Badger Globe Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that was formed in Kimberly-Clark’s first paper manufacturing facility, Badger-Globe Mill, in Neenah, WI. In 1947, employees of the Badger-Globe Mill were receiving financial services at a local credit union that was off-site. Since this location was somewhat inconvenient, three employees decided to form the “Badger-Globe Credit Union Committee” to see if Badger-Globe employees were interested in having a credit union of their own. In July of 1947, the committee passed out ballots to the mill employees and an overwhelming 96% of employees who voted supported the idea of starting their own credit union.
The committee called an organizational meeting on August 12, 1947. On this evening, nine employees of various departments of the Badger-Globe Mill contributed $1.00 each and became the charter members of our credit union. The credit union was officially incorporated on August 25, 1947 when the Articles of Incorporation were approved by the state banking department. The first directors meeting was called the next month, where a code of regulations was adopted, and credit committee were elected.
Operations began on November 1, 1947, with office hours of 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Fridays only. During the first month, ten loans totaling over $850.00 were disbursed. Interest in the new credit union grew quickly and by year-end, deposits totaled over $6,000.00, outstanding loans totaled nearly $5000.00, and the membership had grown to 193.
Deposits and personal loans continued to grow over the years, as did our services. By 1954, the credit union began providing real estate loans. In 1957, a remodeling project was completed which allowed more room and gave members more privacy while conducting their business.
After many years of continued steady growth in membership and financial strength, security measures at the Badger-Globe Mill made remaining at the mill impossible. Due to this, in March of 1979, the credit union office was moved to the lower level of the Briggs Building at 151 E. Forest Avenue Neenah, WI. We began to offer share draft accounts, credit cards, and other products to meet our members’ growing needs. In 1983 we were able to secure office space on the ground level of the Briggs Building, so we moved upstairs to have more room and offer our members more convenient access.
In the summer of 1988, we joined forces with another financially strong credit union in Neenah. Earlier that year, Neenah Paper Credit Union held a special membership meeting and voted to merge with Badger Globe Credit Union. After we combined credit unions, we passed the $10 million asset threshold and grew to the size of 2400 members. Merging with Neenah Paper enabled us to continue offering superior service, excellent savings rates, and low loan rates to our members.
By 1990, we were ready for a larger facility. We purchased land in Neenah (within close proximity to several Kimberly-Clark plants) and started construction on our new 4,000 square foot building. The location of our new office would not only be more convenient for members to transact their business, but it also gave us the opportunity to offer new services like drive-up lanes and safe deposit boxes. On August 21, 1990, we officially opened our doors and welcomed members to our new home at 260 N. Green Bay Road Neenah, WI.
Badger Globe Credit Union experienced record growth during the mid-90’s. Our membership increased by 25% and our assets nearly doubled since moving to the new location. We expanded our line of services and products even more, built an addition to our office to provide more room for staff, and installed an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) to accommodate our growing membership.
During this time, we also experienced a change in leadership. Robert Linskens, our second President/Manager, retired after nearly 40 years of service to Badger Globe. Robert started working at the credit union in 1954 when the office was located behind the guardhouse at the Badger-Globe Mill. His dedication to running the credit union for the good of all members and his commitment to providing members the very best set the standards for Badger Globe’s future operations.
In 1994, Carla Watson was given the opportunity to become Badger Globe’s third President. When Carla took office, she turned a new focus on meeting members’ needs. She not only ensured that members received the standard benefits of credit union membership, like offering low loan rates and low-cost financial services, and paying competitive dividends on savings accounts, but she went above and beyond by giving our members the most personalized service, the latest products, technologies and services. Her vision, to help members reach their financial dreams, is what still inspires us to give every member our very best, every day.
Our mission is to exceed our members’ expectations through exceptional service. We take pride in being owned by our members and make it our top priority to fully invest in them. Badger Globe Credit Union is the only financial institution in Wisconsin exclusively serving Kimberly-Clark employees, retirees, and their families so we feel honored to serve them, as it is their loyalty and confidence in us that has allowed us to stand strong for over 70 years.
What began with just $9.00 and a desire to provide Kimberly-Clark employees financial services while pursuing common financial interests in 1947 grew into an extraordinary credit union. Today, we have over $40 million in assets, serve more than 2,700 members, and employ 10 full time employees. We’d like to say “Thanks” to our members, who we sincerely attribute our success to. It’s been a privilege to serve you all these years and we look forward to serving you for many more!