We are Schools Financial Credit Union
Schools Financial Credit Union, a nonprofit headquartered in Sacramento, California, is a member-owned financial cooperative with more than $1.8 billion in assets and 139,000 members. Founded in 1933, Schools Financial ranks as one of the largest credit unions in California and the nation.
Originally formed to serve school employees, the Credit Union eventually opened its membership eligibility to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Nevada, San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo, Napa and Sonoma counties.
We exist to offer low-cost banking to the people who reside in the communities we serve. Without shareholders to pay, we are able to return earnings to our members in the form of higher savings rates, lower loan rates and lower fees for services. Schools Financial has the same products and services as banks, only at a better value.
Once you become a Schools member, you may retain your membership privileges for life, even if you move or change jobs. Simply maintain an active savings account with a balance of $1 or more.
Our History & Philosophy
Schools Financial Credit Union was chartered in 1933 by a group of seven teachers who pooled their funds for the purpose of creating a savings cooperative from which low-cost loans could be made to members. Depositors, in return, would earn dividends from the income generated by the interest paid on the loans.
Schools Financial Credit Union continues to uphold the foundation and philosophy of the Credit Union Movement of "For Service, Not for Profit, Not for Charity" and "People Helping People."
Each individual who opens a savings account at the Credit Union becomes a member-owner, with each member owning one share of the Credit Union. Our Credit Union's policies are established by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by the membership. Since the Credit Union has no stockholders or other investors, the Board of Directors can focus solely on serving the best interests of our member-owners.
Our Board of Directors believes that member interests can best be served by offering products and services that meet member needs while providing an economic advantage when compared with other major financial institutions in our market.
We also believe that as a Credit Union owner, you should be treated like an owner. Quality member service is our number one priority, and our members' opinions of the service they receive are important to us. That is why we randomly measure member service satisfaction by mailing 1,000 surveys each month to our members. We use the results of these surveys to give direction to our efforts to continually improve member service.
Our Board of Directors, Supervisory Committee and senior management are careful stewards of the resources our members put in their care. They believe in governing the Credit Union to provide the maximum value to members of Schools Financial and are truly committed to the philosophy, “People Helping People.”
Board of Directors
Marie B. Smith
Marie was elected to the Board of Directors in August 2008 and has been a member of the Credit Union since 1995. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University, her graduate degree from Sonoma State University and Doctorate of Education degree in higher education management from the University of San Francisco. After working nine years as the President of American River College, Dr. Smith served as Vice Chancellor for Los Rios Community College District for three years. Dr. Smith retired from the Los Rios Community College District in 2007.
Eugene J. Houghton, Jr.
In 1971, Gene was elected to the Supervisory Committee, served for five years, and was elected as Chairman. In 1976, he was elected to the Board of Directors and has served as a Director since that time. In 1981, Gene was elected as Vice Chairman, a position he held for 19 years, and in 2000, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. Gene taught in the Sacramento City Unified School District for 32 years before retiring in 1992. He earned his Bachelor's degree from California State University, San Jose, and his Master's degree from California State University, Chico.
Theresa has been a Schools Financial member since 1996. She was elected to the Board of Directors in May 2004. Theresa earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Santa Clara University and her Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento. Theresa has worked for the Los Rios Community College District for 21 years. She currently serves as the Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration at the Los Rios Community College District.
Dolores Bleekman has been a member of Schools Financial Credit Union since 1967. When the Credit Union’s Ambassador Program was introduced in 1994, she was selected to participate in the program. In 1999 Dolores became a Member-At-Large and served on the Personnel Committee. In 2001 she was elected to the Supervisory Committee where she served as Secretary and most recently as Chairman. She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2010. Dolores holds an undergraduate degree from Eastern Michigan University and a graduate degree from University of LaVerne. She retired in 1993 after a 30-year teaching career and continued as a substitute teacher until 2003.
Emilio has been a member of Schools Financial since 1967. He was elected to the Supervisory Committee in 1993, elected Secretary to that Committee in 1997, and Chairman in 2001. In 2004, Emilio was elected to the Board of Directors. Emilio earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University and his graduate degree from the University of San Francisco. After working for six years as a teacher and Sacred Heart Credit Union volunteer in Saginaw, Michigan, Emilio moved to California. He taught in the San Juan Unified School District for 29 years before retiring in 1995.
Luther brings a strong educational background, holding a Doctorate (EdD) from the University of San Francisco and having been a professor at American River College for 29 years.
Douglas brings a strong financial background, having been an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand for three years, an operations control manager at Los Rios Community College District for three years and the owner of a CPA firm for 32 years.
Gregory A. Smith, CCUV
Chairman, Supervisory Committee
Greg began volunteering at Schools Financial as a Member-at-Large in 1997, and was elected to the Supervisory Committee in 2005. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco. For his extensive coursework in the Credit Union National Association’s Volunteers Achievement Program, he was recognized with the Dora Maxwell Award, the program’s highest honor. Further training enabled him to earn his Certified Credit Union Volunteer designation. Greg is a veteran of the USAF, the Oakland Police Department, and has been an entrepreneur. He has been an owner of land development, home building and real estate brokerage companies, plus a 160-seat restaurant. Greg is also a private pilot and within the EAA Young Eagles program has voluntarily flown over 100 youths ages 8–17 enabling them to experience the Spirit of Aviation.TM
Secretary, Supervisory Committee
George has been a member of the Credit Union since 1967. After volunteering on Schools Financial’s Credit Committee in the early 1970s and as an Ambassador in the mid-1990s, George was selected to serve as a Member-At-Large in 1999. During the ensuing 11 years, George has served as a Member-At-Large on the following committees: Savings Loans Products and Services, Personnel, Facilities, Marketing and most recently the Supervisory Committee. In October 2010, George was elected to be a Member of the Supervisory Committee. George holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Michigan. Awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to the University of Oregon, he earned a Master of Science degree in Advanced Biology. In 1993 he retired as Professor emeritus of Biology from American River College, where he taught for 25 years.
Member, Supervisory Committee
Kathleen McCreery joined Schools Financial in 2010, the same year she became a Member-at-Large. In 2016, Kathleen was elected as a member of the Supervisory Committee. She received her B.S. in Liberal Arts, Reading Specialist Credential and M.A. in Education from Cal Poly, Pomona. Her education continued at Cal State Fullerton, where she earned an Administrative Credential in Leadership. Kathleen taught elementary, junior high and high school prior to becoming a principal. She has also held the positions of Pupil Services Specialist, Project Director for Beginning Teacher Support and Assistance (BTSA), Director of Educational Services and Chair of the Association of California Schools Administrators (ACSA) State CIA Council and Assistant Executive Director for Educational Services. Kathleen currently serves as Executive Director of the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (CASCD) and is a member of ACSA, Computer Using Educators (CUE) and Technology Information Center for Administrative Leaders (TICAL).
Senior Vice President,
Finance and Administration/CFO
Senior Vice President,
Senior Vice President,
Human Resources and
Real Estate Lending
Become a Volunteer
Volunteers are vital to helping us identify and serve our members’ needs and fulfill our service mission. The credit union offers a variety of volunteer opportunities through our Ambassador and Member-at-Large programs. By serving as a volunteer, members have the satisfaction of contributing to the Credit Union’s success. Descriptions of volunteer duties and responsibilities are listed below:
Ambassador Duties & Responsibilities
Members of Schools Financial Credit Union have the opportunity to join the Ambassador program. Ambassadors for the Credit Union work with our Marketing Department in the following activities: assistance at the Annual Meeting; acting as greeters in the branch lobbies for special events; demonstration of products and services, as needed; and participation in educational outreach efforts in the community.
Member-at-Large Duties & Responsibilities
Schools Financial Credit Union has four standing committees that look to Member-at-Large volunteers for assistance: Facilities; Marketing; Personnel; and Savings, Loans, Products & Services. The Chairman of the Board of Directors (BOD) appoints the Members-at-Large to rotating, biannual, two-year terms. These committees meet with staff to discuss and distill staff’s proposals, and then make recommendations which are forwarded to the BOD. Other standing committee members will be drawn from the BOD and Supervisory Committee. Depending on the committee, there may be two to five meetings per year in Sacramento, each lasting approximately one to two hours.
Members-at-Large also serve on the statutory Supervisory Committee. Along with the three elected members of the Supervisory Committee and staff, the Members-at-Large contribute to the regulatory oversight of the Credit Union. The Supervisory Committee meets every month — eight times a year at various branches on a rotating basis and four times a year at Schools Financial headquarters. The meetings last from one to two hours; travel time may be over an hour if traveling to an outlying branch.
Education and attendance are paramount to a successful operation. Schools Financial is a member of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and offers training opportunities for Credit Union volunteers. Prior to being assigned to a committee, Members-at-Large are required to complete Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) training from CUNA. Yearly continuing education may also be required, from both CUNA VAP and in-house.
If you are interested in applying for a volunteer opportunity, please contact Bridget Noel, Executive Assistant, at 916-569-5400.
Community & Education Outreach
Schools Financial Credit Union strives to be an active partner in our community. We recognize that practicing good Corporate Citizenship supports the Credit Union Philosophy of "People Helping People." Furthermore, we aspire to help raise the overall level of social and economic well-being of those in our community through direct financial support and participation in public service activities, in addition to championing the education sector. The Credit Union is always looking for ways to better position us to reach out and serve — as only credit unions can — those people in greatest need of affordable financial services. Below are some of the programs Schools Financial supports:
“People Helping People” extends beyond our branches. Our members and our staff band together to extend that philosophy to those in need who reside in the communities we serve. Some of the organizations we lend a hand to are:
Children’s Miracle Network
The Credit Union raises money during the holiday season for the Children’s Miracle Network. Stockings are sold for a little as a dollar, and decoratively hung around each branch with the donor’s name displayed.
Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk®
In an effort to fund an array of breast cancer programs and services, several Schools Financial employees volunteer to walk and raise money each year for the American Cancer Society.®
Run to Feed the Hungry
Schools Financial sponsors and staffs a water station at the annual Run to Feed the Hungry, which raises money for the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.
Spirit of Giving
Through this program established by Schools Financial, the Credit Union family provides food and gift donations for employees or temporarily displaced families faced with hardships during the holiday season.
Schools Financial Credit Union was founded by a group of teachers wanting to help others in their field, and our commitment to education hasn’t wavered since. We participate in and sponsor several programs dedicated to assisting teachers and students, including:
Bite of Reality
Schools Financial staff and other volunteers visit high schools in our field of membership to give students a “Bite of Reality.” Through an interactive simulation, students learn how to make real-life financial decisions, including paying for housing, transportation, medical insurance, student loan debt and more.
Credit Union Partners in Education (CU PIE)
Several Schools Financial employees are actively involved in CU PIE, a network of volunteers from local credit unions whose primary purpose is educating young people on financial awareness, money management and career development.
Each year Schools’ Board of Directors appropriates scholarships to local institutions of higher learning. The colleges include American River College, California State University, Sacramento, Cosumnes River College, Lake Tahoe Community College, National University, Sacramento City College, Sierra College and Yuba College.
Schools Financial encourages and compensates employees to give their time to schools and day care centers.
Special Circumstance Member Aid
Unpredictable events can place a strain on our finances. For that reason, the Credit Union created two special-circumstance loans to help minimize the impact on members.
Loans for Budget Impasse
Members who are not receiving their normal pay as a result of a government impasse are eligible to receive no-interest loans to bridge the impasse.
Loans for Disaster Relief
Members who are the victims of disasters are eligible for special low-rate Credit Union loans.