH's Best Companies to Work For named in September issue of Business NH Magazine

2018 Best Companies To Work ForBusiness NH Magazine is announcing the 2018 Best Companies to Work For in its September edition.

For 21 years, Business NH Magazine has recognized businesses that go out of their way to create high engagement workplaces for their employees through the Best Companies to Work For competition. The competition attracted applicants from across the state.

The 2018 competition included an employee engagement survey that had to be completed by at least 50 percent of a company's workforce as well as an extensive employer survey, detailing benefits and workplace practices. By combining the results from both surveys, judges found 22 companies that exceeded the bar of excellence. 

Digital Prospectors, which first broke onto the list in 2007 and has appeared on the list five times, grabbed the Number 1 Best Company To Work For in NH for the first time this year. Northeast Delta Dental in Concord landed the Number 2 spot.

The following are those companies who made the 2018 list:

#1 - Digital Prospectors in Exeter (35 employees)
#2 - Northeast Delta Dental in Concord (178 employees)
#3 - Worldcom Exchange in Salem (109 employees)
#4 - Vapotherm in Exeter (288 employees)
#5 - Kluber Lubrication in Londonderry (191 employees)
#6 - Impax Asset Management in Portsmouth (51 employees)
#7 - Mainstay Technologies in Belmont (50 employees)
#8 - Bellwether Community Credit Union in Manchester (96 employees)
#9 - Novo Nordisk US Bio Production in West Lebanon (181 employees)
#10 - Medicus Healthcare Solutions in Windham (338 employees)
#11 - Merchants Fleet Management in Hooksett (351 employees)
#12 - CoreMedical Group in Manchester (145 employees)
#13 - Mascoma Bank in Lebanon (306 employees)
#14 - Loftware in Portsmouth (155 employees)
#15 - Methuen Construction in Plaistow (207 employees)
#16 - Planet Fitness World Headquarters in Hampton (723 employees)
#17 - Granite State Credit Union in Manchester (123 employees)
#18 - Southern NH Health System in Nashua (1,542 employees)
#19 - NFI North in Contoocook (289 employees)
#20 - Well Sense Health Plan in Manchester (64 employees)
#21 - PROCON in Hooksett (175 employees)
#22 - MegaFood in Manchester (212 employees)

The companies in the 2018 Hall of Fame are: CCA Global Partners in Manchester, Medtronic in Portsmouth, Wire Belt Companies of America in Londonderry and W.S. Badger in Gilsum.

Sponsors of this year's breakfast are: Best Companies Sponsor: Northeast Delta Dental; Hall of Fame Sponsor: Medtronic; Making Work Fun Sponsor: Portsmouth Team Building; Social Responsibility Sponsor: ROI Cubed; Registration Sponsor: CCA Global Partners; Program Sponsor: Wire Belt Companies of America; and Printing Sponsor: Wharf Industries.

To celebrate the 2018 winners, Business NH Magazine will host the Breakfast with The Best and Culture Fest on Sept. 27, at the DoubleTree Manchester Downtown Hotel (formally the Radisson.) The event runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. For the uninitiated, Culture Fest is learning about best practices in an interactive way in 8-minute intervals.

To register for the event, visit www.eventsNH.com. To order a copy of the September issue of Business NH Magazine, visit www.BusinessNHmagazine.com.


June 26, 2018

New Hampshire Credit Unions Donation Totals $2.7 Million to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Credit Unions, including Bellwether, recently presented a $200,000 donation to Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, an organization that grants the wishes of children facing critical illnesses. This marks a 22-year total of more than $2.7 million raised by the New Hampshire Credit Unions, members of the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA). The New Hampshire Credit Unions remain the largest corporate partner of Make-A-Wish New Hampshire.

The amount raised surpassed the initial 2018 goal by $15,000 and was achieved through the collaboration and collective efforts of the state's 15 credit unions with a series of state-wide and local fundraising initiatives including its Make-A-Wish Calendar Raffle which sold out all 2,500 calendars, Granite State Candy Shoppe candy bar sales, New Hampshire Chapter holiday auction, individual credit union donations, and the capstone event of the fundraising season, the Richard D. Mahoney Credit Union Charity Golf Tournament.

Accepting the check with Make-A-Wish New Hampshire CEO Julie Baron were Wish child Carson, age 6; his dad Chris; and Wish Ambassador Padraic, age 19. "We thank the credit unions for supporting Make-A-Wish and helping families, such as ours, look forward to something special as a family during our darkest times," said Chris. 

Make-A-Wish check acceptance

The presentation took place during the 17th annual tournament held at the Candia Woods Golf Links, Candia, NH. "Make-A-Wish New Hampshire is a remarkable organization and, in some way has touched most all of us in New Hampshire," said Brian Hughes, chairman of CCUA's New Hampshire Social Responsibility Committee and President/CEO, Holy Rosary Credit Union in Rochester. "Credit unions throughout the state are truly proud to support Make-A-Wish and help them fulfill their mission of creating life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Meeting so many of the kids such as Carson and Padraic and hearing about their wishes, it truly inspires and motivates all of us to see Make-A-Wish New Hampshire grant a wish to every eligible child."

CCUA President/CEO Paul Gentile commended the credit unions for supporting their charitable partner. "The task of raising $200,000 this year for Make-A-Wish New Hampshire combined with the 22-year total of $2.7 million is a true testament to all the credit unions, their employees, corporate donors, and the more than 649,232 credit union members in New Hampshire who worked tirelessly and contributed generously to fundraising initiatives throughout the year - a true collaboration on all fronts." He continued, "The New Hampshire Credit Unions and Social Responsibility Committee's efforts to surpass the goal each year exemplifies the passion they share in making wishes come true."

Make-A-Wish New Hampshire CEO Julie Baron praised the credit unions for their passion. "It seems impossible to capture in a few words the essence of the gratitude Make-A-Wish New Hampshire feels toward the New Hampshire Credit Unions," said Baron. She continued, "Credit union leadership, staff, and members have embraced our mission and transformed the lives of children facing critical illnesses one child at a time for 22-years. We thank them for being the special medicine that helps each child through their journey."

###

About Make-A-Wish® New Hampshire

Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Since 1986, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire has granted more than 1,500 wishes to New Hampshire children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish New Hampshire serves children throughout the entire state. Eighty-nine percent of each dollar spent directly benefits the New Hampshire wish-granting program. Sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned Make-A-Wish New Hampshire a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. For more information please visit nh.wish.org.

About the Cooperative Credit Union Association

The Cooperative Credit Union Association is a regional trade organization serving as the voice for nearly 200-member credit unions located primarily throughout Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. CCUA members hold combined assets in excess of $45 billion and serve a collective membership base of more than 2.3 million consumers. It’s on behalf of these member credit unions that CCUA advocates before Congress and state legislatures, regulatory bodies and the general public through its Better Values—Better Banking consumer awareness campaign. In addition to advocacy, CCUA also engages its members with an array of industry resources, from compliance assets and marketing support to vetted products and service providers; an array of educational workshops and conferences; and a variety of communication channels that include a daily e-newsletter, live and recorded video programs, and a quarterly magazine focused on CCUA’s advocacy initiatives. For more information, visit www.CCUA.org.


June 20, 2018

Bellwether Takes a Stand Against Elder Financial Abuse

Bellwether Community Credit Union is proud to announce that 100 percent of their frontline staff are now certified by the CU Senior Safeguard, an educational platform for credit union employees to learn more about elder financial abuse, how to detect it and how to prevent it. Certification provided by this program supports requirements outlined in the Senior Safe Act to allow a credit union safe harbor when possible elder financial abuse has been detected.

“Bellwether takes the financial security of our members extremely seriously,” said Michael L’Ecuyer, President and CEO of Bellwether. “The peace of mind and trust of our members is of the utmost importance to us, and that is why we are so proud to have the entirety of our member facing staff certified by this worthwhile program.”

Introduced by the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) and produced in collaboration with EverFi, a leading national technology company that provides education through innovative and scalable digital learning, the CU Senior Safeguard program equips credit unions with the information needed to defend elderly members as well as their caregivers and families.

In CCUA’s 2017 national survey, data showed over two-thirds of familial caretakers reported their elderly relatives had been the target of a fraud or scam, and that 28% of the elderly surveyed had actually been the victim of a scam. According to National Adult Protective Services, one out of nine seniors experiences financial exploitation but only one in 44 will ever report it.


June 14, 2018

Bellwether Community Credit Union Announces Executive Promotion

Nathan Saller
Manchester, NH - Bellwether Community Credit Union is proud to announce the promotion of Nathan Saller to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Saller's role will be to align company strategy with people and processes in order to drive execution and move Bellwether towards long-term growth.

"Nathan has been an integral part of our management team for over 20 years. Under his leadership in the areas of sales, marketing and lending the credit union has enjoyed strong growthin an environment of exceptional member service," said Michael L'Ecuyer, President and CEO of Bellwether. "As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Nathan's vision, creativity and commitment to excellence will have a positive impact on our employees, our members and our community for many years to come."

Mr. Saller joined Bellwether in 1997 first in a marketing role, then leading the company's retail banking and call center teams, and finally leading corporate strategy before being named COO. Prior to joining Bellwether, Mr. Saller began his career at Ford Motor Credit Company.

Mr. Saller received his Master of Business Administration from UNH Manchester and has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Evangel University. He is also a graduate of the American Bankers' Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the Wharton School of Business/University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and as a member of the Executive Committee for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the Board of Advisors and on the Development Committee for StayWorkPlayNH, and chairs the marketing committee for America's Credit Union Museum in Manchester.

 


February 9, 2017

We're honored to be featured on this Right About Money article emphasizing the importance of basic financial knowledge.

Our program is available for members and non-members, check it out today at www.bccu.org/adulting.

Right About Money article


January 29, 2017

Bellwether Community Credit Union in the news

MANCHESTER, NH — Reaching millennials: Push is on to promote financial literacy. 

Bellwether Reaching Millennials - Union Leader story

Read our full story in the Union Leader here


January 27, 2017

Bellwether Community Credit Union - First in New Hampshire to Launch Free Online Financial Education Program for Young Adults

MANCHESTER, NH —Providing essential and engaging financial education on topics such as credit scores, loans and budgeting, Bellwether Community Credit Union launches It’s a Money Thing, an online learning center with supplementary resources intended for young adults aged 18 to 30.

“Our It’s a Money Thing program uses animation in a way that helps make financial education easy and fun, but most of all memorable,” commented Mike L’Ecuyer, President and CEO of Bellwether.
“Most of these topics are generally not taught in schools, and we thought this program could really help our community.”

Read More


September 2016

Bellwether Community Credit Union Ranked in Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in the U.S.

Deposiut Accounts top 200 healthiest credit unions 2016MANCHESTER – Each year DepositAccounts.com evaluates the financial health of every federally insured bank and credit union in the United States – a group of more than 8,000 total.

Each institution is graded on a number of factors, including deposit growth and loan to reserve rations, in order to determine a comprehensive health score. Bellwether Community Credit Union received a Health Rating of “A” with total assets totaling $444.3M and 32, 378 members.

Bellwether was one of three credit unions in the state that made Depositaccounts.com’s top 200 list - New Hampshire Federal Credit Union, based in Concord and Service Credit Union, based in Portsmouth.

For a complete list of banks and credit unions, plus the raw grades, visit https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/health.aspx

 

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