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Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union celebrates 75 years

| Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union CEO and manager Rosanna DiMarco and credit manager Joni Borkowski conduct daily business in their Glassport office. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union board president Nancy Crncic and director Myrna Reynolds review plans for the upcoming 75th anniversary dinner, scheduled for March 16. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Customer service representative Melissa Harding hangs a sign celebrating Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union's 75 years of service. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union member Ray Johnson talks with customer service representative Michele Pierce while preparing to make a transaction. Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News

Members and staff of Copper & Glass Federal Credit Union are celebrating 75 years of service for what they call “the greatest little credit union in the Mon Valley.”

The not-for-profit, member-owned credit union was organized in 1938 as the Copperweld Credit Union by a group of that company's employees.

Copperweld Steel Co. opened a Glassport factory in 1927 and became a public corporation in 1929. It served as a steel producer for the U.S. government through the Great Depression and World War II — a contract that kept the company out of debt during trying economic times.

“This credit union has provided tremendous services starting before World War II and continues excellent service today,” said Nancy Crncic, president of the Copper & Glass board of directors. “The credit union has bettered a number of lives in its 75 years of service and was truly one of the pioneers of the powerful credit union movement.”

In 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act, which authorized credit unions to be formed in every state. The law was intended to provide credit and promote thrift through national nonprofit cooperation.

Credit union memberships grew across the nation in the 1940s and '50s, and according to the National Credit Union Administration, membership had reached 6 million Americans in more than 10,000 credit unions by 1960.

As a small, Glassport-based operation, Copper & Glass FCU boasts approximately 2,400 members today. And those members are the heart of the union.

“The credit union specializes in first-class, friendly service to the communities in the charter,” Crncic said.

Operating by the motto “not for profit, not for charity, but for service,” Copper & Glass FCU serves residents of Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, Port Vue and sections of Elizabeth and McKeesport.

“We're like family here,” CEO and manager Rosanna DiMarco said. “We always put our members first, because they're the foundation of this credit union. We want everyone to feel comfortable, and we provide that personal touch.”

The credit union is in “great financial shape,” DiMarco said. She emphasized that because a credit union doesn't have stockholders, all of the benefits of a competitively successful financial operation are shared with members.

In the Glassport office, members are met by DiMarco, credit manager Joni Borkowski, Michele Pierce, Melissa Harding, John Petroci and Elizabeth DiMarco.

Working behind the scenes to keep policies in order with NCUA regulations are Crncic, vice president Billie Price, secretary/treasurer James Surgeon and directors Myrna Reynolds and Charles Lawrence. The supervisory board includes Reynolds, Mary DeJulius and Lavina Kerklo.

No matter what service a member is seeking, Borkowski said they're always comfortable in dealing with Copper & Glass staff.

“We try not to give them a hard time, and we do anything we can to help people,” she said. “That's why we're here. It's people helping people.”

Copper & Glass FCU offers home equity loans, new and used car loans, secure and unsecured loans, share savings, no-fee share drafts or checking accounts, Visa credit and debit cards, direct deposit services, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, Christmas and vacation clubs, notary services, money orders, senior accounts and junior accounts.

It was the first credit union in Pennsylvania to support a school program.

Since 1997, the credit union has been servicing South Allegheny students in kindergarten through their senior year in high school, as well as their families.

“We have members who started their first account in kindergarten,” DiMarco said. “They're in their 20s now, and they're still here.”

Copper & Glass is active in the South Allegheny communities by supporting local events, children's programming, sports activities, police departments and senior citizen groups.

As a thank-you to members, Copper & Glass FCU will host a 75th anniversary dinner as part of its annual meeting on March 16 at Georgetown Centre in Pleasant Hills.

Tickets are $10, and the reservation deadline is March 8. For more information, call the credit union at 412-673-9028.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or

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