Debbie Mickelson, Division President of Electrus - Division of SPIRE Credit Union, has retired from a 33-year career in credit unions. She was hired by Electrus, then known as Local 292 IBEW Credit Union, in September 1993 as the Vice President of Operations. Prior to joining Electrus, she worked for five years at Honeywell Credit Union.
“I was the second management person, working with our CEO, Linda Romine,” said Debbie, “As Local 292 IBEW Credit Union grew and added new products and services, the credit union needed to add a management position to oversee operations. Fortunately for me, I had the background in operations and compliance that they were looking for.” In December 2006, Linda retired, and Debbie was named as her successor.
When Debbie started, the credit union operated an office in the Towle Building downtown Minneapolis. In October 2001, Electrus moved to their current location in Brooklyn Center and rebranded themselves as Electrus Federal Credit Union to reflect the diversity of their entire membership. Their field of membership expanded to include local unions 343 and 160, electrical contractors, their employees, and three generations of family members who work in diverse professions. Electrus conveyed their commitment to its members while recognizing its heritage. Electricians and the electrical industry are their foundation.
Electrus was chosen as a combination of their heritage, electrical workers, and their core value – Trust.
A big “proud” for Electrus was in 2013, when the Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal named Electrus a “Top 25” credit union in the Twin Cites metro area in in Minnesota.
In November 2019, the Electrus members voted to partner with SPIRE, becoming Electrus — Division of SPIRE Credit Union. Debbie and her Board of Directors recognized the need to offer members expanded branch options, more ATM access, a greater offering of products and services, and enhanced technology.
“There are so many touch point options now; digital banking, transfers between banks, remote deposit capture - everything available, “said Debbie, “SPIRE has been so good to me and very respectful of my position. We chose SPIRE as our merger partner because of their philosophy of giving back and improving lives. Our values of trust, respect, responsibility, commitment, and education are shared by SPIRE, too.”
Between 1993 when Debbie was hired, and 2019 when Electrus partnered with SPIRE, assets went from $29.8 million to $61.9 million, or 107%; and loans grew from $10.8 million to $25.1 million, or 133%.
In retirement, Debbie and her husband plan to tackle their travel ‘dream list,’ which includes Machu Picchu in Peru, and Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Parks in the United States. They also enjoy taking in the beauty of the all-American motorcycle road trip, and have a few planned for the summer.
“What I treasure the most about my career is the ability to help people and helping to make their dreams come true,” said Debbie, “Credit unions make a difference in improving lives. Throughout my 28-year tenure with Electrus, I was actively involved in our electricians’ apprenticeship program. It was so fun to explain credit unions to them, take them under our wing, and help them with their financial needs going forward.”
“Debbie has been truly a pleasure to work with these past few years since the SPIRE-Electrus partnership,” said SPIRE SVP and Chief Retail Officer Jim Ganger, “Her passion for helping our membership is evident in her work. She will be greatly missed. On behalf of SPIRE, we wish her a happy retirement!”