As with many credit unions, Changing Seasons FCU started out under a different name. Originally we were known as Bangor Hydro Federal Credit Union.
Bangor Hydro FCU began in 1966 with a specific need by Bangor Hydro Electric Company (BHE) employees. BHE had been in the habit of lending its employees money to purchase appliances such as refrigerators or stoves. The Maine Public Utility Commission did not think this was a good idea and discouraged the company from continuing the practice. Members of Local 1326, representing the union employees, approached BHE to see if perhaps a credit union could be formed for the employees and their families. Fifteen BHE employees needed to sign the initial petition to start the credit union and each person put in $25 to open an account; Paul Miller, a line worker for BHE, was one of those 15. Paul is still an active member of the credit union and has served on the credit committee. He is also currently serving on the Board of Directors. Carroll Brochu was the first Treasurer of the credit union and his pay consisted of 10% of the gross interest earned which amounted to $124.00 in the first year. Carroll tells of the first week of payroll deduction-a total of $5.50 deposited by 11 employees. Bangor Hydro Electric Company “loaned” the credit union some money to start so that it could issue $200 car loans to employees. Carroll says that without the company’s help, the credit union probably would not have been successful. Following Carroll’s tenure, Rod Black took over as Treasurer.
Time had passed and it was much busier than in the early days, so the credit union found they needed to hire its first full-time employee. Darla King started in June 1978 as a teller/office assistant with Rod serving as the Treasurer and having an active part in loans and bookkeeping. Eventually, Rod grew busier with his own work at BHE and Bob King (no relation to Darla) took over as Treasurer. In time, Bob also took on more responsibilities at BHE, and Darla was made Manager of the credit union and then CEO; she retired in 2013. The credit union was looked at as a benefit of the company with a rate of 90% of all employees becoming a member of Bangor Hydro FCU as soon as they become employed at BHE. For many years, checking accounts (share draft accounts) were not offered by credit unions, so the employees supported the credit union by establishing savings and Christmas club accounts plus borrowing for cars, boats, and personal loans. When a new baby was born, the parents opened an account for the child. In many cases, we are now serving the third generation of family members from BHE. The steadfast loyalty shown to the credit union by employees of BHE and family members is what has given us our strength over the years; years in which we have faced many economic downturns as well as years of thriving economy which has allowed us to purchase land and build our own facility in 2007. Our membership base has expanded to include the towns of Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, and many others in this immediate vicinity, but we will always remember that we would not be where we are today without Bangor Hydro Electric Company, its employees and family members.
In 2008 it was time for a new name to better serve our expanded field of membership; Changing Seasons Federal Credit Union is presently known throughout the local area as a credit union that gives back to the communities we serve; progressive and personal, we are Here for what tomorrow brings.