“I Got to Have WOW” Testimonials

Five Community First members share how they were WOWed with the credit union's service.


In a difficult economy it is easy to overlook the positive happenings in a community, so Community First Credit Union ($1.4B, Appleton, WI) developed its “I Got to Have WOW” campaign to highlight great service in its communities. The credit union marketed the campaign with radio, newspaper, and online support and received more than 650 entries through online and in-branch submissions. 

For the credit union — which strives to live the credit union difference — the feedback was inspiring. However, the WOW campaign was not all about Community First; it was about all the area businesses that provide a WOW service experience. The credit union received stories about car dealers, hospitals, vets, mechanics, doctors, insurance companies, and more. Each week, the credit union awarded prizes donated by its radio partners to one winner from each branch, 18 prizes weekly. The credit union then videotaped the winning entries, which are now competing for the Grand Prize in a video voting contest.

Here is a sampling of CFCU member testimonials. To hear other WOW testimonials, watch the video below. For more Anatomy of a Community Credit Union videos, check out CUtv.

Sara Langlois
Oshkosh, WI
We are in the process of adopting a little boy and were transferred to Stacy at ext. 4500. Within about 10 minutes, she was able to approve a loan for us that will cover all the expenses of our adoption and got the paperwork to the branch nearest our home about 15 minutes after I got off the phone with her. When I entered that branch and the teller asked what I was there for, I told her my name, and she congratulated me, as did the loan officer who helped me sign the form. In less than an hour, we had our adoption funded, and were flooded with smiles and congratulations from every person we spoke with. THAT is a WOW service experience! THANK YOU!!!

William Kordus
Neenah, WI
I have been a member for about 40 years. In fact, I still have my first card that reads "Appleton Area Credit Union." I have never had such good service as we have in the past couple of years. We had an auto emergency a couple years ago and we needed a good car ASAP. We spent a week or more searching for a good used car at a reasonable price. We called Cindy Burns – a long-time employee of yours and a long-time friend and loan officer to us – about a loan. She told us to get a hold of "Marty" the car guy to see if we were really getting a good price on the car we were about to choose. Marty said "Do you have an hour or so to let me do some checking?” Our reply was “yes?” Within an hour he got back to us and asked if we would be interested in a NEW car for about $800.00more than the used one we were looking at. We were floored, and so happy. He said we could even pick which car and color we wanted. 

The deal was done. Since then, we have refinanced two mortgages and bought another car, all with just a couple of phone calls and the help of your staff. In today's economy, when everything is as tight as a guitar string, it’s wonderful to know you are backing us up and helping with whatever questions we may have about our finances. We can ask Cindy Burns anything and she tells it like it is. If that's not WOW, I guess I don't what WOW is. Thank you for all you've done for us.

PS, My wife is a teacher and I am disabled so all of these things would have never happened without you, as our income is limited and fixed income.

Todd Poulsen
Darboy, WI
This story is not actually about me, but how Community First has made a positive impact on my 13-year-old son's life. My wife and I have told him the importance of saving and planning for purchases. A few years ago we all went into the Darboy branch where he opened a savings account. The CFCU representative was very friendly and described the benefits of budgets and saving money. My son was energized from that moment and has put an emphasis on earning and saving money. He has a budget, which he devotedly follows, and keeps track of his expenses and savings in a notebook. He looks forward to trips to the Darboy branch to make deposits and the encouragement he receives from the employees of CFCU when they comment on how nice it is to see a teenager saving money. Now our youngest son is excited about making a budget and saving "a lot of money." Thanks for helping us keep fiscal responsibility fun.

Amanda Reinke
Greenville, WI
Community First has made a huge wow in our life. The past couple of years have been hard financially so we racked up some credit card debt. Community First gave us a solution with a low interest rate versus our 29.9% interest rate we were trying to pay down before. Now our future goals are actually obtainable and we were even able to get a vehicle loan that we desperately needed on top of that! We feel so much better feeling that we are on a secure road to a much better financial future and we couldn't have done it without Community First. Our sincere thanks! 

Sharon Shadick
Manitowoc, WI
My WOW! experience started in 2005. I was in the middle of divorce proceedings and I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't have a very good credit score. I needed to refinance the auto loan that I shared with my soon-to-be ex-husband into an auto loan under my own name. I was "awarded" our camper, which I sold for less than I owed on it because I couldn't get full price, and needed to finance the difference. 

I was desperate. No money saved. Nowhere to turn for help. Poor credit and newly divorced. I stopped at the Greenville office and explained my situation to Julie R (manager). She is amazing!!! She not only helped me to refinance the auto loan into my name (with no co-signer), she also arranged for me to have a signature loan for the amount I needed for my camper! I was blown away. Never in a million years did I think someone in my situation would have their prayers answered! 

Julie gave me a gift of confidence and dignity that day. She is truly an asset to Community First. My WOW! experience continues. I paid off that signature loan on the camper!!! One down, working on the other one. Unfortunately, my car was involved in an accident in 2007 and was totaled. It was devastating! I called Julie R at Greenville and told her what happened. She told me my car loan would be paid off due to the "gap insurance" I had added to the car loan and I was pre-approved for another car loan at a GREAT rate!!! OMG!!!

Shortly after that, I applied for a Community First credit card and was approved!!! What a boost to my financial confidence and responsibility, not to mention continued careful monitoring of my credit score. I LOVE watching my score go up, up and away! I truly believe I would not be where I am today – more financially secure, knowledgeable, and proud – if it weren't for the WOW! team at Community First, especially Julie R, giving me a chance...thank you for giving me back my dignity that day. 

I tell everyone about the outstanding customer service I continue to receive at Community First and about your willingness to work with members. Community First is the ONLY place I will go for ALL my financial needs. They truly mean it when they say "We'll find a way."