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Our Mission: Redbrand Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit, financial cooperative. Our continuing goals are to promote thrift and to provide the highest quality, competitive services and benefits for our members.

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The credit union philosophy of people helping people has been in practice for more than a century. In 1849, Fredric Wilhelm Raiffeisen, of Flammersfield, Germany, devised a credit union concept to help his townspeople combat poverty and usury. His efforts were based on the premise that members could save money together and make loans to each other at a low interest rate. Before Raiffeisen’s death, he organized 423 credit unions throughout Germany.

A French-Canadian journalist, Alphonse Desjardins, introduced the credit union idea to North America in 1900. Troubled by the economic problems of his friends and neighbors, Desjardins established a credit union in his home. Based on the success, he established many other credit unions.

Two Americans were influenced by Desjardins efforts: Pierre Jay and Edward A Filene. While on a world tour in 1907, Edward A Filene, a wealthy Boston merchant, observed a credit union in operation in India. He was so impressed; he helped pass the first general state credit union act. With this action, Filene began a 30-year crusade to establish credit unions in the country. Filene is known as the Father of the United States Credit Union Movement.

In 1921, Roy Bergengren, an associate of Edward Filene, lobbied across the country to pass credit union laws. In 1934 Bergengren was instrumental in creating the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). CUNA was formed as a confederation of state associations (leagues). It represents credit unions as a voice in Washington, D.C. and provides training, data processing, insurance services, and business forms to credit unions nationwide.

Redbrand Credit Union logo     In the fall of 1951, two Keystone employees, James Mahannah, Sr. and Edward C (Clay) Feldman learned about a credit union that was operating as Corn Products in Pekin. After contacting them, they concluded that having a credit union for Keystone employees would be a great idea. They presented their idea to Keystone’s president, Dan Sommer, who agreed to the formation of a credit union.

Dan Sommer suggested the name of Redbrand, after Keystone’s fence, but spelled as one word instead of two. We were formally organized with a State of Illinois charter and went into operation on February 12, 1952. Our office was located in a back room at Keystone’s Employment Building and additional space was provided in 1953. The cost to join the credit union was $5.00 per share and a $0.25 membership fee. We had 700 members initially. By the end of our first year, we had over 1200 members and assets of $203,600.

It wasn’t until January 1956 that we had a full time Credit Union Manager. Clay Feldman, who previously served as Board President and Board Treasurer, became the Manager upon retirement from Keystone. When Clay retired from the credit union in 1978, Ron Alexander became Redbrand’s Treasurer/Manager. Ron served until his death in July 1988. At that time, Anna May Nichols was named President/Manager, a position in which she held until her retirement in 2011. Kelly Whitaker became President/Manager in Spring of 2011.

Several significant changes came about which influenced the development of our credit union. The by-laws were amended in October 1953 to permit retired Keystone employees to join the credit union. In 1958, the by-laws were again amended to allow credit union employees to become members. Much later in 1986, the Peoria County School Employees Credit Union merged into Redbrand Credit Union. In 1996, Redbrand’s charter expanded to include anyone living or working in Peoria County. Most recently, in 2001 Pekin Area Credit Union merged into Redbrand, expanding the charter to include anyone living or working in Pekin, North Pekin, South Pekin, or Marquette Heights (zip codes 61554 & 61564).

Shortly after opening, we found the space in the back of Keystone’s employment building to be inadequate. In May of 1956, we began to study the idea of having our own credit union building. One very acceptable site was at Collier and Washington Street. Due to Keystone’s generosity, we leased the land for twenty years at a total cost of $1.00 per year. We occupied our new quarters in 1957. In March 1962, we added a 31’ X 66’ addition to our Bartonville office. After 20 years we renewed our lease for the same price and in 1983 we exercised our option to purchase.

In 1987 we expanded with the addition of a branch office located at the corner of Lake & Knoxville in Peoria, then moved in 1996 to a new building at 201 E Lake Street. After 25 years in the area of Lake & Knoxville, the Peoria branch was relocated to 7730 N Grand Prairie Dr at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie in the fall of 2012.

The year 1989 was a growth year and overcrowding in the main office accompanied this growth. Addressing the issue, the Board Of Directors authorized the installation of a drive-up facility in 1990, located at Washington and Peru Streets.

In 2001, with the Pekin Area Credit Union merger, we opened a Pekin office at 2910 Court Street.

Expansion continued and in 2005 Redbrand broke ground on a new main facility at 820 McKinley, in Bartonville. This facility was opened March of 2006.

Federally Insured
by the NCUA

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