An Interview with Carol A. Allen – President and CEO of People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union (PAFCU)
Tell us about how you started.
My employment with People’s Alliance began as a part time summer job in 1988. Instead of leaving at the end of the summer, I was offered the opportunity to continue part time while in college as well as between semesters. Upon graduation, with a degree in Accounting from Hofstra, I was given a full time job in the Accounting Department. Through the years, I progressed to management positions in Accounting and Finance, leading to the Chief Financial Officer position. In 2009, I was promoted to Executive Vice President/COO. Two years later, upon the retirement of our long time President/CEO, I was appointed to the position.
Tell us how PAFCU started.
People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union started in 1940 when a group of Pan Am employees joined together to form a credit union. Through the years, regulations were changed enabling credit unions to diversify and add more groups to their field of membership. As a result we have added more companies to our field of membership and also merged other credit unions into ours.
What was a turning point for you/your company?
After the closure of our main sponsor company, Pan American World Airways in 1991, we were faced with many challenges and felt the pressure from our regulators to merge. In order to survive we needed to close branch locations and reduce staff size. By 1995, our assets size decreased in half. Our credit
union made many difficult decisions but our executive team remained committed to work together for our credit union’s future. This experience made us stronger and taught us that if you set your mind to it and work hard enough you can persevere.
What is your philosophy at PAFCU?
I believe our staff is our most important asset, and therefore, place the importance of providing them the tools to be successful as a top priority. When a new employee starts we welcome them to our family. We want to keep employees motivated and to treat them well. I think this is why we have many long tenured employees. Our strength comes from our employees knowing our members and giving them a very high level of personalized service.
Tell us about your company’s profile today.
As we celebrate our 75th anniversary we are proud of our heritage. We now have nine locations, including our headquarters in Hauppauge. We have over 38,000 members and serve over 400 different companies and select geographic areas. We moved our main office to the Hauppauge Industrial Park in 1990 and anyone that works in the industrial park will appreciate the time saved utilizing our convenient location and can bank with us for all their financial needs.
What opportunities do you see in the future?
As consumers continue to become more aware of who and what credit unions are, we have the potential to assist them with our product offerings and services. Our opportunity for growth is huge, especially considering the growing use of technology for delivery of financial services. Home banking, e-statements and electronic bill paying, combined with direct deposit and ATM usage, make it easy and efficient for us to expand our reach.
PAFCU AT A GLANCE:
- Comprises 400+ Select Employer Groups (SEGs)
- Professionally managed and staffed
- Federally regulated and insured
- Federally and independently examined each year
- Every member account federally insured by NCUA, a U.S. Government Agency to at least $250,000
- Once a member, always a member
- $240 million in assets
- A member base of 38,000 national and worldwide
For more information on Carol Allen and PAFCU, call 631-434-3500 or visit www.pafcu.org