Harbor Credit Union is a member-focused financial cooperative committed to building our members' financial well being and becoming their primary financial institution.
The year was 1952. A time for growth, but also a time for uncertainty, as the United States was brought into the Korean War. The 1952 Olympics were held in Helsinki and the United States was victorious in bringing home 43 gold medals.
While at a coffee break, a few employees at Green Bay Box, Paper & Pulp talked about starting a credit union to pool their savings and create a fund to help fellow employees. March 11, 1952, the Wisconsin Credit Union League approved Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of Green Bay Box, Paper & Pulp Credit Union.
Approximately 70 employees attended a "set-up" meeting held on April 22, 1952. At this meeting, the first Board of Directors and a Credit Committee were selected. These innovators included: Fred Schils (Pres.), Henry Rauch (V. Pres.), William Nelson (Treas.), Marge Michalec (Sec.), Max Sielaff, Marian Johnson, Fred Kress, William Nichols, John Madden, Robert Anderson and Francis Harley.
May 16, 1952, was the first day of operation for the new Green Bay Box, Paper & Pulp Credit Union. A $0.25 entrance fee was charged per member. Transactions took place at an employee's desk in the scheduling department.
By the end of 1952, the convenience and service of the credit union had caught on. Now there were 135 members with assets totaling $8,701. Savings accounts, small consumer loans, and payroll deduction were the first services offered to members.
The first full-time employee was hired in 1957. Joan Pfotenhauer (Bushmaker) was the bookkeeper and operated the credit union from an office on the corrugated plant's balcony. First mortgage real estate loans were first offered in 1959. The credit union could now share in helping members fulfill part of their American dream.
We Become Packaging Employees Credit Union
In December of 1962, the name of the credit union was changed to Packaging Employees Credit Union. The Butler building on Weise Street was the new home of the growing credit union in 1965. The 1960's closed with Congress passing credit union legislation that helped expand our loan policy, thereby enabling us to better serve the needs of our members.
Entering the decade of the 70's, the country was affected by a scarcity of money, high interest rates and two-digit inflation. Even with these conditions, Packaging Employees Credit Union continued to grow and prosper. State banking laws passed in 1972 gave new opportunities for additional services to be offered to credit union members. Certificates of Deposit were now available as an investment tool. The growing credit union made another move in 1972. A larger building on the corner of Perrott Street and Webster Avenue offered more room to conduct credit union business. By 1973, the credit union had reached over $1 million in assets and had over 1,100 members.
The Big Move
A major milestone for the credit union occurred in 1977 when we moved to a spacious new building on Weise Street. The move provided "room to grow" in order to provide more services to Packaging Employees Credit Union members. In 1979, the credit union became a "full-service" credit union. A share draft checking account was implemented.
The early 1980's brought hard economic times. Inflation increased dramatically. Despite these difficult times, the 80's brought the credit union one of its largest growth periods since it was formed. The credit union was granted a Brown County charter in 1981, thus enabling credit union services to be offered to anyone living or working in Brown County. In 1982, the name of the Credit Union was changed to Packaging Credit Union. This new name reflected the expanded membership eligibility.
The 1980's brought a variety of new services for members. We began offering MasterCard and Visa credit cards, a regional Automated Teller Machine Network for 24-hour cash access (TYME), Individual Retirement Accounts, Electronic Tax Filing, and expanded full service office hours. A Kewaunee County charter was granted in 1985. This opened membership eligibility to anyone living or working in Kewaunee County. The office in Luxemburg began operations in March 1986.
We Become Harbor Credit Union
Packaging Credit Union became Harbor Credit Union in 1988. This name change reflected the additional county charters. Another large expansion to our main office on Weise Street was completed in 1989. This addition brought a second floor and enhanced existing office space.
In 1991, Harbor Credit Union expanded it presence in Green Bay with the opening of an office on the west side of Green Bay with the merger of Alwin Credit Union.
Over the last few years, Harbor Credit Union began its transformation to decrease dependence on paper. The need for paper and disclosures will always exist, but with technology and innovation, Harbor Credit Union is finding ways to reduce paper usage. A reduction in printing supplies and paper storage space improves operations benefiting the membership by lowering cost and saving time.
Early 2008, Harbor Credit Union changed checking accounts forever with the introduction of Reward Checking accounts which rewards members with CD-like rates and ATM fee refunds on a free checking account. In 2009, the credit union took it to the next level and introduced another Reward Checking account to reward members with music downloads. 2016 the credit union offered more options for Rewards for personal checking and introduced Kasasa.
A Proven Alternative to Regular Banking
From 12 Green Bay Box, Paper & Pulp employees who had a dream of helping people with an alternative to regular banking, to the membership of nearly 12,000 today, Harbor Credit Union has maintained its strong financial stability. We have proven that the convenience and service provided under a cooperative, member-owned philosophy results in the most safe, secure, and successful means of providing financial services to our members.