My name is Danita Wideman and I am a full-time Branch Representative at the South Branch.
After being a full-time mom for seven years, I was proud to break back into the professional industry by joining the credit union team on October 31, 2016.
My daily duties include the wonderful privilege of servicing our members with regular day-to-day transactions, introducing other products and our current promotions, managing account concerns and maintenance, opening and closing accounts, and taking care of various needs as they may arise. I’m in the process of learning to close loans, and I’m looking forward to helping our members in their financial endeavors.
My previous work experience includes office administration, accounting, and banking. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting and a Real Estate Broker’s License in the State of Illinois.
My hobbies include scrapbooking (I also teach it at a library in the suburbs) and reading. I’m very passionate about volunteering and mentoring young ladies. I absolutely love playing volleyball and I’m an avid tennis player. I’ve visited Ghana, West Africa and Honduras on missions, and I fell in love with the people I served. Outside of my faith, there is no greater passion than my family, my husband of 21 years and my two daughters, whom I love deeply. In the summer we enjoy taking bike rides on the lakefront or through our neighborhood. Our favorite local vacation spot is Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, Illinois.
The best part about working at the credit union is the wonderful team atmosphere that exists in our organization. I appreciate how readily available everyone is to teach or assist you. I’m excited to be part of the CPFCU team, as well as to be of service to our membership to make their day a little brighter.
My name is Rosemarie Kennedy and I am a Branch Representative at the North Branch.
I started working at the credit union part time in July 2015, which turned into a full time career in February 2016.
My daily responsibilities include basic account maintenance, loan auditing and disbursals, opening and closing accounts, regular day-to-day transactions, and helping members with any issue that may arise.
I am proud to have two degrees: Accounting from North Park University, and Computer Science from Northeastern University. Prior to joining the credit union team, I worked at Dominick’s for 36 years, where I started as a clerk but finished as a bookkeeper.
My hobbies include sewing and crafting. Also, my family is very sports oriented. I love watching the Cubs and Blackhawks with my three daughters, as well as attending games at Ryan Field with my husband (who is a CPD Sergeant) and cheering on the Northwestern Wildcats! Two memories I will never forget include being at my daughter’s wedding the same weekend the Cubs won the division, and watching the Cubs win the World Series last year with my entire family!
My favorite thing about working for the credit union are my wonderful co-workers. The credit union prides itself on being a close-knit family with both its employees and our members, which makes working there a very pleasant experience. I also feel grateful being able to assist police officers financially while they serve and protect our city.
My name is Akymmia Sutton and I am a Call Center Representative. I have been with the credit union for nearly a year and a half.
My daily duties include speaking with members regarding their personal share or checking accounts, as well as keeping them updated on new offers and promotions, such as balance transfers, Skip-A-Pay, interest rates, etc. I ensure members have all the information they need to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families, and I work hard to assist each member to the best of my ability.
I went to Monmouth College, a private liberal arts college, where I majored in communication with a minor in women studies. Upon graduating in 2013, I was recruited by ISAC (Illinois Student Assistant Commission) to be a financial aid specialist. Following that one-year stint, I worked for ComEd in their marketing department, as well as the Chicago Transit Authority as a bus operator. I joined the credit union in 2015.
My hobbies include spending time with my family, reading books, traveling, shopping, and makeup. I love to play volleyball, and my favorite sports team is the Chicago Bulls. One day I'm going to open up a housing complex for the homeless so they can have shelter while trying to find a job and make a better living for themselves.
My favorite thing about working for the credit union is being able to help and interact with the members as well as my co-workers.
My name is Weronika Leja and I am a part-time Branch Representative at the Midway branch.
I started working at the credit union in the summer of 2012, at which time I was also attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. By working during holiday breaks I gained exposure to the financial world as well as fine-tuned my customer service skills. My credit union duties began with basic transactions and paperwork auditing; I can now proudly disburse loans and provide suggestions to members relating to financial decisions. I take pride in the services we offer, the trust we build, and the relationships that result as part of the member experience.
I graduated from college in 2015 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Leadership Studies. I am pursuing a career in human resources with an emphasis on ensuring the progression of a business, while maintaining the satisfaction of its employees. Since the credit union was my first professional position, I am able to transfer much of what I learned here to all situations in the corporate setting.
Outside of work, I enjoy traveling to new cities with friends, singing and dancing at musical events, and watching the Chicago Blackhawks win with my dad.
Given that I live in the neighborhood, I feel really lucky to have the Midway branch in my life. My coworkers, as well as the members that come in, truly care about the well-being of each other. I enjoy that I know my members by their first names and can have real conversations with them that ultimately help the financial decisions we make together.
My name is Doniesha Stanfield and I am a Branch Representative at the South Branch.
My duties include providing excellent customer service and processing a wide variety of transactions. I have been in the financial industry since 2001 in various capacities. Additionally, I have worked in the fields of job recruitment and dental assisting. I have a passion for the financial industry and love assisting people in reaching their financial dreams.
I have a daughter who is a senior at King College Prep High school, who has hopes of pursuing a career in the dental industry.
When I am not working hard, I spend my time volunteering, something I have been doing for the past five years. One of the things I do is offer my time at a dental office that services individuals who are unable to obtain health insurance.
I’m very excited about my future with the credit union, and I hope to spend many years servicing our members and their families.
Hello, my name is Tom O'Reilly and I am a Branch Representative for the Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union.
I started working at the North Branch this March. I quite enjoy my daily duties as Branch Representative, which include processing basic transactions, solving account issues, and, overall, trying to be as helpful as I can to our members. I recently started dispersing loans, which really gives me a chance to help others on an individual basis.
I am the second of six children: I have three brothers and two sisters. I grew up on the North side of Chicago in East Rogers Park. My son, Luke, just started his junior year of high school.
If I'm not playing a sport, on an adventure with my girlfriend, or watching the Cubbies, I am probably with my family.
My whole family tried to support Chicago Police Memorial Foundation as much as possible. Whether it's volunteering, running, golfing, or you name it, we try to be there.
Being part of the Gold Star Families has shown me a different side to the Chicago Police Department. I was introduced to Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, 100 Club of Chicago, and an endless number of officers offering help when my step-father was killed in the line of duty. My siblings and I will forever be indebted for their support and assistance. When the opportunity to work for the credit union came up, I was excited. I now have the chance to return the favor.
My name is Damian Taraszka and I am the Marketing Coordinator for Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.
I started working with the credit union in 2013, at which time I was a part-time Branch Representative at the Midway Branch. In that role, my responsibilities included processing transactions, coordinating wire transfers, and disbursing consumer loans. The best part of the job has been meeting and working with many of Chicago’s Finest.
Last month I was promoted to serve as the credit union's full-time Marketing Coordinator.
I have been working since I was 15 years old. I started as a busboy at a Polish banquet hall, where I stayed for three years, followed by a one-year stint at Walgreens as a service clerk. When I was 19 years old, I realized my passion for the financial industry and that is when I took the job with CPFCU.
Since starting my career at the credit union, I have finished my Bachelor’s Degree from Saint Xavier University with a concentration in Marketing. I am humbled, excited and honored to be working in my area of study. Simultaneously, I am pursuing my M.B.A in marketing by taking night classes at Saint Xavier University.
My favorite thing about working for CPFCU is the fact that everyone is here to help, and no question is too "silly" to ask. Everyone here genuinely wants you to succeed at everything you do.
My hobbies include watching Chicago’s sports teams day in and day out. I especially love going to Wrigley Field and watching my beloved Cubbies. (THIS IS THE YEAR!) When I am not watching sports, I can usually be found cooking, collecting sports memorabilia, playing sports with my friends, or spending quality time with my girlfriend and family.
My name is Seth London and I am the Consumer Lending Manager for Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.
My responsibilities include managing the Credit Analysts and Lending Sales Representatives. I also assist our Director of Portfolio Management with any out-of-state mortgage applications or home equity loan inquiries.
The Lending Department is very busy on a daily basis. It's a rewarding position being able to help members with their financial needs, and we're constantly thinking of new products and services of value to introduce on a regular basis.
What I like best about the credit union is that each department is willing to help each other. When I started here nearly a year ago, my primary role was to supervise the Credit Analysts. That role has now expanded to supervising the Lending Sales Representative as well as taking Home Equity applications. Since I’ve started, the credit union has rolled out multiple new lending products to our members. I enjoy working on these projects and completing the testing phases before each “goes live.” Plus, I have an excellent team who strives to exceed our goals.
What led me to the credit union was that opportunity to have growth in my role and expand my duties. It's also a great honor to serve those who protect us.
Before CPFCU I worked for Quorum Federal Credit Union and Midwest Community Bank.
I have a soon-to-be six-year-old son who keeps me busy. He's an avid swimmer and is currently playing ice hockey in Rolling Meadows. Go Renegades!
My name is Kelli Swier and I am a Branch Representative at the South Branch.
I have been with Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union since January 4, 2016. Prior to working here, I served as a Branch Representative at University Federal Credit Union in Grand Forks, North Dakota, from where I moved last year due to my husband’s job.
I discovered the financial industry via a variety of jobs with various institutions over several years. When I was 18, I started working in collections, which led to customer service and eventually accounting. Four years ago, we made the decision to move from our home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Following nine months of being a stay-at-home mom, I decided to re-enter the workforce. The financial industry was a good fit for me because of my work history. I personally have always banked with Credit Unions because I appreciate the integrity and high standards they hold, and I just knew that was going to be my next step.
Currently I am focusing on gaining as much knowledge as possible about the Credit Union, my position and our products. Eventually I would like to move up the ladder and into different positions within the ranks of Chicago Patrolmen’s. One of my favorite parts of working at Chicago Patrolmen’s is talking with the members. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know them personally. As a “people person,” I like meeting and interacting with interesting individuals. One of my other favorite things about the Credit Union is the continued support and encouragement by everyone here to make your goals a reality. It is such an inspiration to set future goals. It’s awesome how the managerial staff makes it a priority to help you achieve those goals.
My proudest achievements are my kids. They are growing up to be amazing people – kind, smart and fearless. My daughter Alyssa, 14, is very artistic; she loves to draw, paint and take pictures. My son Elijah, 11, plays basketball and loves card games. We all love to play with Frank, our family pet, who is a red-footed tortoise.
My name is Dorie Kazupski and I am a Branch Representative at the Midway Branch. August will mark my one-year anniversary at the credit union. Previously, I’ve worked in retail but the bulk of my work experience was in the car rental business. There have been some adjustments considering that everything at the credit union requires a lot of focus and attention to detail.
My favorite part of my job is getting to know the members. I am part of a police family so it’s great to help police officers and their families at a convenient neighborhood branch.
I love to spend time with my family; my two sons are my absolute pride and joy. I enjoy getting everyone together and spending time in our backyard, where I have a beautiful garden full of veggies and flowers. I couldn’t ask for more! If I’m not relaxing outside, I like taking in Cubs and Blackhawks games.
In the time that I’ve been at the credit union, I’ve surprised myself with how many new things I’ve learned and have mastered. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and I’m excited to learn even more new skills and continue my career here.
My name is Vivian Silva and I am a Branch Representative at the South Branch. I have been part of the CPFCU Team for about five months. I have previous experience working at financial institutions, but this is my first time working at a credit union. I really enjoy the personal interaction with our members, working with them from start to finish. I feel like I’m able to help our members more comprehensively.
In addition to work, I also go to school at DeVry University. I’m finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management this summer and I’m considering continuing on to earn my Master’s Degree. It’s been challenging to keep up with all my coursework- especially since I have a two-year old son. Luckily, my husband has been so supportive and we really work as a team to make sure that everything gets done.
While I don’t have too much free time lately, I do enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. It’s nice to get together and have family dinners. While I’m not a picky eater, I do have some allergies that I have to watch out for, including avocado, of all things!
In the time that I’ve been at the credit union, I’ve noticed that there are tremendous opportunities available. I’m looking forward to putting my education and my work ethic towards continuing my career at the credit union!
My name is Norma Aguirre and April marks my one year anniversary at Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union! I am a Call Center Representative, which has given me the opportunity to learn a lot about the Credit Union and its offerings in a short amount of time. I have previous experience in the mortgage industry, which prepared me for the detail-oriented nature of my position. I enjoy helping people and always try to get to the root of all issues so they don't continue to occur.
Many people are surprised to find out that I'm the youngest of ten kids! All but two are still in the Chicago area and we get together every month for breakfast. I love being part of such a tight-knit family. Even when we were young, we always stuck together and looked out for one another.
I hope my two kids have a similar bond through their lifetimes. They are my proudest achievements. Both of my children are doing work that they enjoy and I'm proud to say that I helped my daughter graduate from college. I made a deal with her that I would pay half of her tuition, but only if she completed her degree! My four-year-old granddaughter is the apple of my eye. She goes to a dual-language school and it's such a treat to chat with her in both English and Spanish.
When I'm not spending time with my family, I enjoy baking and crafting. I love to work with my hands and be creative!
I'm excited to take on new duties and expand my career at Chicago Patrolmen's Federal Credit Union.
My name is Guirlaine Augustin. I am a Branch Representative at the Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union at the Central Branch location. I am a Haitian-American biologically but I have socially adopted myself into many other cultures. Being the youngest of four, I have always been faced with challenges of matching my sibling’s achievements. My parents have instilled a firm value to achieve all of your dreams including attaining an education. I love facing new challenges and developing individual goals daily.
I have a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Accounting and Bachelor of Science. This is my biggest accomplishment. Most people describe me as confident, silly and easy-going. I really enjoy volunteering within the community, traveling, laughing, dancing and spending time with my loved ones. However, my biggest fear is heights and rollercoasters. Quite often, I would sing a song to myself riding in an elevator to reduce my fear.
Everyday at the Credit Union, I have a chance to challenge myself and make a difference in our members’ lives. I do this through casual conversation and finding different ways to holistically address their needs. What I love most about my job is building rapport with our members and coworkers. Everyone has different skills and needs that compliment the skills that I have. I look forward to learning more about our members and our successful team at the Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.
My name is Caroline Fiore and I am a Branch Representative at the North Branch. I joined the CPFCU team in July of last year after working in accounting and previously in collections. While that background has provided me a strong financial service foundation, I love that my role with the credit union affords me so much opportunity to interact with our members. My days are a lot more interesting now that I spend more time with people than numbers!
My favorite thing about working here is getting to know so many police officers and their family members! It’s especially rewarding since I have police officers in my family as well.
My husband and I have two teenage kids who keep us very busy! My son is about to graduate from high school and my daughter is a sophomore. When I’m not attending various events that they’re participating in, I love spending time with my family and friends.
In the time that I’ve been at the Credit Union, I have been able to work at two different branches and I’ve learned a lot of new skills. I’m excited to continue my growth and see what else I can take on!
My name is Dave Dunham, the Chief Marketing Officer of the Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union. When our CEO, Scott Arney, invited me to come on board 11 years ago, we talked about how we would broaden the appeal of CPFCU to our membership. Recently, we talked about it again - our vision widened by 11 years of learning; our minds intrigued by the possibilities in front of us.
That vision allows me to line up alongside 70 wonderful and talented colleagues and create member experiences consistent with our CPFCU brand. We work tirelessly to help each member feel that we deliver to them the industry’s highest standard of integrity, respect and financial expertise as we help them meet their lifetime financial goals.
My highest accomplishment has been shaped by the police whom we serve. That accomplishment is watching my children grow to embrace the values that I tried to instill in them. It is expanded when I see them pass those values on to their own children. Pam and I have talked many times about how we want to positively influence the lives of our grandchildren. Eleven years ago, I thought I knew – and then I met the men and women in blue.
I have learned the meaning of character and courage from working with our police officers each day. I see your character when you willingly put your lives on the line for the benefit of individuals who condemn and oppose you, and who would willingly inflict harm upon you. You are the embodiment of courage when I see you race into live shooter situations and protect the lives and well-being of those who desperately need you. Your courage is beyond my comprehension. I want my grandchildren to grow up to be like you.
So whether you are active or retired, whether you are rural or urban, whether you have been injured on the job or whether you safely patrol the streets of Morgan Park, you are our heroes! I thank you for providing us the blueprint from which to raise our grandchildren, and may God bless, protect and prosper each one of you!
My name is Stephen James and I am a Call Center Representative at CPFCU. After graduating from Marquette University last year, I was looking for a job opportunity that would build upon my education in Finance and Economics. My aunt, who is a retired police officer, recommended I apply with the Credit Union. It’s great to be getting involved in the financial sector since the topic is so interesting to me. Economics and Finance are both subjects I hope to further study in graduate school. One part of working at the Credit Union that I really appreciate is the collaborative atmosphere between all of the employees.
Even though this is my first job, this isn’t my first time helping the police. When I was nine years old I found a gun in the bushes at a friend’s birthday party! Even at such a young age I knew it was real and I immediately got help. It turned out that the weapon had been used in an attempted shooting of a police officer. It was an experience I vividly remember to this day, and I was even recognized for it at a police ceremony! These days, I stick to helping out our members on the phone.
I’m a huge fan of live music and love catching shows around the city. The best act I’ve seen live was Iggy Pop at Riot Fest a few years ago. I’m also a big sports fan. I’m a loyal Marquette Basketball fan and I love baseball (go Sox!) and hockey as well. It was great to see the Stanley Cup Parade pass by our headquarters building this summer.
I am looking forward to continuing my career at the Credit Union!
My name is Lydia Hernandez and I am the Administrative Supervisor at CPFCU. I’ve been part of the credit union team for one year. Previously, I was an Administrative Assistant for Chicago Public Schools as well as for the City of Chicago. This has given me a lot of experience with organizing and planning.
Supervising is new for me, but it’s been a lot of fun learning about different duties and I am fortunate to have a great team that I work with. I genuinely enjoy coming in to work every day, thanks in large part to my wonderful co-workers. I also love finding ways to be more efficient. I recently wrapped up a project that will help us save money on supply orders! Projects like that make me feel accomplished at work.
In my free time I love to travel and recently visited Ft. Meyers, Florida for one of the best vacations of my life! It was the first time that I didn’t plan a busy itinerary and instead took a laid back approach. It was so relaxing and I had a great time spending some quality time with my family.
I’m interested in going back to school to develop my skills and continue my career growth. I look forward to applying my education to my role here at the credit union!
My name is Jessica Mitchell, I am a Branch Representative at the Central Branch. I joined the CPFCU team in January of this year and became a full time employee in June. Believe it or not, this is actually only my second job. My first job was at another credit union where I primarily assisted with teller duties. At CPFCU I’ve taken on additional tasks and have plenty of opportunities to learn new things like how to open accounts. My favorite things about working here are getting to know our members and all the great people I work with.
My greatest achievement in life is my two year old daughter. She cracks me up because she’s always ready for a snack and she’s not picky about food, at all. I hope she grows up to be as studious as I was. I was actually valedictorian of my 8th grade class!
In my free time I like watching Big Brother and cooking shows like MasterChef and Cutthroat Kitchen. I also enjoy spending time with my family, including my two cats: Buttons and Mittens.
I’m excited to grow into my position at the credit union and continue my career!
My name is Brad Wynn and I am the Building Engineer at Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union. I oversee and maintain all four of our buildings. I’ve been working at the credit union for six years. My prior work experience is varied but has helped me to problem solve and handle the day-to-day situations that arise when managing our locations. I worked as a diesel mechanic for some time and then was a truck driver delivering gas for various companies. I’ve also worked as a handyman which is how I got referred to the credit union. One of the biggest changes from driving is having so much interaction with my co-workers who are great to work with! I also enjoy being able to spend weekends with my family, which is another big change from driving.
My family is my greatest achievement. My daughter is a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department and my son has been part of the Chicago Police Department for 15 years in addition to being in the Air Force Reserves! My wife and I are so proud of them!
My son has two kids and my daughter has one. Spending time with the kids and grandkids is my favorite thing to do! A close second would be riding my motorcycle. I love getting out on the open road- especially when the weather is nice!
People might be surprised to know that I would love to own my own farm. I have such pleasant memories of my family’s farm growing up that I think it would be really enjoyable. I know my wife would never go for it, though!
I look forward to continuing my career at the credit union! As we consistently expand and improve there’s always a new challenge for me to focus on!
My name is Katie Spodarek and I have been part of the credit union team since December of last year. I am a Branch Representative at our South Branch location. My previous work experience has been in sales and customer service along with a brief amount of time working at a law firm. I learned solid fundamentals and developed the ability to work well under pressure. Coming from a more corporate setting has been a night and day difference. I really appreciate all my great co-workers and the personal atmosphere that we have here.
My favorite thing about my job is getting to interact with our members. They’re so much fun and great to work with. I’m proud of myself for making the transition to a financial institution. There has been a lot to learn, but I’m doing my best and I think I’m catching on pretty quick!
I know in my heart, that I’m setting a great example for my four year old daughter. She’s my greatest achievement and I couldn’t be more proud of her! She’s smart, intuitive and independent. I love seeing her determination to figure things out for herself.
My daughter and I love to watch movies and hang out with family and friends. I like taking her downtown and taking advantage of all the fun things to do in the city. I also love to bake and make cakes and cupcakes for special occasions.
As I continue my career at the credit union, I’m looking to build upon my strengths. I’m a people-person with a genuinely positive attitude. I want to develop and grow into a role that allows me to help and motivate others around me!
My name is Keri Hill and I am the Card Services Manager at CPFCU. I started my career here twelve years ago, following 14 years at United Airlines Employees Credit Union. I began in their Marketing/ Graphics Department. I then moved into the Lending Department/Call Center and found that to be a great fit for me. I carried that experience and expertise over to my first role at CPFCU: Assistant Lending Manager. After that, I took on the role of Branch Services Manager where I oversaw our ATM’s, debit & credit card programs along with other operational parts of the credit union. As our card programs have continued to grow, I now dedicate my time to the Card Services Department.
Throughout these different roles and in addition to my credit union experience, I’ve always worked in customer service capacity. I find it rewarding to work with people and provide educational information when I can. I truly enjoy helping people achieve their financial goals. I also like working with the wonderful people at CPFCU. There’s a very supportive atmosphere and people really go out of their way to help one another. Our workplace culture is very encouraging. Even if you don’t know how to do something, if you’re willing to learn, someone will take the time to help you. I think our happy employees help to ensure that we have happy members!
I recently accomplished a major goal outside of the credit union when I bought a townhouse! It’s been very satisfying and I can’t wait to really make it my own. Throughout the process, I’ve been very grateful for the help and tremendous support of my family. My parents, step-parents, sisters, nieces and nephews have all been on my side. My twin sister, who lives nearby, has been especially helpful! We are definitely twins in the truest sense. We think so much alike that we’ve showed up to events wearing the same outfits and have even gotten each other the exact same birthday cards… multiple times!
Now that I’m getting settled into my new place, I’m looking forward to pursuing some of my hobbies, like drawing and painting. At work, I look forward to being a part of the continued growth and success of the credit union!
My name is Shana Cleveland and I am a Branch Representative at the Central Branch. I joined the CPFCU team in July of 2012. Before joining the credit union, my work experience included a few seasonal jobs and plenty of school! I’m actually in law school right now and I’ve already received my Bachelors of Science in Financial Economics and my MBA. I love to learn and I’m committed to finding ways to help people.
I decided to look into working at the credit union based on a suggestion from my family. Both of my parents are Chicago Police Officers, and my dad encouraged me to stop in and see if any opportunities were available while I was job searching. It’s been a great fit since I know what police families go through and it’s fun to get to chat with so many people. I’m definitely a people-person and I enjoy getting to know our members and finding out about their lives. I also enjoy the collaborative environment here.
I need to be around people, especially since I’m interested in so many things and I can pretty much always find something in common with just about anyone! In high school, I was part of the Chess Team and in college I played softball. My most recent hobby has been golf, even though I’m still developing my abilities. I’m also an animal lover and my family just got a pit bull named Myles. He is so much fun to have around and I love playing with him!
This past summer, I was able to participate in a two week Mission trip to South Africa and it was truly a life changing experience. In the short time that I was there I painted, hung gutters, laid bricks, volunteered in schools and planted gardens to assist the local communities. It was very rewarding and confirmed my commitment to helping others. It has also guided some of my choices as I continue on with law school since human rights efforts are very important to me. As I continue with both my education and my career I know one thing for sure: I want to change the world!
My name is Jeanette Rodriguez and I am a Call Center Representative. I joined the Credit Union about five months ago and brought with me several years' of banking experience. I worked for a large bank and thus far, the only adjustment has been the change in atmosphere. I appreciate the sense of community there is not only among employees, but with our members. Larger corporations do not offer that benefit. It was great to kick off my start at the Credit Union with the annual Halloween contest. The costumes and decorations were fun to see!
While my work background is in banking, I also rely upon my education to best assist our members. I graduated from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and two minor degrees in Psychology and Latin American Latino Studies. What a lot of people don't know is that prior to my last banking job I was doing social work at an early childhood center managing cases and serving families. I've been able to apply my communication skills to the Credit Union and have enjoyed meeting our members' financial needs. Being bi-lingual also comes in handy. I speak both English and Spanish and have enjoyed surprising our members' families when I am able to speak their language and assist them.
In my free time, I simply love being with my family. We really enjoy our occasional outings around the city and movie nights complete with popcorn! My husband and I have our five year old daughter who is the light of our lives. We're currently in the plans of expanding our family and house hunting. I'm very excited about all that's coming up in the future and look forward to developing my career at the Credit Union!
My name is Jim Bedinger and I am the Chief Operations Officer at Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union. I have been with the credit union for almost 18 years and started my career here as the Data Processing Manager. When I started at the credit union, we only had share savings accounts, share certificates, consumer loans and credit cards. We did not have ATMs, checking accounts, debit cards, mortgages, or parking since we were on the second floor of a high rise in the Loop! I was promoted to Chief Operations Officer in 1999 and also served as the Chief Information Officer for several years. Previously, I had worked at a large credit union in Indianapolis. The experience I gained there allowed me to help implement many of the products and services our members were requesting when I started working at CPFCU.;
It has been great to watch the credit union expand and to be able to serve so many more members. It’s very rewarding to be a part of that growth. My favorite thing about the credit union is the people I work with and the members we serve. It is satisfying to serve primarily law enforcement professionals and their families. So many of the people I work with have been at the credit union for many years and it is great to see what we can achieve together.
One of my proudest achievements has been contributing to the success of the credit union and knowing that we are making a difference in our members’ lives. Many people do not realize that my first career choice was to be a Meteorologist. However, given the prominent use of color radar as a fundamental part of the job nowadays, it is probably best I did not pursue that, since I’m colorblind! Regardless of the maps, I still find weather fascinating and I certainly get to experience a variety here in Chicago, sometimes all on the same day!
I thoroughly enjoy traveling and seeing new places, however nothing beats a beach vacation in my opinion! My personal goal is to travel to all seven continents. I have been to all four in the Northern Hemisphere, now I have to eventually make it below the Equator.
My future goals include ensuring that the credit union will be around for many years to come so that future generations of officers will be able to enjoy a financial institution tailored to their needs. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
My name is Authurine Conn and I am a Call Center Representative. I began my career at CPFCU in March of 2012. My previous work experience was in a retail setting, so I was more hands on with money there. However, the member service aspect is very similar; it gave me a good foundation to be able to assist our members. One of the major differences is being on the phone rather than face-to-face. People are always surprised by how much we’re able to do in the Call Center! I love being able to deliver more than what is expected, when I receive a call. I really enjoy helping our members and feel like I get to know them very well, even though I’ve never seen them!
My proudest achievement so far has been getting my bachelor’s degree in Finance in May of 2011. I love working with numbers and I find the world of finance very interesting. When I’m not working I love spending time with my family. I know a lot of people may feel this way, but I really believe I have the best parents ever. They have been my inspiration. My mother is no longer with us, but she was always so loving and supportive. My dad still embodies those qualities and I’m so grateful to have him in my life. My siblings and I always try to go all out for his birthday and for Father’s Day. He deserves it! I also love spending time with my two nephews and two nieces. It’s so much fun to take them to Navy Pier, the Children’s Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry. We have a great time together and take advantage of everything the city has to offer. Lately, I’ve also been spending a lot of time with our family’s first pet, an adorable dog named Spot. He definitely keeps us all on our toes! I look forward to meeting more of our members over the phone and continuing my career at the Credit Union.
I’m Jorge Mendoza, a Senior Branch Representative at CPFCU’s South Branch. I joined the credit union in November last year, with over 12 years of experience in the banking industry. I’ve worked in both management and as a financial advisor, which has come in handy at the credit union. Another strength of mine is my military background. I spent a total of 12 years in the Navy; four years on active duty and eight years as a reservist. I always knew that I wanted to join the Navy. It was such a great experience and truly made me who I am today.
My favorite thing about CPFCU is the personal atmosphere here. It allows us to get to know our members more and understand their entire financial picture so that we can help them best. It’s very rewarding to know so many of our members on a first name basis- you don’t get that everywhere! I’ve also been impressed with how knowledgeable and reliable my co-workers are. It’s a pleasure to work with them.
In my free time I love to spend time with my wife, my 16 year old daughter and my 12 year old son. We love to travel and try to do one big family trip per year. Thanks to my time in the Navy, I can count the number of countries I have NOT been to on both hands! A couple of my favorite locations are Spain and Greece. I’m looking forward to continuing my growth taking on new challenges at the credit union!
My name is Debbie Zielinski and I’m the Branch Services Manager/ Training at CPFCU. Much of what I do is learning different processes and systems and then training my fellow employees at the credit union. I’ve been establishing and expanding this role for the past seven years, but I’ve been with the credit union for over 13 years! I started out my career here as the Data Processing Manager. I began to see a need for more in-house training and I decided to pursue that path. Even though I had never done anything like this before I feel like I’ve found the perfect fit-I truly love what I do for two main reasons! Part of what makes my job enjoyable is that I’m an explorer. I love finding out how and why things are done which of course makes it easier to train others. I think my co-workers appreciate that I take their questions seriously and will always find them answers and solutions.
The other piece of my job that makes it so rewarding is the feeling of family. People care about each other and are very supportive. In my role I interact with every single employee at some point, so it’s great to know that I work with such a wonderful group of people!
If you’ve met me or spoken with me on the phone you may have guessed that I didn’t grow up in Chicago. Everyone always wants to know about my accent. For the record: I am originally from Tennessee and I still get season tickets for Tennessee football and basketball every year! My husband humors me even though he’s a born-and-bred Chicagoan. We both are big sports fans in general.
I’m looking forward to being a part of the new opportunities that are on the horizon for employees and members!
I’m Kinga Leja and I am a Branch Representative at CPFCU. I’ve worked here part-time for almost three and a half years. My previous experience includes two years at a bank. I decided to apply at the credit union while I was going to school at Harrington College of Design since it was much closer and more convenient. I worked here while I was studying Interior Design. During my last year of school, I had to complete an internship and was able to work with the Facilities Manager for CPFCU’s buildings. That developed into a full time position where I’m able to put my design education to good use. That being said, I still work for the credit union as well since it’s been such a rewarding job for me.
My proudest moment was when I received my Bachelors Degree. As the first in my family, I knew that I was setting a good example and I already see that people are inspired by my success. I’m even thinking about going back to school to study business or economics.
I’m a huge Blackhawks fan and love watching games with my dad! People may be surprised to learn that I collect old money- especially old coins. My hobby started when I was around 12 years old and received a penny from 1906. That got me interested in all the different designs and styles of coins and bills throughout the years. I’ve built up quite the collection since then.
I look forward to continuing my Interior Design career, helping out at the credit union as much as I can and building up my coin collection!
My name is Korey Martinez and I am the Senior Accountant at CPFCU. I have been at the credit union for almost 7 years. My work experience has revolved mainly in Accounting and Finance. My previous employer, a Public Relations firm, exposed me to financial statements, budgeting and public speaking. I was part of a team that consisted of 30 employees and I provided financial updates for the group. When I started at CPFCU I was ecstatic to bring in my experience to the company. In the Accounting/Finance world, we have a different approach in delivering a message to the employees and members. We use numbers to tell the story and identify how effective our products and services are to the credit union and our members.
It is a privilege to work for those who serve and protect our city. I enjoy working with the Accounting Department. We are a very dedicated group of individuals that love what we do.
During my spare time I like to be involved with the community that watched me grow. I am a member of the Leadership and Development Group at St. Joseph Parish located in the Back of the Yards community. One of the biggest accomplishments for me was to award 11 applicants with the HOPE Scholarship. The vision through this project is for students to never lose hope and follow their career goals. Education is Power! I know from experience because one of my proudest moments came in December 2012 when I graduated with an MBA in Finance. I am excited to use my education to continue my career growth at CPFCU.
I also LOVE to run. I am a member of Chi City Running Club. We run through the streets of Bridgeport and Pilsen. I am proud to say that I will be running my first Marathon in October 2014!
My name is Leslie Pasiewicz and I am the Chief Human Resources Officer at CPFCU. I have been at the credit union for almost 14 years and had considerable experience in the financial industry before that. At my previous employer, a large national bank, I worked my way up from a teller position to a corporate title where I managed multiple departments. My time there gave me a lot of insight into management, human resources and the banking world.
However, when I started at the credit union I was still surprised by one thing: the credit union approach. We treat everyone as a person, not a number which allows us to truly help our members. That is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Another thing I take a lot of pride in is helping to nurture the careers of my fellow employees. I am the first contact person for many of our employees and I love seeing their careers blossom and develop. I feel very fortunate to work with such a great group of people!
I am also thankful to have a wonderful and supportive husband, four bright, responsible daughters and (so far) five amazing grandchildren! I love spending time with them- especially getting outdoors. While I love any time outside I especially love getting to the beach. No matter where we head to, I always find time to look up at the clouds. Sunsets are especially beautiful. It’s the most serene and calming sight. My kids like to tease me about it, but I’ll always look to the sky when I need to clear my head.
I look forward to the credit union’s ongoing growth and continuing to serve both our members and our employees through my work.
My name is Margaret Zalewski and the 17th of this month marks my one year anniversary at the credit union. I am a Branch Representative at our Midway location which is right in my neighborhood. When my husband, who is a detective with the Chicago Police Department, heard that CPFCU was going to be opening a branch in the area he suggested that I apply. My position is a great fit for my degree in Finance, and builds on my previous work experience at a family owned jewelry company. I took on a variety of tasks at that job- everything from repairs to payroll! When the owners of the store retired I took some time to focus on my family. My husband and I have two wonderful kids and I got to spend more time with them and I got involved with their sports board at school. I even got the boys’ volleyball team started at their school. Now that I’m back to work, I still cheer on their sports teams as well as all of the Chicago teams!
I grew up in the city and with all of my Chicago pride; some people might be surprised to learn that I was actually born in Poland! I find it very rewarding to work with people and I love when I can help find solutions. I’m looking forward to learning more about IRAs and loans, so that I can assist even more members!
Since this article was published, Margaret has been promoted to Senior Branch Representative!
My name is Therese Keenan. When I first walked into the credit union, at Lake and Wabash, it was June of 1969. I had been referred by the Treasurer, Paul Byrne, who was my father’s first cousin. I come from a big police family – my grandfather Sergeant Peter Byrne was one of the first mounted officers in Chicago, so I was excited at the chance to work for a credit union that served the police.
I thought I was there for an interview, so you can imagine my surprise when the first question was “Did you bring your lunch?” Apparently it was my first day! I started right away and learned all that was required to be a teller and more. The biggest challenge was calculating interest, which we had to do by hand for every transaction! I started out making $60 a week. After taxes I took home $45 cash (yes, cash) per week in a little manila envelope.
I worked hard to keep building my career and learned as much as I could across many departments. With my experience and knowledge of the credit union, I was able to land a job in the IT Department, which was then called “The Computer Room.” Then in 1978 I left the credit union when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first son after eight years of marriage. We were blessed with two more beautiful children in the years that followed. In 1984 I got a call about a position that was going to be available in IT. This call couldn’t have come at a better time since my husband and I were looking at the challenge of Catholic school tuition! When I came back I noticed that a lot had changed. One of the big improvements was the ability to offer payroll deduction. I was especially proud since my sister Mary Ann Galeher, who also worked at the credit union, played a huge role in getting that started. She even designed the blue payroll deduction forms that are still being used today!
Since then I’ve seen plenty of other improvements and growth at the credit union. What I wasn’t expecting was to completely change my role here. In 2009 I was offered the opportunity to go into Marketing. It was different from all my work experience. At the time I was really hesitant to make the leap. However, I realized that it would be a great opportunity to use my knowledge and experience to share my enthusiasm for all that the credit union has to offer.
I accepted the offer and I’m so glad I did. My role has grown and now a lot of my time is spent at police roll calls, outings and events. It’s really rewarding to go to different locations and share with others all that the credit union has to offer.
I’ve been fortunate to enjoy so much success and fulfillment in my career. However my proudest achievements are my children and their families, especially my beautiful and talented grandkids. Did I mention I love to dance? At any moment I am prepared.
My name is Fawn Larsen and I work for First Chicago Mortgage Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union. I’ve been a Mortgage Representative here for eight years, and I’ve worked in the mortgage industry since 1993. I love helping our members find solutions, and I find it especially rewarding when I work with young couples or first-time home buyers. I enjoy that I can help them achieve such an important milestone in their lives. I also have a personal connection to our members, since my father was a Chief of Police in suburban St. Louis. I really appreciate the chance to give back to those who serve and protect.
I graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. I am licensed with the state of Illinois and I do yearly classes to stay current.
I’m a huge Chicago White Sox fan and was a ball girl for six seasons! My husband and I still love to go to games- if there’s a Sox game going on, chances are I’m there! I’m also an animal lover and I have two cats: Hank and Beck.
I’m looking forward to continuing to find mortgage solutions for our members. I’m proud to say that we’re currently expanding our offerings and improving our online application to make the process even easier. I look forward to meeting and assisting more of our members and continuing my growth in the industry.