Unity One Credit Union's Maplewood branch, located at 1535 Beam Ave., is expected to open late 2015. Get to know Branch Manager Craig Hart.
Name: Craig Hart
Experience: Thirty years crusading in the credit union movement
Position at Unity One Credit Union: Branch Manager
Hours of operation of branch: Mon-Thur: 8am-5pm, Fri: 8am-6pm, Sat: 9am-1 p.m.
Contact phone number: 651.291.2387
History with Unity One Credit Union: I spent 25 years with another credit union, GCM Federal CU, before joining Unity One Credit Union in 2012.
Unity One touts itself as a hassle-free financial institution. What does hassle-free banking mean to you?: It means, to me, that we regularly review our processes and procedures and look for areas that may be causing "pain points" for our members. We address these areas to smooth over obstacles while still maintaining compliance with state and federal rules and regulations.
What, in your opinion, do people need to know about Unity One that they cannot find on the website?: While I love our website and online banking experience, to truly experience Unity One you have to stop in to one of the branches. We have absolutely wonderful people working here at all levels of the organization.
Expertise (as it relates to UO products and services): Over the years, I have worked in every area of the credit union. These days, I see myself primarily as a lender, both consumer and mortgage lending.
Other languages spoken?: I speak a bit of German.
Proudest moment working at UO?: To help a young person get his/her first VISA credit card before going off to college, or working with more established members on refinancing their automobiles are humbling and satisfying experiences.
Favorite website or mobile app (besides UO): Every Sunday, I go online to check the weekly Mills Fleet Farm ad.
Favorite sport to watch: Hockey, followed by baseball and soccer
What book are you reading now?: I'm in between books right now and am reading periodicals--Horticulture, Northern Gardener, Garden State, Cabin Life, Cottage Life, Southern Living and This Old House are among my favorites.
What does your mousepad say?: CU Companies. It is a company formed by credit unions for credit union members. CU Companies offers products and services to our members that we cannot offer at a competitive rate. First mortgages, title, realty, investments and business lending. Unity One Credit Union has been a CU Companies shareholder since 1999.
Greatest inspiration: JFK and Ike. In my opinion, they are two of the greatest of all time.
Favorite food: I enjoy cooking and eating what I cook, but I would be just as happy having a peanut butter sandwich every day.
What’s the most important thing in life?: Love
Favorite Maplewood or White Bear Lake restaurant: Our new Beam location has a number of fantastic choices: Burger King, Caribou, Olive Garden, etc. Jake's is also just a short drive away. I'm eager to try lunch at Gulden's.
Wisest thing that anyone has ever told you: Sit quietly, and let the member do the talking.
The last thing you purchased: A five-gallon bucket and a pair of gardening gloves at Menard's.
First car (make, model and color): It was a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible--dark green with a white rag top and tan interior.
Best part of being a Minnesotan: Minnesota's State Park and Trail system is pretty fabulous. My family loves camping and spending time along the lakes and rivers.
Hobbies: Reading and gardening
If you could speak to your 21-year-old self, what money advice would you give?:
Invest, invest and invest!