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7 17 Refreshes Brand as It Builds Branches

By Gary Soukenik, president and CEO, 7 17 Credit Union
WARREN, Ohio — 7 17 Credit Union celebrated 61 years as a member-owned financial cooperative in 2018 by revealing a new brand image, launching a responsive website, and breaking ground on two new branches all while maintaining strong financials and growth.

The refreshed brand identity includes a new color scheme of vibrant red, representing the strength and energy of a credit union that ranks among the largest and healthiest in the nation, and a calming slate blue that represents stability and trust. The logo provides a cleaner look while following the common practice of credit union members to abbreviate Seven Seventeen to 7 17.

The new tagline – “Respectfully. Yours.” – gives nod to that timeless salutation with punctuation that adds additional meaning. “Respectfully.” describes the essence of how the credit union operates. “Yours.” reflects its focus on members and that it is a cooperative financial institution owned by account holders rather than stockholders.

Our new website, 717CU.com, features the latest responsive design techniques to give visitors a consistent user experience from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone. The website also features a newly created financial education blog that offers helpful tips, articles and ideas to help members navigate their financial future.

The credit union broke ground on two new branches last summer, one in Canfield and one in Warren. Construction for both locations is anticipated to be completed in the spring.

The Canfield branch, 4280 Boardman-Canfield Road, will be a state-of-the-art, full-service branch – our 13th location and fourth in Mahoning County.

The new Warren branch is being built on the same property as the existing Larchmont Avenue branch and operations center, 3181 Larchmont Ave. NE. In time, the current branch will become expanded space for back-office operations.

Also last year, existing branches were updated to reflect the new brand with many renovated to better serve members’ needs and allow for a more personal interaction with employees.

7 17 hit a milestone by growing assets to more than $1 billion in 2018. Net worth, a key measure of safety and strength, increased to 15.2%, more than double the 7% defined as “well-capitalized” under federal law.

New free business checking account openings increased by 11% in 2018. Personal checking accounts grew by 3.3%.

Overall employment reached 295 with 46 new employees hired in 2018. We anticipate more hiring this year as new branches are opened and membership – now at more than 84,000 – continues to grow.

Last year members took advantage of low-cost lending options with the overall portfolio growing more than 8.5%. Mortgage purchase volume rose by more than 4%. And the new and used vehicle portfolio swelled as loans for new autos grew by 12% and for used autos by 19%.

An updated online banking platform was introduced in 2018 resulting in user growth of 11%. Mobile banking users increased by 9% and bill pay users also increased, up 8%. A new online platform for opening an account was introduced in late fall to provide members a better user experience and to streamline the process.

7 17 Retirement & Investment Group, a partner that provides investment and retirement planning, grew assets under management by more than 5% to $205 million.

Finally, 7 17 furthered its commitment to community organizations in 2018. The American Cancer Society, United Way, Relay for Life, and the Salvation Army are among the organizations that received funds from employees who collectively raised more than $62,000 and volunteered their time during the year.

Editor’s Note: This story was published in The Business Journal’s Growth Report 2019. The 144-page edition features growth reports from more than 200 local businesses and organizations. It was published this week. If you are not a subscriber, CLICK HERE to purchase a copy or call Eileen Lovell at 330 744 5023 Ext. 1008.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.