Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

New neighbors on the block


March 15, 2018

Lois E. Johnson

From left, Kate Mason, marketing manager; Barb Brown, president and CEO; and Terry Burn, vice president of lending and overseer of the Moose Lake branch of the Northwoods Credit Union.

Northwoods Credit Union of Cloquet is opening a new branch in Moose Lake on March 19. This is the first branch to be located outside of Cloquet.

"Northwoods Credit Union has been in business since 1936," said Barb Brown, CEO and president. "We were a Single Employer Group for many years and then the credit union was community chartered. Now, anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Carlton, Pine and St. Louis Counties and their blood relatives can join our credit union."

The credit union started out as the Northwest Paper Employees Credit Union in 1936. When the mill was sold in 1992, the name of the credit union was changed to Potlatch Employees Credit Union.

The mill was sold again in 2002, and the name of the credit union was changed to Northwoods Credit Union. The membership group was expanded to include many area businesses.

Two offices in Cloquet are now located on Avenue B and on Stanley Avenue, near Walmart.

The new Moose Lake office is located at 90 Arrowhead Lane, between the Holiday and Cenex stations.

Brown said that growth is the plan for the credit union, and Moose Lake was chosen for a branch because of its vitality.

"We wanted to move into a growing, prospering town," she said. "We found that in Moose Lake."

The Northwoods Credit Union staff offers a hometown atmosphere.

"I hear comments from members who tell me, 'Don't get so big,'" said Brown. "We strive hard to develop personal relationships with our members."

The new credit union is going to be more convenient for many of its current members.

"We will be able to serve our members from Barnum and Moose Lake better," said Brown. "We also feel that there is a great potential for new members from the area."

A familiar face will oversee the Moose Lake branch. Terry Burn, formerly of Lake State Credit Union, is returning to work in Moose Lake as the vice president of lending.

"I'm very happy to be back in the town where I have lived for the past 27 years," he said. "I encourage people to stop in, say 'Hi,' and experience the Northwoods Credit Union difference."

The new branch office for Northwoods Credit Union is spacious. Members that come into the building to do their banking will not see a long counter with teller windows as has been common in the past. They will walk to one of two stations, called pods, at a short counter just inside the entrance.

Tellers will be able to turn their computer screens to allow the members to see the information on their accounts.

"This is something new," said Brown. "We are going to have to take a look at installing these in our other offices."

Staff sit at two desks across from the entrance and will assist people who wish to become members or have other questions. Burn's corner office is located across from a waiting area that features a fireplace.

"The coffee will always be on," said Brown.

Offices for two loan officers are located down a hall, and a conference room is at the end of the hall.

The hall then continues to the left. More offices will allow for staff to be added as the credit union grows.

The Call Center for the credit union will be located in Moose Lake.

"This is where the phones will be answered when you call," said Brown. "We will start out with one staff member but we will probably add another soon. There is room for two more call center staff members."

A Quiet Room is located along the hallway in the back of the building.

"That is for parents who need a quiet place when they need to feed a baby or take care of a child," said Brown.

A kitchen for employees is also located in the back hallway.

"We had this credit union built for growth," said Brown. "Our accounting department will also be located here, as well as lending and members' services. This building features a drive-up and ATM. There is plenty of good parking. Overall, it is a well-built building. We were very fortunate to get this piece of property."

The staff is looking forward to participating in the community.

"We can go to the school and conduct financial education classes," said Brown. "We were here and in the parade on July Fourth, and we took part in Agate Days."

"Our community development person helped with the Thanksgiving meal last year," added Kate Mason, the marketing manager. "She really enjoyed it."

Brown invited people to stop in, take a look at the building and meet the staff.

"We are really excited to get up and running on March 19," she said. "We plan to have a grand opening and ribbon cutting in the spring. We're really excited to be in the Moose Lake community. Stop in and check us out."

Editor's note: The print version of this story included incorrect information in the photo's cutline. It has been corrected in the web version.


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