Thank You for Supporting Mission Fed for 55 Years

May 6, 2016 | Donna Handwerger

Thank You for Supporting Mission Fed for 55 Years

This month, Mission Fed celebrates 55 years of serving our members and the San Diego community. Since we opened our doors in 1961, Mission Fed has always combined financial soundness with member service.

With some members and Mission Fed employees dating back more than 30 years, we thought it would be fun to look at where we started, what’s changed over the last 55 years and a look at what’s to come.

Mission Fed through the decades:


Public Schools Federal Credit Union (later to become Mission Federal Credit Union) opens in 1961 with one location. With expansion to Vista and Chula Vista by 1968, we grew to over 700 members who were public San Diego County School employees.


By 1976, membership grew to over 15,000 with four branch locations, making our first computer purchase a necessity, which the branch staff named “Hal Jr.” after our CEO at the time. To continue growing, we changed our name to Mission Federal Credit Union and opened our membership to include private school employees and students in 1978.

At the end of 1979, Mission Fed branch expansion continued including locations in Bonita, El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside, Encinitas and La Mesa, and we established our first real estate loan center.


We began the 1980s, with new products like Checking Accounts, Home Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit and Auto Loans, all of which have expanded throughout the years to offer members more options.

By the late 1980s we had eight additional branch locations, and expanded our membership to include San Diegans 55 or older and parents of San Diego County School students. Membership reached over 50,000, and our first ATMs were installed.


The 1990s were the decade of advancement in technology and the World Wide Web. The first Mission Fed website and employee intranet were implemented, and we began the On-Line Loan Application and Loan by Phone Service.

During this time, Mission Fed became the 37th largest Credit Union in the US, with over 20 branches and more than 100,000 members throughout San Diego County.


In 2003, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) approved Mission Fed to open membership to all of San Diego County, allowing anyone who lives, works or goes to school in San Diego to bank with us.

In 2005, Mission Fed created Mission Volunteers as a way to embrace the Credit Union’s commitment to giving back to the San Diego community.

In the mid 2000s, branch locations continued to expand throughout the county and Saturday branch hours were made available for better member service, as well as extended phone hours at our Contact Center.

Mission Fed first sponsored Mission Federal ArtWalk in 2007 and has continued to sponsor the free fine art community event annually. Last weekend was Mission Federal ArtWalk and KidsWalk—we hope you had the chance to come out and enjoy it!

Throughout 2000-2009, Mission Fed not only increased giving back to the San Diego community but also to members with additional products through our Credit Union Services Organization (CUSO) and with Mission for our Schools and Mission 2 $AVE in 2009.


Mission Fed began 2010 with just over 140,000 members and the partnership of Rady Children’s Hospital. At the end of that year, we established a financial education partnership with McGrath Family BizTown at Junior Achievement, creating an interactive Mission Fed shop that mimics a branch location where elementary students can learn the financial business.

In 2011, Mission Fed Mobile Banking was introduced and received 14,000 users by the end of the year. The following year, Mission Fed created Mission Fed in A Minute videos to help members researching products online and began Mission Fed social media channels.

Mission Fed introduced our car buying partner, Autoland, in 2013, offering members an easy way to purchase a new car without stepping foot at a car lot. In 2013, we also launched our $1 Million Mission Fed Money Match Program. Every day, winning members have their Credit or Debit Card purchases matched, and each month we match winning members’ Auto Loan, Home Loan or Direct Deposit. $1 Million Mission Fed Money Match gave winning members $1 Million in 2013, 2014, 2015 and we’re doing it again in 2016!

And in 2015, Mission Fed donated $1 million to support Junior Achievement of San Diego County’s Mission Fed JA Finance Park program, focused on increasing the financial literacy of San Diego high school students. The new high school program entails the redevelopment of the Junior Achievement curriculum with the use of tablets and mobile apps to prepare tech-savvy millennials for financial success.

This year, we’ve continued our partnership with the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Father Joe’s Villages and are excited to add a new partner; Girl Scouts San Diego. We’ve also added new virtual payment methods, including, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and have more on the way.

Whether you’re a new Mission Fed member or a thirty-year Mission Fed Ambassador, we thank you for being a part of our Credit Union and hope you’ll celebrate the next 55 years with us!

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. This article contains links for websites that Mission Fed does not control. Mission Fed is not responsible and does not assume liability for the operations, content, links, privacy or security policies of third party websites.

Donna Handwerger

Donna Handwerger

Donna Handwerger is VP Marketing Operations at Mission Federal Credit Union. She has over 20 years of experience in financial services. She started her career in sales and operations, with the last 15 years in Marketing, and excels in analytics.

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