Freedom Federal Credit Union Partners with Harford County Public Schools to Honor Staff Reaching Milestones of Service

Staff members achieving 10, 20, 30, and 40 years of service celebrated at Annual Employee Service Recognition Dinner

Dr. Sean Abel marks 30 years with HCPS
Dr. Sean Abel (center), Principal of Patterson Mill Middle and High School, stands with Superintendent Bulson and Board of Education President, Aaron Poynton. Abel is one of 67 HCPS employees who received special recognition for 30 years of dedicated service. Courtesy HCPS

May 24, 2024 – Freedom Federal Credit Union recently partnered with Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) in support of the HCPS Annual Employee Service Recognition. This program recognized 617 employees who reached 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 years of service in the 2023-2024 school year.

The program included a celebratory dinner which took place on May 8, 2024, at Waters Edge Events Center. Employee commitment to HCPS was celebrated during the program, which included a performance by Vocal Edge, the Edgewood High School Acapella Group. Service awards were presented to the 154 honorees marking their 10, 20, 30, and 40 year anniversaries with the school system.

Freedom has been the sole sponsor of the HCPS Service Recognition Program for the last 12 years with an annual donation used to fund a recognition dinner and provide honorees with a special gift. This year, each recognized staff member received a gift card.

Dr. Sean Bulson, Superintendent for Harford County Public Schools, stated, “Freedom Federal Credit Union has been an invaluable partner to this program for the last dozen years. Year after year, Freedom demonstrates their commitment to making our staff feel valued and honored for their dedication to our students and the Harford County community. We are incredibly grateful for their continued partnership in celebrating our staff.”

Mike MacPherson
President and CEO of Freedom Federal Credit Union, Mike MacPherson addresses the attendees at the Employee Service Recognition Dinner for Harford County Public Schools. Courtesy HCPS

During the recognition program, Freedom’s President and CEO, Mike MacPherson, addressed the attendees, “Let’s not just recognize the number of years, but what those years represent. Let’s recognize the impact you have on our children and our community, with a lesson, a kind word, or a helping hand. Let’s recognize how you go beyond academics, lunches, bus rides, or creating an accepting environment. Let’s recognize your willingness to place the needs of others before yourselves for the greater good. Let’s recognize that while the world may change, your commitment has not.”

In addition to their annual contribution to the Employee Service Recognition Program, during this school year, Freedom also sponsored HCPS’ Teacher of the Year event, Bus Driver/Bus Attendant of the Year Luncheon, and the Maryland Superintendent of the Year Reception. Freedom also sponsored the Patriot Program at 19 elementary schools, continued their initiative to equip new elementary teachers with classroom libraries, provided financial education to students at all grade levels, sponsored several college scholarship opportunities, and afforded Harford County educators access to the Credit Union’s Golden Apple Program, including the Annual Golden Apple Educator Award.

 

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford or Baltimore County.  Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford or Baltimore County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has six locations throughout Harford and Baltimore County. To learn more, visit www.freedomfcu.org.

About Harford County Public Schools

The mission of the Harford County Public Schools is to promote excellence in instructional leadership and teaching and to provide facilities and instructional materials that support teaching and learning for the 21st century. The Harford County Board of Education will support this mission by fostering a climate for deliberate change and monitoring progress through measurable indicators.

Vicki Jones Elected to Freedom Federal Credit Union’s Board of Directors

Vicki JonesMay 16, 2024 – Freedom Federal Credit Union announces the election of Vicki Jones to its Board of Directors. With a background in community and workforce development, Jones brings a proven track record of leadership and dedication to service.

“I am excited to join the Freedom Federal Credit Union Board because I believe in using my skills and insights to drive positive change,” Vicki Jones remarked. “My goals include fostering innovation and continuing to advocate for bias-free banking. I hope to collaborate with my fellow Board Members to increase Freedom’s visibility and to enhance a sense of belonging for all stakeholders.”

Vicki Jones, a self-proclaimed military brat turned community leader, also carries an impressive educational and professional background, and throughout her 25-year career, Jones has been instrumental in administering high-profile projects for national and local organizations.  In 2022, Jones accepted a position with Harford County Public Schools to manage their Talent Pathways Project’s Grow Your Own initiative.

Jones’ dedication to community has been broadly recognized and includes nominations for the Women of Influence Award by the WEDC Foundation, Harford’s Most Beautiful People, and recognition as one of Baltimore Sun’s 25 Women to Watch.

As President of the Harford County NAACP, Executive Officer on the state NAACP team, and an elected council member for the City of Havre de Grace, Jones has demonstrated exceptional leadership, advocacy, and a steadfast commitment to advancing social justice and equality.

“We are thrilled to welcome Vicki Jones to our Board of Directors,” said Lisa Ermatinger, Board Chair at Freedom Federal Credit Union. “Her extensive experience and unwavering commitment to community service make her an invaluable addition to our leadership team.”

Vicki Jones’ election to the board marks an exciting chapter for Freedom Federal Credit Union as it continues its mission to serve its members and the community with excellence and integrity.

 

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford or Baltimore County.  Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford or Baltimore County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has six locations throughout Harford and Baltimore County. To learn more, visit www.freedomfcu.org.

#NationalNursesWeek2024

LET’s CELEBRATE NATIONAL NURSES week!

WIN A $25 Amazon eGIFT CARD FOR A HARFORD OR BALTIMORE COUNTY NURSE – 3 CHANCES TO WIN!

Square image with photos of nurses at work. "Happy National Nurses Week"

Look for our #NationalNursesWeek Nomination Post on our social media pages starting May 10th, 2024 running until 12 pm Monday, May 13th, 2024.

If you are a nurse or would like to nominate a nurses who lives or works in Harford/Baltimore County…

1. POST the nurse’s name and agency/organization in the comments on our Facebook, Twitter , or Instagram post
(Feel free to include a picture or comment with your nomination, where applicable!)

2. FOLLOW our social media page

3. SHARE our social media post

We will announce our winners on the afternoon of Monday, May 13th!

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get started.

*Nurses may live and/or work in Harford or Baltimore County. Nurses are welcome to enter themselves. One nomination per person, but nurses can be entered multiple time by other individuals to increase their chances of winning.

Find A Reason

There are all sorts of sayings and clichés about fighting through adversity, dealing with challenges, and the subsequent benefits that await once you come out the other side. 

I know.  I’ve used them.  Mom used to say, “everything happens for a reason” and I would roll my eyes as kids tend to do when parents impart their particular brand of wisdom.

Depending on the situation, however, in the moment, it’s hard to find the reason.  I mention this, not because there are difficulties, but to share a little message of optimism and hope as we move into spring…the season of new beginnings.

Recently, a close friend of mine passed away unexpectedly.  Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “That’s optimism?  Why are you bringing me down?”.  I promise that’s not my intent so hang in there.

See, I was asked to give a eulogy, something I had never done, and the bizarre thing was that just a couple weeks prior, my friend was talking about how he believed there was a reason for everything.  So, as I prepared my remarks, I looked for a reason for such an unfair loss.

What came to me was maybe less a reason and more a lesson on the significance of life; what we had and what remained rather than what was lost.  It said to me that when grief is so deeply felt, it’s actually a testament to life and is the result of the profound impact one person can have however long or short the time may be.

In recognizing this and thinking about how one moves forward, I realized how important it is not waste the time we have together and never take for granted those we hold most dear.

“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.”  However, you want to measure it, we can all be that one life that changes our world for the better.

There Must Be Manure to Life

Travel though the farmlands and you will no doubt encounter that unmistakable aroma which inevitably leads to the comment, “Was that you?” from some joker in the car. 

Yes, as spring approaches, crops are planted, and flower beds prepped, there will be lots of natures’ fertilizer in use.  At this time of year, I recall one of my first jobs working in the Sears Garden Center, loading bags and bags of peat moss, topsoil and yes, lovely grade A cow manure into people’s cars and trucks.  Sure, there was the occasional busted bag that found its way onto, and into, my clothes…or face, but hey, I was working outside in the sunshine and the physical labor got me into probably the best shape of my life.

And that’s the thing, manure will happen, life is going to dump it on you when you least expect it and in quantities you may think you can’t carry.  But remember, like the manure used in the fields to fertilize and help grow abundant crops and beautiful flowers to feed and nurture us body and soul, the kind life can dole out can also help us grow as individuals.  It’s part of life that not everything is clean and neat and sweet smelling.  Things can go sideways sometimes, you just have to believe in, and look for, what positives can come from them; how it will help you grow into a stronger, more beautiful being.  The same is true for life at Freedom.

When the economy fluctuates, when pandemics arise, when systems falter or we as humans simply make mistakes, it’s how we react, how we learn, how we adapt and improve, that makes us stronger, keeps us moving forwarding and growing to better serve our members, each other, and our community.  There are all sorts of clichés; “anything worth having is worth fighting for”, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, “everything happens for a reason”, and so on.  These may have some truth to them, but they can also be meaningless in the moment.

All I can say, from experience, is giving up doesn’t work.  Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away or resolve it.  Instead, I say, take that manure, spread it on the field, and let something wonderful grow.

Freedom Names Clarence Campbell Senior Vice President of Member Services

Campbell will oversee the operations of Freedom Federal Credit Union’s branch network and contact center.

Clarence Campbell - Senior Vice President of Member ServicesMarch 7, 2024 – Freedom Federal Credit Union has announced the appointment of Clarence Campbell as their new Senior Vice President of Member Services.  A seasoned executive-level leader with more than 30 years of experience in financial services, including banking, lending, wealth management, and financial technology, Campbell has a successful record of driving revenue and organizational growth.

In his role, Campbell is responsible for the operations of Freedom’s branch network and call center.  Prior to joining Freedom, Campbell served as Executive Vice President for Lendistry, Senior Vice President for PNC Bank, and Regional Bank Area President for Wells Fargo Bank.  Campbell pulls from his breadth of experience to ensure that every interaction with Freedom representatives not only meets, but exceeds, member expectations, fostering a culture of excellence and innovation in member services.

“We are thrilled to have Clarence as a part of the Freedom Team, and I know he will have an immediate and positive impact in how we support our members and their financial needs,” stated Michele Young, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

“Freedom Federal Credit Union has a stellar reputation for its commitment to excellence, community involvement, and putting its members first,” stated Campbell.  “I am committed to upholding these values that enhance our member services. Together, I look forward to helping Freedom Federal Credit Union continue to grow and thrive while making a positive impact in our community.”

As a leader with a passion for people, Campbell aligns well with Freedom’s “people helping people” philosophy and commitment to supporting the community.  With over 20 years of non-profit management experience, Campbell currently serves in the role of Treasurer on the National Board of Directors for the Youth Advocate Program.  Previously, Campbell served as the Board of Directors Chair for the Greater Baltimore Urban League and has served as Board Member for the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Campbell founded and continues to operate a youth basketball program for Catonsville Recreation and Parks, one of his passions.  Campbell’s program, which he has operated for over 25 years, focuses on skill development and mentoring.  As a proud native Baltimorean, Campbell and his team of coaches are committed to enriching the community through supporting its future leaders.

Campbell received his business management degree from Johns Hopkins University.  He is a graduate of Leadership Baltimore County and THE Leadership, a program of The Greater Baltimore Committee.

 

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford or Baltimore County.  Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford or Baltimore County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has six locations throughout Harford and Baltimore County. To learn more, visit www.freedomfcu.org.

Be Here Now

When asked how many children he thought he had influenced, Mr. Rogers said, “I don’t care how many, even if it’s just one.

We get so wrapped up in numbers in our society. The most important thing is that we are able to be one-to-one, you and I with each other at the moment. If we can be present to the moment with the person that we happen to be with, that’s what’s important.”

I mention this because of the similarity I feel between those words and our lives at Freedom.  The ability to be present in the moment applies not just with our members, but with each other.

Work gets busy, lives get chaotic, things happen unexpectedly, so it’s so important that we are aware and mindful of what is happening at this very moment.

The biggest gift we can each give ourselves is the gift of being present — engaged with life, connected with each other, listening with kindness, staying open-minded, free from judgment.

Aiden Jablon Receives Freedom Federal Credit Union’s First Annual Freedom to Help Award

The North Harford High School senior designates Harford Family House to receive a $1,000 donation on his behalf
Aiden Jablon Accepts Freedom to Help Award in 2024
Freedom Federal Credit Union Representatives presented the First Annual Freedom to Help Award to North Harford High School senior, Aiden Jablon, along with a check for $1,000 to contribute to his favorite local nonprofit organization, Harford Family House. Left to Right: Sue LeBuhn, Robin Tomechko, Aiden Jalon, Mike MacPherson, and Lisa Snodgrass

February 15, 2024 –  Freedom Federal Credit Union is pleased to congratulate Aiden Jablon, a senior at North Harford High School, on winning the Credit Union’s First Annual Freedom to Help Award.  The award is intended to celebrate an unpaid volunteer, who has chosen to spend their free time in the service of a local charitable mission – someone who has gone above and beyond in making the cause theirs.

Jablon was nominated by Harford Family House, a local nonprofit who strives to combat homelessness through housing, resources, and support.  Jablon first started volunteering with Harford Family House in middle school and has come to be a valued leader. Sue LeBuhn, Harford Family House’s Volunteer Engagement Manager, spoke highly of Jablon, noting that despite a demanding sports and academic schedule, “Jablon’s support as a project leader and his recruitment of other volunteers exemplifies the impact a dedicated individual can have on the community.”

In addition to his volunteer work with Harford Family House, Jablon volunteers with Best Buddies and Sports for Life through his school, two programs that work with people of differing abilities. “I think my volunteer experiences have made me more well-rounded and introduced me to things that I wouldn’t be accustomed to regularly,” said Jablon. “I’m just doing my small part to further their work.”

Jablon’s dedication to volunteerism seems to have taken hold, as he looks to the future, he wants to continue to give back. “Wherever I go to college I definitely want to continue volunteering, whether that’s with homelessness or not, but and even when I come back home, I hope to continue volunteering with Harford Family House,” stated Jablon.

Jablon and his mother, Tricia Jablon, met with representatives from Freedom Federal Credit Union and the grateful staff at Harford Family House at the nonprofit’s Aberdeen location for the award presentation.  While appreciative of the award, Jablon was especially thrilled that as a result, Freedom donated $1,000 to Harford Family House.

Mike MacPherson, Freedom’s President and CEO, expressed his delight in meeting Jablon, “It’s truly been a pleasure to meet Aiden, and to recognize him for his service to our community.  At the very core of Freedom is our commitment to our ‘people helping people’ philosophy. Through service to our members and to our community, we carry out this mission, and today, we have the opportunity to highlight and thank a very special person who shares in that philosophy. Congratulations, Aiden.”

After five years of running the viral #FreedomtoHelpChallenge on their social media pages, Freedom launched the Freedom to Help Award to bring even more focus to the individual volunteers shaping the community for the better.  Twelve deserving finalists were highlighted during a weeklong public voting period on Freedom’s Facebook and Instagram pages, allowing their powerful stories to spread across the community and beyond.

The Freedom to Help Award accepts nominations in November exclusively from employees associated with local nonprofit organizations in Harford and Baltimore County.  To get more information about nominations in 2024, please reach out to enter@freedomfcu.org and follow Freedom Federal Credit Union’s Facebook page for the latest.

 

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford or Baltimore County.  Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford or Baltimore County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has six locations throughout Harford and Baltimore County. To learn more, visit www.freedomfcu.org.