In 1953, the U of C Federal Credit Union was founded on the steps of Macky Auditorium with 12 members and less than $100 in assets. We offered savings accounts and personal loans to faculty and staff at CU Boulder.
In the ensuing decades, we grew to serve other membership groups in the greater Boulder County community, merging with Boulder Standards Federal Credit Union in 1988, thus enabling the credit union to serve the Department of Commerce labs including NOAA and NIST. In 1992, we merged with the Student Credit Union on campus allowing us to provide banking services to an entirely different membership group at the University of Colorado. We opened a branch in Lafayette in 1990, and the readers of the Boulder Daily Camera awarded us with our first “Boulder County Gold Award” for Best Financial Institution in 1999, the first of many awards to come.
As we continued to thrive, we stayed focused on providing our members with financial solutions, education, and expert advice.
New Name, Same Values
We changed our name to Elevations Credit Union in 2006, while serving a growing membership with five branches in our Front Range communities, including Longmont and Lafayette. Our charter also shifted from federal to state, giving us the opportunity to offer membership based on counties in Colorado, not just based on select employee groups.
In 2010, we merged with Longs Peak Credit Union in Loveland, and the following year we merged with St. Vrain Valley Credit Union in Longmont. In 2012, we grew further as we expanded our field of membership to include Adams and Larimer Counties. Our “Branch 2.0” model was launched in 2013 in Louisville and Loveland, featuring a consultative, comfortable atmosphere. This same model was brought to our first Fort Collins branch, which opened in 2014.
The Quest for Excellence
In 2009, while the country struggled through the recession, Elevations established a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the only presidential award for performance excellence and our path to world class member service. No other credit union had ever achieved this award, and at the time only three other Colorado companies had garnered this recognition.
Winning the Baldrige is not for the faint of heart. It requires years of hard work, with a focus on service quality and continuous improvement. There have been only 102 Baldrige recipients since 1988 out of more than 1,600 applications.
In 2013, we won the Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence Peak Award, the state level predecessor allowing an organization to become eligible for a Baldrige application. In November of 2014, our President and CEO, Gerry Agnes, received a personal call from U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, letting us know that we had done it. We were one of only four 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winners.
A Continuous Focus on Service
In the business world, receiving the Baldrige Award is a tremendous achievement. But for us, it’s really a testament to the passion and commitment we bring to our role in the lives of our members and the communities we serve.
In 2015, we expanded further to provide financial solutions to members in Denver, Jefferson and Weld Counties. We had quickly become one of the largest financial institutions in our markets, serving the Front Range of Colorado from the Denver metro area to the Wyoming border.
At Elevations, we’re on a never-ending quest to improve ourselves, our processes, our products and our service. Our loyal and growing base of satisfied members is the real reward. That is, and always will be, how we ultimately measure our success.
A Quick Look Back
1953 – U of C Federal Credit Union was founded on the steps of Macky Auditorium
1973 – Reached 5,000 total members
1978 – Constructed first free-standing branch on Baseline Road in Boulder
1988 – Merged with Boulder Standards Federal Credit Union
1990 – Surpassed $100 million in assets and opened a branch in Lafayette
1992 – Merged with Student Credit Union
2002 – Surpassed $500 million in assets
2006 – Name changed to Elevations Credit Union
2008 – Opened three new branches to serve Broomfield, Westminster, Erie and Longmont
2009 – Reached 80,000 members
2010 – Merged with Longs Peak Credit Union
2011 – Merged with St. Vrain Valley Credit Union
2012 – Expanded field of membership to include Adams and Larimer Counties
2013 – Reached over 100,000 members and $1 billion in assets, and opened new branches in Louisville and Loveland
2014 – Received Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and opened first branch in Fort Collins, for a total of 11 branches serving Colorado’s Front Range
2015 – Expanded field of membership to include Denver, Jefferson and Weld Counties and named one of the Best Companies to Work For in Colorado by the Colorado Society for Human Resource Management
2016 – Reached over 119,000 members and $1.7 billion in assets. For the second year in a row, named one of the Best Companies to Work For in Colorado by the Colorado Society for Human Resource Management.