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  • February 16, 2017 3:53 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Download the form here>>

    Contact Ann-Marie P. Monroe at 443-615-3262 with questions or to open an account.

  • February 10, 2017 1:11 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Get Your Financial House in Order This Year 

    8 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

    The New Year brings renewed optimism and plans to start fresh. But for every well-intentioned resolution made, we’ve all set half-hearted resolutions that we fail to keep by spring. This year, start by making resolutions that have a substantial and meaningful impact on your life: resolve to build a solid financial foundation.

    Here are 8 simple resolutions to set yourself up for financial success. 

    1. Update your retirement contributions.

    A 1 percent increase in your retirement plan contributions can have a major impact on your long-term savings. If you receive an end-of-year raise, put that money towards your retirement savings. Either way, in 2017 you’ll be one year closer to retirement so be sure to maximize how much you’re putting into your 401(k) plan. 

    2. Slim down your wallet.

    Rethink all of those credit cards weighing down your wallet. Compare the interest rates, annual fees and perks for each card, then close high interest accounts or those offering rewards that no longer fit your needs. It’s a myth that leaving cards with a zero balance open shows healthy credit history. In fact, a high credit line can negatively affect your credit score. If you close multiple cards with remaining balances, consider consolidating the total balance to one card and look for programs that offer free balance transfer. 

    3. Create a plan to be debt free by 2018. 

    Whether you have student loans, credit card debt or a mortgage payment, total monthly debt should generally not exceed 36 percent of gross income. However, no matter if you’re above or below the 36 percent figure, it’s important to minimize debt and develop a plan to pay it off. Start by creating a budget and prioritizing necessary bills, then allocate a set amount to pay towards debt. Consider a budgeting tool to help see where your money goes – and more importantly what can be cut and used to pay down debt. Once you meet the minimum payments for loans and other debt, use a laddering method to pay more towards your bill with the highest interest rate. If multiple loans have the same high interest rate, start with one that has a lower balance so you can pay it off more quickly. Paying off a loan in its entirety, especially one with high interest, is a huge personal and mental victory that can help you feel like you're making progress 

    4. Reevaluate your insurance policies.

    When you first signed up for insurance (auto, home, life, health, etc.) it was likely structured to fit your needs at the time. But do your policies fit your current needs? If you have homeowner’s insurance, have you done major renovations to your house recently? If so, make sure your policy covers the full value of your home. If you have auto insurance but work from home more frequently now or have switched jobs and are closer to your office, update the average monthly miles on your auto policy. And make sure your policy beneficiaries are up-to-date. As you make changes to your insurance policies, check with your financial institution to see if they offer member discounts for auto, home and life insurance. Credit unions often offer member discounts on a variety of products and services.  

    5. Make financial literacy a family priority. 

    Creating financial stability is a team sport. Each member of your family should play an active role in achieving financial wellness. Make sure that everyone is involved in creating a basic budget, developing savings and managing expenses and debt. For children, lay a foundation early on to develop a lifetime of good financial habits. Open a custodial account in their name at your financial institution and use everyday teachable moments to help them understand saving and budgeting.  

    6. Rebalance your investment portfolio. 

    Work with a trusted financial advisor to review your asset allocation annually and ensure that it aligns with your savings goals and risk profile. Research shows that a diversified investment mix, including stock and bonds, helps smooth the effect of market ups and downs. If you don’t already work with an advisor, your financial institution may offer free, personalized guidance. 

    7. Closely review your bills and financial statements.

    According to WalletHub, a survey of 35 of the largest banks showed the average customer pays $470 in fees each year. To avoid paying unnecessary charges, review your bank’s monthly balance requirements or switch to a credit union, which traditionally have lower fees. Also review your monthly bills to see where you can cut back. You may be paying fees for premium TV services without evaluating exactly what you’re getting, which means you may be paying for more than you need or use. Take a close look at the services you pay for each month and see what you might be able to trim. People assume that utilities are another area where rates are set in stone. However, in today’s environment companies may be willing to negotiate your rate to avoid losing you to a competitor.  

    8. Sign up for auto pay features.

    Save time by signing up for automatic payments and automatic saving features offered by your financial partner. Reoccurring bill pay can help you avoid late fees or missed payments – and in some cases – save money. Prioritize paying yourself for savings and retirement by setting up automatic transfers to your savings accounts. Each month, direct a portion of your income into your savings account. 

    Keeping your financial house in order is just like maintaining your home – it’s a process, it takes time and making it a priority will pay off in the long run. 

    Kim Mangrum is the Senior Vice President, Chief Member Services Officer at Point Breeze Credit Union

  • February 03, 2017 3:48 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Download the form here>>

    Contact Ann-Marie P. Monroe at 443-615-3262 with questions or to open an account.

  • February 02, 2017 2:04 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Invitation from Padonia Park Club:

    WHEN:  Wednesday, February 22, 2017
                   5:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
                   Doors open at 5:15 p.m.

     WHERE: Padonia Park Club
                    The Lakeside Ballroom
                    12006 Jenifer Road
                    Cockeysville, Maryland 21030

    Sample and savor our Executive Chef’s inspired menu food tasting with items from our company picnic packages including our new Maryland BBQ package, formal gala menu packages, as well as from The Grille and Castaway Café.

    New this year, we have injected the taste of Sagamore Rye into several of our menu options—formal to casual. Representative Chad Albertson will be speaking briefly. We will be having signature cocktails including Sagamore Rye Whiskey prepared by our mixologists. Cash bar available.

    SAGAMORE SPIRIT flows from a spring house, built in 1909, at Maryland’s Sagamore Farm – uniquely pure and naturally filtered spring water, fed from a limestone aquifer. The same water that fuels their champion thoroughbreds, also cuts the rich spice of our rye, creating a spirit as revolutionary as America’s risk-takers and history makers. Their story is one of passion, of old meeting new, and crafting a timeless American whiskey as pure as the Sagamore streams.

    The Lakeside Ballroom at Padonia Park Club was built in 1994 and has just underwent a two month renovation with a new grey chic color scheme, new graphite floor design, new lighting fixtures with the ability to customize colors based on our clients choices, and more. Padonia Park Club is one of the Top 20 Caterers of Baltimore—Baltimore Business Journal. The Club hosts hundreds of events annually including Weddings, Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, Meetings, Galas and Company Picnics.

    Admission is $10 per person with all proceeds benefiting The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools. Also, guests should bring their business cards to be entered into drawings throughout the night. 

    Schedule of Events:

    5:15 p.m. – Doors open, Bar opens
    5:30 p.m. -  Fun begins!
    5:45 p.m. – Mixology 101 – Sagamore Rye Cocktails
    6:45 p.m. – Speaker: Chad Albertson, Sagamore Spirits
    7:00 p.m. – Opportunity for you to give 30 second company pitch  
    7:30 p.m. – Event ends 

    The event is limited to 150 guests. 21+. RSVP online at www.PadoniaParkClub.com by Monday, February 20th or while tickets last.

    Enjoy signature samplings from Padonia Park Club and hobnob with Baltimore’s business leaders and personalities.

  • February 02, 2017 1:33 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Hunt Valley, MD – Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union is rewarding its valued members by issuing a 2016 year-end dividend bonus to members.

    AFFCU board and management are proud to award a member bonus based on the outstanding financial performance of the credit union in 2016. “The dividend bonus is a tangible result of our successful year, made possible by the Credit Union’s prudent financial practices and strong capital level, which is a direct result of the members’ activity with the credit union” stated Matthew Piazza, AFFCU President and CEO.

    AFFCU members will again share in the credit union’s success. AFFCU is returning 25% of the organizations 2016 Net Income to members in the form of a 2.5% bonus on dividends earned and a 2.5% rebate on interest paid on AFFCU loans. The Member Bonus Dividend payment will be posted to member accounts on January 31, 2017.

    Piazza added, “It’s just another way that our members “win” and receive a unique banking experience unlike any other these days, on top of the great savings and earning potential that they have access to day in and day out at AFFCU. We know our members value AFFCU being reliable stewards of their money, evident in the strong relationships we’ve developed and the pride they have in their credit union.” 

    Michael Spencer, AFFCU Board Chairman, commented “This year-end Member bonus is our way of saying thanks to the members who have made Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union their primary place to do their banking. As a not-for-profit cooperative institution, we acknowledge that these earnings are the members’ money, and feel that it should be returned to them whenever possible.”

    Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union (AFFCU), headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, is a full- service financial institution serving the employees and their families of over 160 companies and organizations. Offering a full range of electronic services, members also have access to over 35,000 free ATMs and over 6,800 shared branches nationwide through the CO-OP Network. Visit www.affcu.org to learn more.


    Read the release on AFFCU's website >>
    Download the press release here>>

  • January 31, 2017 3:15 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    You are invited to the Arthritis Foundation's Maryland Community Gathering! Join the Arthritis Foundation on March 23rd for refreshments and networking and an update the foundations goals and volunteer opportunities. RSVP online at: http://marylandgathering.kintera.org.

    Maryland Community Gathering Invitation>>

  • January 24, 2017 2:30 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Nelson Coleman Jewelers is offering a promotion on January 28th for 60% off for one hour! Visit their website at: www.NelsonColeman.com.

  • January 20, 2017 1:43 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Read the story and watch the video on the Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/towson/ph-tt-inauguration-viewing-stand-0118-20170118-story.html

    Don Bonnett talks about his experience with the inaugural viewing stand at his home in Timonium, MD on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

     Timonium man has fond memories of his contribution to inaugurations of three presidents

    As the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump approaches, Don Bonnett retains fresh memories of an earlier inauguration — that of President Ronald Reagan's first term, on Jan. 21, 1981.

    Bonnett's pride stems from a collaborative effort in which he played a part in designing the presidential reviewing stand upon which Reagan and his successors, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, took the oath of office. That pride is evident today in the way the longtime Timonium resident talks about the work he did to make those events successes.

    The first Reagan inauguration, though, is the one that stands out for the 71-year-old Bonnet, who at the time was hired by Frank Fields of Associated Builders, a construction company in Hyattsville, Md., to design a reviewing stand that mimicked the one used for President John F. Kennedy's inaugural in 1961.

    However, while the stands used for Kennedy's swearing-in had been made of wood, Reagan's was to be made of steel, in part to make them safer.

    "We had the contract for building the stands going back to the second President [Richard] Nixon's inauguration," said Fields, who was an Associated Builders vice president when he hired Bonnett. Associated Builders has assembled the stand from the ground up for every inauguration since Reagan's in 1981, and have done so for Trump's, which is Friday.

    In 1981, Bonnett, then 39, was the district manager for Armco Building Systems, a subsidiary of the now-defunct Armco Steel Corp., which specialized in constructing steel structures. His job was to manage and recruit authorized contractors and promote the sale of buildings to architects, engineers, developers, local governments and private companies.

    "I was the guy out in the field who had to coordinate everything in terms of engineering and design back to our home office," he said. "I had to be creative in how to figure out how to make a wooden structure into a metal structure and relate it to our engineering department."

    Fields knew that Bonnett had plenty of experience in the steel business and was "easy to work with," he said.

    "He was a very spirited guy, and he knew what he was doing," added Fields, who has been retired for nearly 20 years. "It was a great team effort with me, Don and our architects."

    "Don and Frank were instrumental in converting the structure from wood to a pre-engineered steel building, which saved a lot of time and money," said Michael Buck, the president of Associated Builders, Inc.

    Because he backed Reagan in that election, Bonnett felt an extra sense of accomplishment for his part in the proceedings, he said.

    He had a great view of the presidential entourage from his vantage point in the media stands in Lafayette Square, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the president's reviewing stand, which is situated with its back to the White House.

    "We had great seats and it was the most memorable one for me," said Bonnett, 71, who since 2013 has been the co-owner of Maryland Sales and Marketing Associates, a business consulting company he runs with his daughter, Margie Anne. "It was a thrill for me to see the president and his wife, Nancy, get out of the car and go into the stands."

    Don Bonnett poses with a photo of the inaugural viewing stand being built in 1984. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

    Twenty tons of steel

    One of Bonnett's goals was to make sure the new steel structure would resemble the older, wooden one.

    To that end, he used the plans from the Kennedy inauguration stands to get its basic parameters and transform it into metal.

    One immediate benefit to using nearly 20 tons of steel in the project was improved security, Bonnett said.

    The 56 cubic feet of concrete used to stabilize the 14 supporting steel columns provided an extra layer of protection from anyone inclined to crash a vehicle into the stands, making it a popular choice for the United States Secret Service, Bonnett said

    "The Secret Service really liked the idea that the stands were raised [from sidewalk level] by 4 feet of concrete instead of 4 feet of wood," he added,

    There were other reasons why using steel made more sense than wood, including the elimination of interior support columns, which added as many as 20 unobstructed-view seats. Because steel is stronger than wood, those columns weren't needed to support the roof.

    "Nancy [Reagan] was particularly happy about that," Bonnet said.

    Despite all the benefits of using steel, Bonnett still found himself jumping through plenty of hoops to get approval for the stand from a variety of federal and local government and other agencies.

    He attended meetings with representatives from organizations ranging from the Secret Service to the United States Park Police and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., all of which had to sign off on the project before it could move forward.

    Procuring those approvals were part and parcel of a hectic couple of weeks for Bonnett, who was given an extremely short deadline to complete the $250,000 structure, which he estimated would cost between $750,000 and $800,000 today.

    Meeting a deadline

    After getting the nod from the authorities, Bonnett wasted little time in ordering the steel, which was sent by truck from Ohio to the White House. In a process that typically takes at least six to eight weeks from order to delivery, Bonnett's was expedited to just two.

    The nature of a pre-engineered structure — built by using standard sections and connections to make building simpler and quicker — allowed Bonnett to meet his deadline.

    It also has helped to keep costs down over ensuing inaugurations, given that the same materials can be used over and over, Buck said.

    That is the case for Trump's viewing stand, which will use the same steel structure that Bonnett helped to implement in 1985 for Reagan's second inauguration.

    In 1985, though, freezing temperatures, including wind chills of minus 22 degrees, forced the inauguration proceedings to be moved indoors to the Capital Centre in Landover, according to media sources from the time.

    Bonnett said he drove to Washington on the following day to see the structure nonetheless.

    "I went just to see the stands for the last time and talk to the people who worked so hard to get the job done," he said.

  • January 16, 2017 3:15 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Happy Baltimore Restaurant Week, foodie friends! Where are you eating this week? Support fellow HVBF member Fazzini's Taverna with a full course fresh Italian meal. Baltimore Restaurant week is from January 13th to the 22nd!

    Download Fazzini's Taverna Restaurant Week Menu>>

  • December 08, 2016 2:00 PM | HVBF Administrator (Administrator)

    Currently more than half of all U.S. sales come from the 28 million small businesses in this country. As a growing tech and startup scene, Baltimore is swiftly becoming an incubator for small business and entrepreneurs. And one thing all smallbusinesses have in common: every good business plan requires funding.

    For small businesses, lenders like credit unions are increasingly their biggest allies. Traditional banks are cautious to lend to small businesses while alternative lenders are costly and risky. According to the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, credit union member business loans have grown 60% since 2008.  

    And because credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit, they return profits back to members in the form of lower fees and competitive interest rates. This means credit unions are a low-cost solution for those looking to start their own business. That savings translates into lower checking fees, higher yield deposit accounts and better commercial real estate rates.

    Positioned as community and mission-driven lenders, credit unions are less bureaucratic, more flexible in loanrequirements and offer greater discretion in the underwriting process. Small business lending is largely relationship based and requires knowledge of the local market. Because of this, the service an applicant receives with a credit union throughout the process is supportive and personalized. 

    Credit unions maintain strong, deep roots within the communities they serve. Because they typically serve a specific community; therefore they’re banking on the economic success of local, small businesses. It’s in everyone’s best interest for a business operating purposefully in the community to succeed, and a credit union’s investment in the financial health of its community is nurturing for entrepreneurs. This relationship is ideal for those, years later, still lacking confidence in big, National banks.  

    Credit unions are a great way to jump-start a small business. The average member business loan among Maryland credit unions is $215,394 (source: CUNA); but credit unions are also a great resource for micro-loans (under $50,000) to assist a business owner in expanding or renovating their physical space, increasing inventory, procuring new equipment or looking for supplemental capital. 

    Many credit unions offer programs to foster economic development within the community, specifically for women and minority-owned businesses. Earlier this year, the Small Business Administration signed an agreement with the National Credit Union Association to support lending programs and meet the needs of those underserved by traditional banks. This has expanded the resources for credit unions to best serve small businesses.

    The good news continues. Maryland credit unions are well below the lending cap of member business loans. This means there is significant untapped capital available to those who qualify. (By law, a credit union’s business loans cannot exceed 12.25 percent of its assets. Currently, credit unions are pushing congress to raise that cap to 27.5 percent to allow for institutions to make more business loans.)

    For anyone starting a small business or hitting funding roadblocks, consider your options. Finding the right banking relationship that supports you and meets your business’ needs is the key to startup success. The credit union down the road could just be your best partner. 

     Author : Tricia Brice

    Tricia is the Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer at Point Breeze Credit Union. Based in Hunt Valley, Md., Point Breeze serves more than 51,000 members and 500 employer groups through the Baltimore area offering competitive and supportive financial services for consumers and businesses.  

    About Point Breeze Credit Union

    Point Breeze Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative serving more than 51,000 members and over 500 employer groups. The growing credit union, with total assets exceeding $750 million, currently has offices in Hunt Valley, Rosedale and Bel Air and plans for expansion into Westminster in 2016 and Owings Mills in 2017. Members also have access to over 5,000 shared branch locations across the United States. Individuals who work, worship or volunteer within 20 miles of a Point Breeze location are eligible to join. Point Breeze offers consumer and business checking, savings and loan services. Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Opportunity. For more information, please visit www.pbcu.com.

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