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Two credit unions take cooperation to the next level with shared space

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Phyllis Cochran and Le­Ann Anglin have facing offices at 3830 Washington Road and wave hello to each other every morning, but they aren’t co-workers.

Phyllis Cochran (left), of Augusta VAH Federal Credit Union, and LeAnn Anglin, of Georgia's Own Credit Union, have occupied facing offices since January.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Phyllis Cochran (left), of Augusta VAH Federal Credit Union, and LeAnn Anglin, of Georgia's Own Credit Union, have occupied facing offices since January.

Cochran is the president and CEO of Augusta VAH Federal Credit Union, and Anglin is the Augusta branch manager for Georgia’s Own Credit Union, two credit unions that have been working out of the same space since January.

This kind of cooperation may seem atypical for the financial sector, Cochran said, but it’s par for the course with credit unions.

“The collaboration, the nonprofit cooperation, that’s what makes us who we are,” she said.

Augusta VAH and Geor­gia’s Own started discussing sharing space in the summer of 2011, when Georgia’s Own CEO Dave Preter contacted Cochran about the possibility of sub-leasing from Augusta VAH.

Sharing space allows both credit unions to benefit not only from decreased overhead costs, but also greater security from an increased number of employees in the building. Twenty staff members work in the 4,000-square-foot building.

“It’s cost savings and a win-win for both,” Anglin said.

Augusta VAH serves primarily federal employees. Georgia’s Own is open to any resident of Georgia.

Both credit unions are members of the Credit Union Service Centers, a nationwide network of credit unions that allows customers to get service at any member credit union.

Customers have responded well to the setup, both women agreed, and the two credit unions don’t plan on getting separate spaces.

“We feel like this relationship will be ongoing,” Cochran said. “It benefits everyone.”


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