It's hard to believe that Kern Schools Federal Credit Union has been here in Kern County for more than 75 years.
The man leading the charge is Steve Renock, who said that many people are surprised to learn just how deep Kern Schools Federal Credit Union's roots go in Kern County.
Renock, who is the president and CEO of KSFCU said, "We actually started in 1938 by a small group of teachers at Bakersfield High School who wanted to create a financial institution that is cooperatively owned. Since that point we’ve gone to become 155,000 members in Kern County.
By the end of that first year, the small federal credit union consisted of just 141 members and a little more than $1,300 in assets.
The first deposit made was $.05.
Today, KSFCU holds billions of dollars in assets, and provides service to more than 150,000 members.
But that growth hasn't been without its challenges.
The Credit Union Shall Build a Lifetime Financial Partnership with Members through Exceptional Service and Quality Financial Products.
The stock market crash of 1987, as well as the recession of 2007 to 2009 caused problems for the credit union.
”Everybody was being affected in Kern County," Renock said.
That year, Renock took over operations and said, "We managed to work through that. There were some tough times, but now our growth is really taking off again."
There are now ten KSFCU throughout Kern County reaching communities as far away as Delano and most recently adding an express branch in Tehachapi.
Renock said, ”We do home loans, auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, cecking and savings accounts. We also do wealth management to help people prepare for the retirement years or to send a child off to college.”
And they’re working to reach the next generation of customers.
Michael George, Senior VP of Marketing and Operations told 23ABC that the credit union offers the latest in mobile banking and person-to-person payments.
But there is something that sets them apart.
”You know, you take a big bank, they’re going to offer it to you, they’re going to force it down your throat or they're not going to offer some of the old delivery channels," George said. "What we found from our members is that they want to use the technology, and a lot of times they’ll use it if we show them how. We’ll help you download the app, we’ll show you how to use it."
Adapting to the latest technology has earned KSFCU the honors of best financial institution in Kern County year after year.
Renock said it’s all about carrying on the legacy of the founders and that all comes down to service.
”We want to be able to be here to serve as many residents of Kern County who care to joins us. We hope that most will take advantage of the opportunity and we can show them the kind of service and products at a high level."