75th Anniversary

Celebrating 75 Years of Ubay Community! 

Embark on a journey of joy and nostalgia as we commemorate seven and a half decades of togetherness, resilience, and shared experiences. Join us in a series that unveils the heartwarming stories from our members and staff, weaving a tapestry of memories that reflect the essence of Ubay's vibrant community.
“Growing up in Crump, there were two bars, a barber shop, and one little grocery store. I first met my husband, Robert, at the Crump Fox Club. If you're not local, you won’t know what it is, but it was just a group of young people who would hang out during the summer. We were there, I told him to sit down next to me, and he did.

Today, we’ve been married for 63 years. Marriage takes a lot of hard work. It's not easy. Sometimes it’s a struggle, and a give and take. It’s easy to give up, but you don't, because if something is worth having, it's worth fighting for.

We built a home on his parents’ farm in Linwood, and if you can survive building a home together, you can survive anything. My husband worked at GM, and every day after work, he would work on the house. After we got married, I didn't work outside the home, so during the day I would go to the lumberyard and get supplies. My dad helped us, and we also had a lot of family who helped us finish it up. We lived in the garage until the basement was done, and then moved into the basement until the house was done the following year. We're still living in it, except when we go to Florida for the winter.

I think it was 1957 when my husband joined the credit union, back when I think the only people who were members were GM employees. One of the things that’s kept us here all this time is the service. People are very friendly. If I call and I have a question, even if I'm in Florida, they are always Johnny-on-the-spot about it. A lot of times, those calls were about me adjusting to the computer and banking online. I would call and say, ‘Can you help me walk me through this?’ and they would.

Over the years, I've gotten to know quite a few of the people here. I like that about living in a small community—you get to know people—and that’s something I love about Ubay.”
– Diane Filcek, United Bay Community Credit Union Member
“I always said I wouldn’t be the person to marry their high school sweetheart…and then I did! My husband is one of the reasons we switched to United Bay Community Credit Union. When he started a business, they made it so easy and helped us with everything.

When we were with a bigger bank, it was just one bad experience after another. For example, we had canceled our contract with a phone service provider, and they weren’t supposed to take any more money out of our account. But they did—about two grand, AND my credit card was denied! But when I spoke with the bank to get things fixed, they were not very nice and wouldn’t help me.

There is a United Bay Community Credit Union branch in Pinconning that we had heard good things about, so we switched. That’s when my husband opened his business, Phlash Welding and Fabrication. He makes metal art and does welding, so he gets to be creative and goes to a lot of craft shows. We took out a business loan through United Bay, and Jamie in Pinconning was awesome! She is amazing and now we do all of our loans there. Even with a debt-to-income ratio that is a little high due to my student loans, we have never been turned down because they know us, and we have built a great relationship with them.

I refer so many people here because I have had such a great experience. I tell everyone to come to United Bay because they really do take care of you.”
— Ashley Goick, United Bay Community Credit Union member
“My mother and father ran a credit union out of the basement of our house for Defoe Shipbuilding Company. They built destroyers for the Navy. People would come to the house, sit in the kitchen, and have a cup of coffee and a cigarette while they waited. There were these little pads of paper that if I stamped the credit union's name on them, I got a quarter. They ran the credit union out of the basement until they could afford to purchase a little small manufactured home they put on the shipyard.
I started out here in 1978, and in January, retired after 44 years. I started out as a part-time teller and have worked in the loan department, the collection department, in accounting, and then ended up in mortgages.
I loved mortgages the most, because it was about making people's dreams of owning a home come true. Or if they had an issue with their home, like they need a new furnace, roof, siding, windows, I could help them find a way to get that done.
I remember there was a couple in their late 50s from the Kalamazoo area and they wanted to purchase their first home. They had been trying for several years to purchase something, and weren't able to. They were so sweet to work with, and the kind of members that if you asked for this i to be dotted, it was dotted.
Out of anyone I worked with, they were the most thrilled to get into a home.
There are all kinds of stories I could tell. United Bay Community Credit Union has always been a very good place to work. We’re there for our members. I like the ethics of a credit union, so members don't have to worry about being used to make a profit so the big person upstairs can get their million-dollar bonus. I appreciate that more than anything, it's always for the people. They always find a way to give people a break or do something to help give them a start.”
– Jill Patterson, United Bay Community Credit Union returning retiree
“I found this job on Indeed. I was working at Staples and looking for something that would be better for my future. I found United Bay Community Credit Union, applied, and Michelle called me and said I had an interview if I was interested. She also said that there were three or four other people interviewing for the position, and because I didn’t have any experience in the banking industry, I thought, ‘Oh, there's no way I'm getting this.’
When I came in for the interview, my first impression was that it was BIG. I'm from West Branch and the credit unions around there are all just little, one-story, small buildings with teller stations. I pulled up to the building and was like, ‘This place is huge!’ and I remember internally freaking out because I was like, ‘How am I going to do this?’
But the whole interview process was very comfortable. Michelle and Jessica were both extremely nice, made me feel very welcomed, and explained everything to me, and that made me want the job even more. The next day, they called me back and offered me the position. I took it immediately and put in my two weeks at Staples, and I was really excited to start doing better for myself.
It will be two years in February, and I really like the people that I work with. Everybody that works here is so kind. You can walk up to anybody, even if you’re new, and have a conversation and instantly, it’s like you talk to them regularly.
Being able to help our members is really nice, too. Seeing the joy on their faces when they come in to talk to us is great. I like knowing them by name, learning their story, and what they do. I just love that!”
– Kayla Davis, member service specialist, United Bay Community Credit Union

“My dad was into cars: racing, doing demolition, figure eight, etc., and we would work on cars together. I started at a very young age. We lived on a farm, and we got by fixing what we had. We had to scrounge up equipment, make do, weld it up, grind it, fix it, and put it back together. I think that was the draw of buying a car. I wanted to fix it, tear it apart, see how it’s made, put it back together and clean it up. That was fascinating to me.  I bought my first wreck, fixed it up and drove it for many years with only drive and no reverse, because I didn’t have money for a transmission.

I've been in the industry all my life going from working in a body shop, to being a body shop manager, to teaching at the Bay-Arenac ISD’s Career Center for the last 22 years. I was able to teach my trade to students. I loved that job, and it was probably one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had because you could see the kids progress from when they first arrived to where they were at the end of the year.

But it got to the point where, because of my age and my health, I couldn’t do what I was supposed to do on the floor with students anymore. It's very physical work, and I could tell my time was coming because I was getting more tired. So, I knew it was my time to go.

I found United Bay Community Credit Union when we had my first child in 1986. We went to buy a trailer to live in. Prior to that, I had filed for bankruptcy because I didn't have health insurance and some hospital bills piled up along with a school loan, so when I went to apply for a loan for the trailer, everybody turned me down. They said they couldn’t take a risk on me.

But then I came here.

They said, ‘Well, because you filed for bankruptcy, we have to put you in front of the board, and you’ll need to convince the board that it’s safe to give you a loan.’

So, I came in to meet with the board. As I’m sitting there, the door opens, and three guys come in. The third guy looks at me and says, ‘Hey, how are you doing, Leonard?’

And I said, ‘Hi, Tom!’

I just got done with Tom's car at the body shop I was working at. He got hit in the rear end and I fixed it, repaired it, wrote the estimate, and delivered it. He was happy with my work, and though I didn’t know it at the time, that's how I got to know one of the board members.

 I told him why I was there, so he says, ‘Well, I know where you work, and I know you're working hard there, so you're good. I went through the interview with the board, and they approved the loan.

 – Leonard Fauble, UBCCU member

�� 75 Years of Ubay Joy! �� Join our exclusive series featuring stories from members and staff. Let's celebrate the heart of the Ubay community! ��
“We had an IRA that was coming due, so I started calling around for the best rate, and that’s when I reached Sherry at the United Bay Community Credit Union branch in Pinconning. We live in Bay City, but she was just my kind of person: the good old customer service I was looking for. She was warm and accommodating and just my kind of gal. She was old school. When you get to be my age, you love that! We talked for a bit, and I hung up the phone without scheduling anything because I was going to talk to Randy first. But then I called her right back and said, ‘We're coming in, you're the girl and the one I want to work with.’
She answered all my questions and met my needs. I had a particular rate that I wanted, and she was able to accommodate that. I told her that Pinconning wasn’t that far, but she said that she would come to Bay City to train somebody to open these kinds of accounts. She did, and the Euclid office set up our account.
After that, I was at the nail place in the mall with my sister because she wanted to get her nails done. I didn’t, so I sat in the lobby. A woman walked in, and she sat down next to me. I always visit with people because that's the way I am, and she was like that, too. I told her I used to work at a bank, and she told me she works at a credit union. I asked her which one and she told me it was United Bay Community Credit Union. So, I told her all about Sherry, how she took care of us, how sweet she was, and that I couldn't have asked for better service.
So, I asked her, ‘What do you do at the credit?’
And she said, ‘I'm the CEO.’
The CEO! It was Diane Abbonizio, and she was just as nice as Sherry.
You don't hear a lot of complaints about credit unions. Banks are quite big, and they're getting bigger, and that makes it difficult for them to service their people locally when their main office is in New York or somewhere else.
So, for me, UBAY is about the people, and the kind of people who give that old school kind of customer service.”
– Kathy and Randy Perkins, United Bay Community Credit Union members
“When a member calls into the credit union, I’m one of the people who answers the phone. We want our members to be happy and we want to solve their problems, so we do the best we can to help members directly without transferring the call or putting them on hold.
I've been at the credit union for 31 years. I applied for a job because I was a member, and I always liked the people who worked here. I started out as a teller, then worked in the call center, and then in the loan department. When I had a chance to come back to the call center, it was a tough decision because in the loan department, you’re making people really happy by approving their loans. But in the call center, I enjoy the challenge that comes with working with a variety of problems. Sometimes it’s easy stuff and sometimes it’s hard stuff—every call is different, and you have to know each area of the credit union to get people the answers they need. It's not always easy, but it's very rewarding when you help someone. Even if it's just one person a day who I can make happy by solving their problem, that’s rewarding to me.
The credit union has changed a lot over the years, and that's going to happen anywhere. But there's always been this core environment of closeness with my coworkers. Everybody works well together, and the credit union has treated us well and continues to show that they care about us.
You develop relationships with the members too. A member will say something like, ‘I remember coming to the drive thru back when you were pregnant, how are your kids?’ And I can’t believe they remember that! I’ll ask about their family, and we get to know each other. They appreciate it, I appreciate it, and it makes coming to work easy!”
–Kim Ewald, UBCCU Contact Center Specialist