Business Profile: Northern Skies Federal Credit Union
Name of the company: Northern Skies Federal Credit Union
Location: 5515 Arctic Blvd., Anchorage
Major focus of services: Northern Skies Federal Credit Union provides consumer financial services including savings accounts and loans, but not commercial services or real estate first mortgages.
History of the company: Employees of Reeve Aleutian Airways decided to form their own credit union, and RAA Federal Credit Union was chartered by the federal government in the late 1960s. The credit union started with 25 members and no paid employees.
However, the financial institution expanded its membership requirement to include all employees working in the area of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, including airlines, airport employees and car rental staff. In the early 1990s the name was changed to Northern Skies Federal Credit Union.
Today, the credit union serves about 3,150 members and has nine full-time employees. Although final numbers are under review, total assets for 2000 are expected to hit nearly $15 million and total loans should be $11 million.
Top accomplishment of the company: "I think the primary achievement of this credit union is offering years of personal and friendly service to our members while remaining competitive with the larger institutions in terms of pricing and breadth of services," said Northern Skies President Peter G. N. Saliba.
Major player: Peter G. N. Saliba, president, Northern Skies Federal Credit Union.
Saliba, who was planning to move from Philadelphia back to Europe, visited Alaska on vacation in 1982 and decided to move to Alaska instead. He first began working at the credit union in 1983 as operations manager. In 1988 he was appointed president of the credit union.
Quote: "I think the success of this credit union is that we keep lots of loyal members. ... We are trying to reach the next generation of members. We know people by their first names. ... We are small enough to react to market changes. We have to stay on our toes to stay competitive."
-- Nancy Pounds