It was announced about this time last year that Premier Financial Credit Union would be building a new office in Chilton.
Credit union employees, members and the community are no doubt excited to see the new facility, but they are going to have to be patient. The process is moving along, according to Premier Financial President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Nothem, but he said they are taking their time to make sure things are done right.
Nothem said architects, designers and marketing personnel are currently being interviewed. The need for the first two is obvious in any construction project, but the marketing advice will be just as critical to this project, Nothem said. He said the credit union is reassessing its brand, identity and appearance so that it is clear to members and prospective members what Premier Financial is all about.
With the new office being built in Chilton, Premier Financial will have a blank canvas with which to work so it wants to make sure it gets things right the first time. In addition, whatever new branding is used in the new Chilton office is likely to be incorporated into future remodeling projects and upgrades at Premier Financial’s offices in New Holstein and Kiel to create a consistent look throughout the credit union.
Premier Financial acquired the Chilton properties of Rod’s Citgo and Just For You Flowers and Gifts next to its existing office at 50 E. Chestnut St. (STH 32/57) in Chilton. Nothem called the Rod’s Citgo acquisition a “win-win” as Rod’s owner Rod Rautmann was planning to retire. Just For You Flowers, meanwhile, is moving into its new location in the strip mall adjacent to Chilton Furniture just down the highway from its present location. Nothem said Premier Financial appreciates the cooperation of Rautmann and the Coffeen and Lisowe families for making this opportunity possible.
Under the direction of branch manager Katie Karls, the Chilton branch of Premier Financial—including Fritzy, Sue, Kate, Wendy and Patti—has provided the best possible service despite having less than adequate facilities, Nothem said. The new office will solve those facility challenges, yet Nothem said he expects it to be welcoming, home-like and conservative.
Do not expect walls to be going up this year, however, as Nothem said the earliest construction would begin would be spring 2015 and possibly even 2016. Demolition of the former Rod’s Citgo and Just For You Flowers and Gifts buildings is likely to take place this summer to get the site shovel-ready.
Premier Financial officials also are monitoring planned highway reconstruction work in front of their Chilton branch in order to best time the construction of its new branch. Its existing office, by the way, will remain open during construction of the new one, then later be torn down to create additional parking for the new office.
Keeping eye on interest rates
Another reason why Premier Financial Credit Union is taking its time on the construction project is so that it can monitor what happens with the economy in general and, specifically, interest rates. If the Federal Reserve bumps up interest rates, that would cut into the operating