DHCU Community Credit Union has a simple philosophy: “We take care of our employees so that they, in turn, will take care of our members.”

It is that company culture that was recognized by the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce as one of four local companies to receive Small Business of the Year awards from the chamber. DHCU was selected in the category for 51 to 250 employees, as was Isabel Bloom, Davenport.

The credit union, which has been around since 1935 has six branches with a seventh under construction in Bettendorf.  The other locations are in Clinton, Davenport, East Moline, Geneseo, Milan and Moline.

Terry Brahm, president and chief executive officer, said it originally was opened as Deere Harvester Credit Union and in 1996 went to a community charter where it served anyone living within a 50-mile radius of the Quad-Cities. In 2005, it was renamed DHCU Community Credit Union.

The credit union has 120 employees, adding 21 positions in the past year, Brahm said, reflecting overall growth.

Matt McCombs, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said DHCU is the fastest-growing credit union in the nation in terms of loan growth.

Selection of DHCU for the chamber’s award was based on several factors.

“Part of the judging is how innovative your business is, your leadership, how involved you are with the community,” Brahm said. “One of the things we are most proud of is the number of hours our employees contribute to community activities. We support a ton of activities in the community.

“It is not just monetary support, but man hours. We think the community we are in, we need to be good corporate citizen.”

“We have over 200 charities that we work with on an annual basis,” McCombs said. “It is not required that employees be out in the community. It is just part of our culture.”

In terms of innovative ideas, Brahm said DHCU also was honored for a loan promotion last year that offered a 3 percent buydown program for members to refinance some loans and have interest rates reduced by up to 3 percent.

“We set a goal out there. If we met the goal, I said I would kiss a pig,” Brahm said. “We like to celebrate our successes. I did it. They brought in a little piglet, and in front of everyone, I got to kiss it on the snout.”

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