177 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2020 4FRONT CREDI T UNION the tradition of setting out to probe the big unknowns. “4Front is the culmination of the joint vision, effort and support of two credit unions— one being Members Credit Union, the other being Bay Winds Federal Credit Union,” says CEO Andy Kempf. “We’ve got about 140 years combined of being in business at this point, serving our Northern Michigan markets.” Members Credit Union began its life as Governmental Employees Credit Union in 1954. Membership was available to families in Traverse City and its surrounding communities. Three years later, in 1957, Bay Winds Federal Credit Union began operating out of Charlevoix, MI, less than 50 miles north up the U.S. 31 highway corridor, under the name Saint Mary Catholic Credit Union. It would be 57 years before the two institutions would stumble upon each other and recognize they were kindred spirits, but in that time they would have built their reputations as capable, proud, and fiercely caring financial cooperatives on their own terms. Today, 4Front membership is available to anyone living, working or attending school in Michigan, and their immediate family members. “In 2014, it became apparent we’d be stronger together and could offer a lot more to the members and the constituency here in Northern Michigan,” Kempf recalls. “The recently retired CEO and I were able to work with our staff to put 4Front together, and from there it’s somewhat been the sky’s the limit. We’ve rolled out a contact center that’s superior to what both of us had, released top-of-the-line online banking products, and are giving our membership a better banking experience overall.” 4Front currently has 15 branches throughout the northwestern lakeshore employing 200 staff and serving roughly 90,000 members. They’re The newest branch location in Cadillac MI. This location features full service VideoTellers (interactive teller machines) both inside and in the drive-thru lanes.