2011-2012 Founders & Visionaries- Hawaii's Best
(page 7 of 9)
Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union’s ‘Ohana
Serving the Financial Needs of its Members for More than 75 Years
The era of trans-Pacific air travel arrives with Pan Am’s 20-hour clipper flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. The aloha shirt is commercially mass produced and marketed. America is still mired in the Great Depression.
And a group of industrious City and County of Honolulu employees gather to charter a new credit union, seeking to help fellow workers who were not being served by the existing financial institutions. The year is 1936.
What was once known as the Honolulu City & County Employees Federal Credit Union is today Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, more than 38,000 members strong and still dedicated to the mission of “Building Lasting Relationships.”
Wallace Y. Watanabe is president and CEO of Aloha Pacific FCU – and its most senior employee, having served for nearly 40 years, first as a loan officer, then as second in charge until 1993, when he took over and assumed his current position. He has nurtured more than his share of relationships between the nonprofit APFCU and its members and watched them blossom and grow into foundations of financial strength.
“When I started at the credit union, we operated out of a small city office in Honolulu Hale with pen and paper. As times have changed, so have we. Today we employ a vast array of services – computerized technologies, remote teller systems, online and mobile banking applications – to serve members. We have more than 180 employees and 10 branches, including one in Las Vegas. We are the first and only Hawaii credit union to expand outside the state,” says Watanabe.
Wallace Y. Watanabe, President and CEO
“One of our challenges was our name change in 2007, to Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, which now reflects our wider member base. Today we have more than 1,300 Select Employee Groups – all are eligible to join our credit union ‘ohana.
“Of course, some things don’t change. The credit union has always believed in giving back – to its members and to the community. Great rates, low fees and superior services are just the start,” he says.
“We also offer annual scholarships, Family Day events, a Member Appreciation Day at the 50th State Fair, plus much more. We’ve supported several charities with fundraising and volunteer work including Aloha United Way’s school-supplies drive, Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network, Lanakila Meals on Wheels and Aloha for Japan.”
What does the future hold? Even in today’s uncertain economic climate, Aloha Pacific FCU is fiscally strong, continuing the journey that began more than 75 years ago, a journey that is steadfast in its mission to assist in the financial well-being of its members.
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