Member Testimonials


Member Stories

Harry Saini


Zak Eburne Stoodley


Zak Eburne Stoodley is a life-long resident of Grand Forks, and a life-long member at Grand Forks Credit Union. “I like being able to walk into a building and actually talk to the people handling your money,” says Zak. “Sure, you may be able to find some great offer with an online bank, but you can’t walk in there with your questions, and they don’t know you like the credit union does.”

An example of this was when the credit union pulled out all the stops to get him a mortgage. “Owning my own house has definitely been a big goal of mine,” says Zak. “The account managers at GFCU made that possible, and they made it easy.” Zak credits GFCU for taking the time to understand the barriers, and for their flexibility in overcoming them. “My account manager actually took the time to call my credit card company so that I would have a credit score to help me qualify,” explains Zak.

“[The Credit Union] is a Grand Forks bank, and I like to support local organizations whenever possible,” says Zak. “They, in turn, support the local community. I can’t even begin to list all the community organizations that GFCU has helped.”

Harry Saini


Harry Saini


Most people in Grand Forks would say they know Harry Saini. He’s a successful businessman, a contributing member of the community, and lives with his wife Sue in Grand Forks. Today, life is comfortable for the, but it was not always that way.

Emigrating from India in 1970, with a degree in Chemistry, he was not able to find the lab work he desired. So, he took on two jobs – one at the mill and the other at a packing plant. Since his move 45 years ago, he has banked with the Credit Union. “I still remember when I got my first loan,” says Harry. “I had never borrowed anything in my life; but they were great listeners and they made it easy.”

Over the years, Harry has enjoyed the support and personal attention at the GFCU. It was the credit union that suggested a new way to borrow for his businesses. “I used to fix up old houses and sell them, and went to GFCU to get a renovation loan,” explains Harry. “They showed me how I could use a line of credit instead.” Today, all his mortgages, credit lines, RSPs and accounts are held at the credit union – even the mortgage for his son’s home in Kelowna.

Harry admires GFCU for their community involvement, including the Rotary Club where he is a member. “I think it’s great that the credit union gives back to the community, and also gives you a dividend at the end of the year!”

dianne and dennis thome


Dianne and Dennis Thomes


Over their 40-year relationship with GFCU, the Thomes have always felt GFCU was there to help. When Dennis was out of work one winter, he got a contract to produce fence posts and needed a loan for supplies. “I had never taken a loan out before, [but] GFCU asked me about the contract details. Since it was with a well-known logging company, [they] approved the loan, and that was the start of our business.” That initial contract led to even more lucrative contracts with the provincial government, requiring Dennis to acquire a vehicle, startup tools and supplies, and to hire staff. “GFCU was a driver in our success,” says Dennis.

The Thomes have found GFCU to be proactive in providing education and advice around beneficial financial options for their investments, lines of credit, RSP loans and the move from RSPs to RRIFs. “I feel they are really paying attention to what is going on for us,” says Diane. “I suspect a bank would just leave that responsibility to us … I don’t know that we would get a phone call at all.”

Aside from their personal and business dealings, the Thomes’ volunteer lives also intersect with the credit union and GFCU staff. Dennis is involved with the Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities, which provides funding to local charitable causes and initiatives. “The generosity of GFCU is truly amazing,” says Dennis. “They provide strong community partnership to better our communities, and this has a wide economic development impact for the people across the Boundary region.”

Harry Saini


Kevin Grant


Kevin banks at the Credit Union for both his personal and business needs. He likes the flexibility that the credit union provides – especially when it comes to his business banking needs for Grand Forks Glass. He finds the staff to be friendly and knowledgeable. “They are more than willing to help,” says Kevin. “If they don’t know the answer, they will find someone who does, or they recommend an expert. And they know you by name.”

Kevin also likes their proactive approach. “They will suggest how you can save money or offset taxes,” says Kevin. “I received great tax planning advice at the credit union.” The same goes for investment advice. GFCU recommended an option for his RSP that yielded a higher return than he was getting elsewhere. “I don’t have time to follow markets and trends, but I can rely on the professionals at GFCU for that.”

While the credit union has played a role in his financial well-being, Kevin also feels they have contributed to the well-being of the community. “They are very visible in our community,” says Kevin. “Whether it is the Rotary Club, Halloween fireworks, or scholarships for high school students, GFCU always gives back to the people of Grand Forks. It’s stuff like this that makes you want to stay.”

Harry Saini


Terry Clarke


Terry Clarke and his wife Gail have been members of GFCU since they moved to Grand Forks in 1975. Terry attributes this loyalty to the flexibility and proactive support he has received from the credit union over the years. “They care for each and every member,” says Terry. “And they are willing to work outside the box when you are facing exceptional circumstances.” The credit union helped the family recover from losing their caravan to a fire, and provided creative and practical solutions when the family wanted to purchase 240-acre recreational property.

Terry’s exclusive banking relationship with GFCU extends past his personal needs. Although he is a retired schoolteacher, he has held business accounts to support his small business ventures over the years. He always felt that the credit union had his back if he needed to borrow money. Terry is also Chairman of the Gables Housing Society, a non-profit that provides local low-income housing. “The Society and its Manager have been very satisfied with the level of service and investment advice provided by the credit union, including on short-term large deposits.”

Terry and Gail remain in Grand Forks because of the amazing quality of life; and they remain at GFCU for the amazing attitude and the deep roots that the credit union has in the community. “I won’t bank anywhere else because of the support and attitude of the Credit Union team, whose mandate is ‘how can we help you?’ Whatever your life, financial or business goals, they are there to help.”