The mission of the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the membership of Ascentra Credit Union and further the philanthropic outreach in the communities we serve. Our focus is on funding work to enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved.
It is the vision of the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation to honor the memory of our late President & CEO Paul Lensmeyer and to meet the charitable and educational objectives of the Board of Directors of Ascentra Credit Union.
CREATION OF FOUNDATION
Paul Lensmeyer was more than the President & CEO at Ascentra Credit Union; he was a charismatic leader, a friend to many and an astute businessman who spent his life giving to others. He was the heart of the organization for over 20 years and created a culture dedicated to giving back and community service.
As any great leader does, Paul had a plan in place for a worst-case scenario. Long ago, Paul and the Board of Directors had put in place a key person life insurance policy that would protect the credit union in case tragedy struck. As Paul was preparing for retirement he had already initiated a succession plan and had selected and trained Dale Owen to assume his CEO responsibilities. When Paul passed away unexpectedly, a policy that would normally be used to search for a successor did not need to be used in that fashion.
The board and senior management team were faced with a difficult decision on what to do with the policy proceeds. It did not take long to determine that Ascentra would like to utilize the funds to start the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation continuing the service and generosity Paul taught and lived. “Listening, caring, doing what’s right” are words that were genuinely spoken by Paul, who lived and breathed this mantra in his professional and personal life. He instilled these beliefs into our organization which has made a difference in the lives of its members, staff, and the communities we serve. Now, through the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation we are ensuring that his legacy lives on and that these beliefs will have a positive ripple effect for generations to come.
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF THE GREAT RIVER BEND
Ascentra decided to partner with the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend to form the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation establishing an endowment and a charitable giving fund.
This collaboration represents the largest corporate partnership with the Community Foundation to date by establishing a $1.75 million endowment to support our corporate philanthropy, and a non-endowed fund of $250,000 for additional grants.
FUNDING REQUESTS & AWARDS
The Ascentra Credit Union Foundation takes a proactive approach to grantmaking, developing relationships with and exploring the deeper needs of the organizations we fund. As such, we do not accept unsolicited proposals. Rather, through our community presence and involvement, we seek out partner organizations who enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved.