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Hawaii's Top Employers 2013: Hawaii State Federal Credit Union

Front row: Rozelie Guiking, Melanie Yoneda 2nd Row: Lilian Barsana, Gidget Sigala Blackerby, Betsy Weatherford 3rd row: Charlene Abihai, Genesis Nicklaw Top Row: Roland Ogoshi, James Barber, Mel Ito

Banks are all about money. At least, traditionally, they are. But for Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, the goal is not to make a profit, but rather to help others.

“Unlike most traditional banks, Hawaii State FCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that is owned by our members,” says Patricia Hao, the company’s VP of Human Resources. “When the credit union makes a profit, those profits are shared among the members. Due to this unique structure, our employees are empowered to make decisions that make the best financial sense for our members.”

Employees revel in this empowerment as it makes their work both challenging and rewarding. It’s no wonder, then, that of the company’s 212 employees, a significant percentage have been with the team for 10 years or more.

“We have seen each other through good and bad times, and we know each others’ families and friends,” Hao says. “We have laughed, celebrated, cried and mourned together, and we know each others’ strengths and weaknesses. We value our professional relationships but recognize the importance of taking the time to enjoy our family and friends.”

Hawaii State FCU embraces this people-focused perspective and holds annual traditions serving the community. The company and its employees put their efforts toward supporting various organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association – Aloha Chapter, Hawaii State FCU’s own ‘Cheer on Wheels’ program for seniors, the Kapolei Rotary Club School Supply Drive, LifeSmarts high-school life-skills competition and also the company’s own scholarship program.

Within the credit union, as well as with other credit unions, the corporate culture operates under a “people-helping-people” ideal.

“We pride ourselves on our internal and external service, and have a program to support our service culture called ACE (A Commitment to Excellence),” Hao says. “Employees are given opportunities to give immediate recognition to coworkers who go above and beyond their job, and management also have ACE certificates for on-the-spot recognition of outstanding performance.”

Employees may redeem these certificates for rewards periodically throughout the year. Employees and management are also encouraged to submit surveys to acknowledge outstanding behavior by their peers. Then, a committee reviews the surveys and selects two recipients for the “STAR of the Quarter” award.

Hawaii State FCU also provides competitive compensation and benefits, training and a healthy work environment. But above all, the company stresses putting people first.

“Our employees take pride in being part of an institution whose responsibility is to help people, not make a profit,” Hao says. “We are a service-oriented credit union with an emphasis on building and maintaining strong relationships.”   


(808) 447-8078
560 Halekauwila Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

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