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12-year volunteer at Arsenal honored upon her retirement from the board

Arsenal News
12-year volunteer at Arsenal honored upon her retirement from the board

Peggy Haberberger shares a few words after being presented with an award from Arsenal President/CEO Linda Allen at this year’s annual meeting.

In recognition of serving the credit union a dozen years without pay, including chairing the supervisory committee for six years, serving as board secretary for three years and board treasurer for one year, Peggy Haberberger was presented with an Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award on April 18 at Arsenal’s annual membership meeting. During a couple of those years, she served a dual role on the supervisory committee and the board.

Board directors establish policies that guide the operation of the credit union, and their decisions are made in the best interests of all members rather than trying to carry out personal agendas. Supervisory committee members operate independently of the board and staff to ensure the credit union manages its assets and conducts operations in a safe and fiscally responsible manner.

Haberberger became a member of Arsenal and was given an opportunity to serve on its board as an associate director in late 2006 when St. John’s Credit Union in Imperial merged into Arsenal. She previously had served as board treasurer at St. John’s, a tiny ($320,000-asset) credit union, for four years.

“My first year on ACU’s Board (when the credit union had $109 million in assets) was an eye opener. I had no idea that credit unions were so involved in the communities they served,” Haberberger said. “Just about everybody who works or volunteers at Arsenal is active in helping the community through their involvement with local non-profits – from cooking dinner at the VA hospital for family visiting a hospitalized vet, to sponsoring and staffing paper shredding days, to going to local schools teaching the value of saving.”

Arsenal, which has grown to $242.5 million in assets, is also committed to its membership, she added, noting that it helps many young people finance their first car.

Unlike for-profit banks, Arsenal is structured as a not-for-profit organization and, as such, relies on members to serve in volunteer positions. This helps keeps costs down and enables the credit union to give more back to members in the form of better rates and lower fees. Members who step forward to serve are not motivated by money but to give back and feel good about what they do. Volunteers like Haberberger are elected to their positions by membership and are considered the “backbone” of the credit union. By contrast, board directors in banks are appointed with no customer involvement, and they are paid.

“ACU strives for and values a board that is diverse in age, education, careers, ethnicity and gender. All of this diversity is needed in order to keep a pulse on the financial needs of the community they are serving,” she noted. “I was fortunate to be able to sit on the board and get to know the board members, staff and management of ACU. I urge and recommend becoming a member of ACU and applying to serve on the board.”

In the past, Haberberger sat on the South County YMCA Board of Advisors for two years and served on the finance committee at St. John Catholic Church for 10 years.

In 2010 she retired from her job as the financial manager at Graybar Electric Company, Inc., after a 29-year career there.