Altura Credit Union

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Altura Credit Union
Credit union
Industry Financial services
Founded 1957
Headquarters 2847 Campus Pkwy Riverside, California, United States
Area served
Riverside County
Key people
Mark Hawkins, President/CEO
Products Savings; checking; consumer loans; mortgages; credit cards; investments
Services Online banking, mobile banking, web bill pay, Apple Pay, PopMoney, online & mobile loan applications
Website alturacu.com

Altura Credit Union is the largest credit union headquartered in Riverside County, California, United States, licensed by the California Department of Financial Institutions and insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Altura Credit Union offers a wide range of financial products and services including: checking and savings accounts, online banking and web bill pay, mobile banking, Apple Pay, PopMoney, new and used vehicle loans, home mortgages, online and mobile loan applications, and more. The credit union is also part of a network that allows members to conduct financial transactions at 5,200 shared branches (CU Service Centers) and fee-free access to more than 30,000 ATMs (CO-OP Financial Services).

Altura Credit Union History[edit]

Altura was founded in 1957 by two school employees in Riverside, Calif., as Riverside Schools Credit Union. Founded to serve the financial needs of school district employees, in 1998 it merged with Riverside County Federal Credit Union, which served employees of Riverside County to become Riverside County's Credit Union. Over time, it grew to become, and remains today, the largest credit union headquartered in Riverside County.

In 2004, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include Riverside and San Diego counties and selected cities in San Bernardino and San Diego counties. To better reflect its expanding geographic service area, Riverside County's Credit Union changed its name to Altura Credit Union, on October 1, 2004. Publicity for the name change said "Our new name means height, elevation, altitude."

Pronounced "all-TOUR-ah," the name was accompanied by a new logo, design elements and brand identity. The colors reflect the water, agriculture and mountains of the Southern California communities served by Altura Credit Union.

Merger with Visterra Credit Union[edit]

Altura Credit Union and Visterra Credit Union, both based in Riverside County, Calif., announced their intention to merge their financial institutions on Feb. 19, 2015. The announcement cited a desire to better serve the needs of their combined members. The merger was finalized on Aug. 1, 2015, which created a $1.1 billion credit union with 118,000 Members.[1] At the time of the announcement, Altura Credit Union, headquartered in Riverside, Calif., had $757.3 million in assets and nearly 84,000 Members. Visterra Credit Union, headquartered in Moreno Valley, Calif., had $335.6 million in assets and approximately 34,000 Members. On March 1, 2016, Altura completed the final piece of the merger process - the conversion of the its core systems.

Membership[edit]

Altura Credit Union's field of membership is set by the California Department of Financial Institutions. Membership in Altura is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Riverside and San Diego counties, plus the residents of selected cities in Orange County [Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, and Santa Ana] and San Bernardino County [Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, and Fontana]. In August 2015, Altura completed a merger with Moreno Valley-based Visterra Credit Union. Altura integrated Visterra's membership guidelines, and expanded its membership to U.S. military, U.S. government and civilian employees working at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, and retirees of the U.S. Armed Forces.

College Scholarship Program[edit]

In 1993, Altura Credit Union established a College Scholarship program. Any student graduating from a Riverside County high school, public or private, is eligible to apply. Since the program's inception, the Altura Foundation has awarded $526,950 in college scholarships to 586 Riverside County high school seniors to assist in their pursuit of higher education. Additionally, students also can apply for the Bonnie Gail Polis Educational Endowment and the Terry Ferrone Memorial Scholarship. In 2016, the Altura Board of Directors created two new endowments through the Altura Foundation: The Altura Board of Directors Educational Endowment and the Dr. Linda Wisher Educational Endowment in honor of the long-time Altura Board member who passed away in 2016. The Wisher Endowment awarded its first scholarship in 2016.

Community Commitment[edit]

Altura is a community-based financial institution serving Riverside County and the greater Inland Empire. Altura contributes to non-profit, charitable, educational, military support, police, public service and business support organizations throughout the Inland Empire. In addition to monetary contributions, employees are encouraged to support their favorite organizations by volunteering their time. In 2015, Altura donated $250,000 to local organizations..

Branch locations[2][edit]

Altura Credit Union operates 13 branch locations and 52 Altura-branded ATMs in Riverside County. Altura members also have access to over 5,200 shared branching locations and 30,000 free ATMs nationwide.

City of Riverside:

  • Riverside Avenue at 6403 Riverside Ave.
  • 14th Street at 3451 14th St.
  • Magnolia Avenue at 10725 Magnolia Ave.
  • Canyon Springs at 2692 Canyon Springs Parkway, Suite C
  • University Avenue at 1616 University Ave.

City of Moreno Valley:

  • Cactus at 23540 Cactus Ave.
  • Stoneridge at 27130 Eucalyptus Ave., Suite E

City of Murrieta:

  • Murrieta at 40412 Murrieta Hot Springs Road

City of Corona:

  • Corona South at 2331 Compton Ave.
  • Lincoln at 650 S. Lincoln Ave., Suite 101

Desert Region:

  • Rancho Mirage at 36101 Bob Hope Drive
  • Indio at 81096 Highway 11
  • West Hemet at 320 S. Sanderson Ave., Hemet

AutoExpert[edit]

Altura Credit Union operates one subsidiary company. Auto Expert[3] is an automotive locating and buying service that assist Altura's members (as well as members of 11 partner credit unions) in searching for their next pre-owned and/or new vehicle. Their services are very similar to their competitor Autoland in Southern California. In 2007, AutoExpert was honored with California Awards for Performance Excellence (CAPE) Gold Award.[4] It is the California equivalent of he Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. CAPE recognizes organizations that demonstrate superior performance in seven key business areas including leadership; strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement and knowledge management, human resources, process management and business results.

History[edit]

In the late 1950s, Peggy Green, a secretary at Riverside Middle School, decided that classified school employees needed a credit union of their own. Her husband was a teacher, and belonged to a teacher’s credit union, but only certificated employees could join – membership was not available if the person was classified. In October 1956, she invited other school secretaries to a meeting to organize a credit union for classified personnel within the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD).

On August 22, 1957, they were granted a state charter as Riverside City Schools Employees Credit Union, listing the following six organizers: Ethel C. Collier, Louise Bailey, Ruth C. Klock, Frank W. Meyer, George W. Peters, and Charles Sandell. Ethell Collier handled the business from her desk at the RUSD payroll office. The credit union moved to a portable building at Palm School, and then to its own office on Brockton Avenue. On March 1, 1973, set up its headquarters and main branch at 6403 Riverside Ave., Riverside, which continues as a branch location today. In 1981 opened a branch office in Cathedral City, followed by the Corona in 1986, Moreno Valley in 1992, and the Member Service Center in 1995, which is now called the Operations & Technology Center.

Altura Credit Union milestones:

  • 1957 Charter granted for Riverside City Schools Employees Credit Union to serve Riverside Unified School District classified employees.
  • 1963 Charter enlarged to include all school employees of Riverside County, changed the name o Riverside Schools Credit Union Charter and expanded to include certificated employees
  • 1965 Reached $1 million in assets
  • 1973 Moved to Riverside Avenue location
  • 1984 Opened 10,000th account; began offering VISA card
  • 1988 Mark Hawkins replaced Shirley Barden as President; reached $40 million in assets
  • 1989 Changed name to Riverside County Schools Credit Union
  • 1992 Established RCSCU’s own ATM network
  • 1993 College Scholarship Program initiated
  • 1995 Opened Member Service Center; reached $100 million in assets; RCSCU Foundation (for scholarships) approved by the IRS; introduced VISA Check Card
  • 1998 Riverside County Schools Credit Union merged with Riverside County Federal Credit Union to form Riverside County’s Credit Union; $250 million in assets and 60,000 members.
  • 2004 Changed name to Altura Credit Union
  • 2005 Altura welcomed its 100,000th member
  • 2006 Awarded a 2006 California Award for Performance Excellence (CAPE) Silver Award, California's equivalent of the national Baldrige Quality Award
  • 2006 AutoExpert, an Altura subsidiary, is awarded a 2006 California Award for Performance Excellence (CAPE) Silver Award, California's equivalent of the national Baldrige Quality Award
  • 2007 AutoExpert, an Altura subsidiary, is awarded a 2007 California Award for Performance Excellence (CAPE) Gold Award, California's equivalent of the national Baldrige Quality Award
  • 2011 Altura Credit Union wins the Marketing Association of Credit Unions Gold Award for advertising campaign[5]
  • 2012 Altura was named the “Favorite Credit Union” by readers of The Press-Enterprise newspaper in its 17th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
  • 2014 Highlanders Sports Properties of Learfield Sports, the multimedia rights partner of the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and Highlander Athletics, announced a new, four-year exclusive partnership with Altura Credit Union, giving Altura an unprecedented presence on the UCR campus inclusive of Highlander Spirit Debit Cards, in-game promotions and venue branding, and the SRC Arena ATM.
  • 2014 Altura Credit Union was named one of the best places to work in the Inland Empire by the largest local newspaper, The Press-Enterprise.
  • 2015 In February, Altura Credit Union announced intent to merge with Moreno Valley-based Visterra Credit Union, which served military and civilian employees of March Air Reserve Base and military retirees
  • 2015 The San Jacinto Education Foundation named Altura Credit Union the 2015 Business of the Year in recognition of its creation and sponsorship of the local Student of the Month program.
  • 2015 Ofelia Valdez-Yeager was elected Chairman of the Altura Credit Union Board of Directors becoming the first woman to hold that title in the credit union’s history.
  • 2015 Altura Credit Union announced they will once again offer 1st mortgages to members
  • 2015 Altura Credit Union completed its merger with Visterra Credit Union on Aug. 1, 2015
  • 2016 Long-time Altura President & CEO Mark Hawkins announced in May that he will retire in February 2017 after 29 years of service to the credit union.[6]

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