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New Office in Healdsburg

Third New Office in Past 10 Months

Santa Rosa, Calif. –– Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 –– Community First Credit Union, a financial cooperative with 12,319 members in Sonoma County, opened its third new local office in the past 10 months. 

The new office, located at 32 North St., is one block north of the Healdsburg Plaza and a half-block east of the community parking lot that is the venue for the immensely popular twice-weekly Farmers’ Market.  Community First’s on-site smart ATM (automatically counts deposits of loose cash and checks without envelopes) is the nearest money dispenser to both the Plaza and the Market.  

Healdsburg marks a remarkable run of three new offices in the past 10 months for the Sonoma County-based financial cooperative.  Last November, Community First opened the first-ever credit union in Sebastopol, serving West County and the Bodega Highway Corridor.  In April, Community First opened the first-ever credit union in Guerneville, serving the Russian River communities. 

The interior of the Community First Healdsburg office looks a lot like Healdsburg.  Five, 10-foot tall photos of Healdsburg and environs, taken by Community First member Scott Mitchell, grace the wall behind the teller desks.  On an opposing wall, a video monitor, mounted among recycled wood planks, display images throughout Healdsburg and the nearby vineyards, river and recreation.  On that same wall, a blue acrylic band, symbolizing the Russian River, runs the length of the office.  There are even ground-up pebbles from the Healdsburg portion of the Russian River incorporated into the countertops of the public work stations.  Private offices in the rear of the space feature industrial grid-windows commonly found in wine production facilities.  Complementary industrial-style lighting is featured throughout the 1,000-square-foot space.  Windsor-based Gary Finnan of The GFC Group, and who is also co-owner of the Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in Healdsburg, designed the interior for Community First.

Staffing the Healdsburg office are Catherine Brunner, a 26-year Healdsburg resident who has spent 21 years in the mortgage business, is the on-site real estate loan officer, and Christopher Joubert, also a Healdsburg resident, is the on-site financial concierge who helps Members with their transactions.

In addition to being the first financial institution to introduce “smart” offices to California, Community First was the first to introduce envelope-less, instant-receipt ATMs to Sonoma County, and the first locally owned financial institution to offer mobile banking.

Community First has provided banking services to Sonoma County residents for 50 years.  It has two full service branches in central and west Santa Rosa, “smart offices” in Guerneville, Healdsburg and Sebastopol.  It was founded by seven Sonoma County teachers in 1961, but converted to a “Community Charter” in 1999 that allows any resident or student in Sonoma County to be a Member.  The financial cooperative has 12,319 Members, $120 million in assets and posted record net revenues of $1,446,901 at year’s end 2010.

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