Ascentra Credit Union Puts People Before Profits
“We put people before profits.” That’s what Ascentra Credit Union, a financial cooperative that has served the Quad City region for over sixty years, promises its members. But that people-centric philosophy extends far beyond mere business practices. Since its inception, Ascentra has fostered a culture of giving—most recently with the creation of the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation.
For over twenty years, Ascentra was led by Paul Lensmeyer, a committed philanthropist and community service advocate in addition to company president and CEO. When he passed away unexpectedly in 2013, a life insurance policy that would normally be used to search for a successor did not need to be used in that fashion as Paul was already grooming his successor and current President & CEO Dale Owen.
It didn’t take long for the leaders at Ascentra to decide where to allocate the funds. Inspired by Lensmeyer’s generosity, the company used the money to form the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation, an endowment and charitable giving fund that benefits the entire Quad City region.
Throughout the past year, Ascentra donated more than $150,000 to various local organizations in Lensmeyer’s name. Over time, the company decided it wanted to be more strategic in its giving. That’s when it approached the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend. The two organizations are now working together to achieve their shared goal of bettering youth education, financial literacy, and other community development. In fact, their collaboration represents the Community Foundation’s largest corporate partnership to date, with a $1.75 million endowment for corporate philanthropy and a $250,000 non-endowed fund for additional grants.
By giving back to the community in such a tangible way, Ascentra proves it really does put people before profits—starting with its own former CEO, and extending all the way to the ends of the greater Quad City region.
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