From its beginning in 1933, with a membership of 94, the Mayo Clinic Employees Credit Union has grown steadily throughout the years. In 1983, membership was 5,330 with assets of over $10 million.
The Mayo Clinic Employees Credit Union began in February 1933 when a group of employees gathered to form an organization which “could help people in need, and give them the most competitive interest rates on their loans and savings,” according to Tom Hennessey, credit union president at the time.
At the first meeting, the committee decided the maximum deposit any member could have in the credit union would be $1,000. The maximum amount for a loan was fixed at $50 and each person who joined paid a 25-cent entrance fee and deposited $5 into a savings account. The first members were signed up on March 9, 1933. From those initial depositors, who each paid in $5.25, the first loans were made.
By the end of the first year of operation, there were 135 active members, Christmas Club accounts had been started, and the Board of Directors announced a dividend of five percent.
Since the beginning, participation in the credit union has remained remarkably stable, usually from 80 to 85 percent of those eligible — current and retired paramedical employees. Robert Marks, past credit union manager, said he feels the percentage of participation really tells the story — that the credit union provided a needed service to Mayo employees.