Banking & Finance

Cardinal Credit Union Comes to Canfield

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CANFIELD, Ohio – The sign that had identified the Tri-County Credit Union on Boardman-Canfield Road has been replaced with new red signage that reads “Cardinal Credit Union, Tri-County Office.”

Inside, Cardinal CEO and President Christine Blake joined the office staff of three and state Rep. John Boccieri, D-59 Poland, Wednesday to wield a pair of oversized scissors to sever the ribbon for a press event.

And with that, Blake and her senior management officially welcomed branch manager Liz Notman, assistant manager Debbie Petrosovich and vault teller Judy Pavlich into the credit union with $250 million in assets and 12 branches across northeastern Ohio.

Cardinal, based in Mentor, acquired Tri-County, the Edison Credit Union in Austintown and Youngstown City Employees Credit Union last summer and held a similar ceremony Sept. 27 at the Edison office in the Austintown Plaza.

The message was the same: The financial institution is open to anyone who lives, works, belongs to a house of worship or attends a school in Mahoning County and opens a savings account with a deposit of $5.

Credit unions offer their members better rates – lower interest on loans, higher on savings products – and Cardinal goes a step beyond because half of its workforce of nearly 80 is a certified financial counselor, its CEO said.

Cardinal just graduated its most recent class of CFCs, Blake related – participants spend a year to earn the designation – and Notman, Petrosovich and Pavlich will be encouraged to sign up for the class of 2017. While Cardinal employees are encouraged to study for and earn the designation, participation is voluntary, Blake said.

Offering financial counseling on such a wide scale makes Cardinal “different from banks,” Blake said. Banks are profit-driven, she said, while credit unions return the profits they earn to their members in the form of high rates paid on savings products and charging lower rates on loans.

The counseling Cardinal staff helps members establish and adhere to budgets and consolidate higher-interest loans into one lower-interest loan with Cardinal. In 2015, Blake iterated, members saved $6.58 million in interest by refinancing through Cardinal.

New to the Tri-County office will be the presence each week of mortgage loan originator Christopher LaCava, based in the Edison office. Joining Cardinal allows the Tri-County office to offer mortgages and home-equity loans, Blake said.

Tri-County, formed in 1935 in Youngstown, has had several homes in its 81 years, Notman said, including offices on Lincoln, Rayen and South Avenues before moving to Canfield 21 years ago.

Pictured: Cardinal Credit Union staff members Debbie Petrosovich, Liz Notman and Judy Pavlich.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.