SPOTLIGHT: Piedmont Advantage Credit Union’s Jean Golden-Rumer and Jeanette Stark and their role in launching the PACU Foundation to increase the credit union’s capacity to make a difference
Piedmont Advantage Credit Union’s Jeanette Stark and Jean Golden-Rumer did not know each other prior to joining the organization. Upon meeting, it became apparent they shared a mutual desire to problem-solve and foster a workplace environment that values social responsibility.
“The credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ is what attracted me to Piedmont Advantage Credit Union. I was looking for a different challenge and liked the idea of helping people in a different way,” said Stark, who has been with the organization for a year as its first in-house general counsel.
Golden-Rumer’s path to Piedmont Advantage Credit Union (PACU) was a little different. As a recent college graduate and a new transplant to North Carolina, she was looking for an opportunity to put her marketing and management degrees to work. After five years with PACU, Golden-Rumer is now its learning manager, responsible for developing and implementing PACU’s training programs, managing internal communications, and driving its brand culture.
“PACU has a long history of reinforcing a culture of social responsibility. Being part of advancing, and even strengthening, this culture is something very important to me personally,” said Golden-Rumer.
PACU Foundation was founded in January 2020, grown out of the desire of PACU’s Board of Directors and leadership team to enlarge PACU’s capacity to make a difference within its service areas of Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Duplin, Iredell, New Hanover, and Rockingham counties. Being problem-solvers and having servants’ hearts made it easy for Stark and Golden-Rumer to decide to volunteer their time to serve on the initial Board of Directors for the PACU Foundation.
Stark took the lead in preparing and filing the necessary documentation to form and operate the PACU Foundation and was elected as Vice President of the foundation in January. Golden-Rumer was initially appointed by the Board to organize and chair the Fundraising Committee for the foundation. However, when the foundation’s initial President retired this summer, the PACU’s Foundation’s board recognized that Golden-Rumer’s dedication to serving others and ability to pull together and motivate a group of talented volunteers made her the overwhelming choice to lead the organization as its new President. Golden-Rumer and Stark are both eager to get past the COVID-19 pandemic so that the PACU Foundation can conduct fundraising events to grow the foundation’s fund balance.
Undeterred by the inability to plan events for this year, Golden-Rumer and Stark have been using this unprecedented time to build the foundation’s infrastructure and plan for the future.
“We already had a culture of fundraising to give back to the communities we are privileged to serve. We just needed a more structured way to engage our employees and members to contribute and volunteer. The success of our foundation will be dependent on their involvement,” added Stark.
Even before rolling out planned fundraising and organized giving campaigns, the foundation has nearly $8,000 from more than 100 unique contributors. Stark and Golden-Rumer expect these numbers to grow significantly heading into 2021.
“We have a great story to tell. The foundation is 100 percent supported by PACU employees and members. We will be using their investment of time and money to partner with our communities to identify their unique needs. I can’t wait to get started,” said Golden-Rumer.
The PACU Foundation’s mission is to create strong, sustainable financial health in local communities in North Carolina by using the power of cooperative efforts to enable dreams to take flight and soar. For more information, go to PACU.com/Foundation.
About Jean Golden-Rumer
- Born and raised in Elkins, WV
- Earned Bachelor’s degrees in marketing and management from Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV
- Employed with Piedmont Advantage Credit Union (PACU) as its learning manager
- Founding board member of the PACU Foundation
- Elected PACU Foundation President in 2020
About Jeanette Stark
- Born and raised in Montclair, NJ, but has called Forsyth County home since 2000
- Earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA
- Earned Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest School of Law in Winston-Salem, NC
- Employed with Piedmont Advantage Credit Union (PACU) as its first general counsel
- Founding board member of the PACU Foundation
- Elected PACU Foundation Vice President in 2020
About Piedmont Advantage Credit Union and The PACU Foundation logo
In 1948, Aviator Tom Davis launched a small airline, Piedmont Airlines, in Winston-Salem, NC, to provide servicemen and women jobs after the war. Under his leadership, the airline flourished, and the need for a credit union was recognized. By 1949, with airline volunteers and a cash box in a small office, Mr. Davis supported an aviation credit union’s launch to provide small loans and savings accounts to Piedmont Airlines’ employees. The credit union grew rapidly along with the airline industry.
Over the years, this credit union became known as Piedmont Advantage to reflect its growing membership. With access to over 5,000 branches within the credit union network and 35,000 surcharge-free ATMs, membership is open to individuals who reside, work or worship in one of the eight communities it serves in North Carolina or who are employed by one of its employer companies. These eight communities are in Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Duplin, Iredell, New Hanover, and Rockingham counties.
The PACU Foundation logo with the display of wings is a tribute to Piedmont Advantage’s humble beginnings within the airline industry.
(Caption for image 1: Pictured left to right are the PACU Foundation President Jean Golden-Rumer and Vice President Jeanette Stark)
(Description of image 2: The PACU Foundation logo)