Gary Yamnitz knows his way around a credit union. The Wilton Manors branch manager at City County Credit Union (CCCU) began his career in financial services in 1984 with Sun Coast Schools Credit Union in Tampa. Fast forward 28 years and Yamnitz is bringing his vast depth and breadth of credit union experience to one of Broward County’s newest, the City County Credit Union branch which is set to celebrate three years in The Shoppes of Wilton Manors.
“We are now getting about 40 new members per month in our branch,” reports Yamnitz. “With people dumping their big banks, and the corporate greed of the system, people are fed up with fees.”
Part of the success of CCCU is Yamnitz’s empowerment of his staff to help members’ needs. “Contrary to the policies at big banks, I allow staff the flexibility to waive a fee that’s been charged to a member. They don’t have to wait for me to approve or to get clearance from the home office, it’s their discretion. I want our members to feel like they are part of the family, which quite frankly they are,” he adds with a smile.
Yamnitz is often asked to explain the differences between banks and credit unions. “We are member owned,” he says of the latter. “When you bank here you are a part owner. Several years ago when the economy was at its height, that year, CCCU gave back over 1 million dollars to its members in dividends.” He illustrates the numbers and their benefit to members. “Let’s say, for example, you had $5.00 on deposit: on average, you got a dividend of $20.00. Personally, I got about $1,500. And it always comes in handy,” he added.
Of its community involvement, Yamnitz points to Father Bill of the Poverello Center, who, in December 2010 needed transportation to continue his ministry for people living with HIV/AIDS. A.J. Cross and others held a benefit to raise enough money to purchase a car. It raised nearly $9,000, but it was not enough to purchase the vehicle for Father Bill. Enter CCCU and its affiliate, Auto Branch. Between the two companies working with other vendors, a little gentle “arm twisting,” and the $9,000, Father Bill was given a nearly-new Toyota, a year of paid auto insurance, and a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
“We are very involved in the community,” Yamnitz notes proudly. “If you open a new checking or savings account, City-County will pay for your first year Pride Center membership in the amount of $40.00, and will make a matching donation in your name to the Pride Center Building Fund. We also support four of the Pride Center’s teams: Youth, Hispanic, Senior, and, of course, Gay. Our motto is ‘People Helping People.’ It’s a motto that we truly believe in and live by,” Yamnitz told me.
2242 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305