Winter 2022


in person and virtual meeting
Your voice matters

Acclaim FCU will hold its Annual Meeting of Members on Friday, March 25, 2022, at 12:00 PM. This year’s meeting will be in person with a virtual option. If you would like to attend this meeting, please email Admin@AcclaimFCU.org for registration information. Elections will be held at the meeting to fill four seats on the Board of Directors. The nominating committee has made nominations for vacancies on the Board. The election will not be conducted by ballot and there will be no nominations from the floor when the number of nominees equals the number of positions to be filled. However, additional nominations may be made by petition prior to the meeting.

To be nominated by petition, a completed petition signed by at least 63 members must be submitted to the Board Secretary no later than Sunday, February 13, 2022 at the following address:  

David Dalton, Nominating Committee, Acclaim FCU, PO Box 29527, Greensboro, NC 27429. If you would like more information about submitting a petition, please contact Valerie Marsh at the credit union office. 


Carla Ugboro, Incumbent
Carla is a Human Resources professional specializing in Employee Relations, Professional Development, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She has held various positions at VF Playwear, VF Jeanswear, and VF Corporate. Carla served as a Board Member from 2006-2010. She joined our Advisory Board in 2016 and later that year rejoined the Board of Directors. Carla has a Bachelor of Science degree of Business Administration from North Carolina A&T State University as well as a Professional Human Resources Certificate from Duke University and Public Manager Certification from University of Kentucky (Louisville).

Lara Heberle, Incumbent

Lara is a Customer Accounting Manager at Kontoor Brands.  She has been a Board Member since 2016 and has served on our ALCO committee since 2018. She has a Masters of Business Administration.

Zac Engle, Incumbent
Zac is the Sales and Operations Planning, Capacity, and Inventory Manager for Kontoor Brands. He served on our Advisory Board from 2019-2021 and became a Board Member in 2021. He lives in Greensboro, where is he is active in the community serving on the UNCG Alumni Leadership Board, the board of the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, the Greensboro Zoning Commission, and the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Indiana University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Bryan School at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Lisa Henninger, Incumbent
Lisa works in Human Resources as a Workday Technology Analyst at Kontoor Brands. She has worked for Kontoor/VF Corporation since 1999. She served on the Advisory Board Committee from 2019-2021 and became a Board Member in 2021. She has a Certificate in Customer Service Technology from Guilford Technical Community College.

Financial Preparation For The New Year

man writing on notebook with open tablet
Give your budget a checkup

Have you taken any steps to prepare for the financial realities of the new year?

Here are some tips to get you started.

Tune your budget

It’s a great idea to begin the new year with a plan. A budget is just that — a plan — that starts with the income you expect, along with your fixed expenses, such as rent or mortgage costs, homeowners association fees, insurance, utilities and transportation costs. The plan also incorporates your savings goals.

Then, the money remaining is designated for your other expenses. A realistic budget will help you set your financial goals and remind you to stick to them. This is the perfect time to assess last year’s budget or to create a new one if you don’t yet have one in place.

Reviewing where you spent last year’s money will help you make better choices. If you did not save money for retirement, for example, this can be a new budget item.

While planning for the coming year, make sure to include a method for tracking your spending. You can do this on a spreadsheet or you can simply tag items in your financial account.

Even with a solid strategy in place, there will always be surprises along the way. Losing a job, a leaking roof or an illness can throw off your entire plan. Be sure to build an emergency fund into your budget.

Plan ahead to meet your goals

Next, consider how you will accomplish your goals. You’ll have short-term goals, such as purchasing a new car or home, as well as long-term goals, such as saving for retirement. Each set of goals requires a different kind of planning and saving.

Financial planner, Rachel Rabinovich, recommends setting up a separate savings account for each goal. This way, you can easily track your progress.

Experts suggest working backwards to determine how much you need to save for a specific goal. For instance, if you dream of taking an expensive vacation two years from now, determine the total cost of the vacation and then establish a reasonable time-frame and the amount you’ll need to save each month to reach that goal. Make sure the amount you plan on setting aside each month is doable, or you may just have to move your goal over by six months or more.

Spend mindfully

You can also make your financial future more secure by identifying the difference between your needs and wants. Needs are necessary for your survival, and include items like food and shelter. Wants are things that are not necessary but you would like, such as a luxury car or European vacation.

First, tend to your needs. Then, based on what’s left to work with, consider your wants. This might sound obvious, but for many of us, the line between wants and needs is often blurred. This can lead to 

awfully tight financial situations, even prompting us to “borrow from Peter to pay Paul.” By clearly differentiating between what you want and what you need, you can avoid this outcome.

Maximize retirement contributions

Retirement plan contributions can be a valuable source of savings, especially if you have the option of employer-matched funds. If you do, be sure to take advantage of them!

Also, check with your HR contact and your accountant to make sure you are contributing the optimal amount to your 401(k) and IRA.

Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to take on the new year well prepared! 

Dora Maxwell Award

Dora Maxwell logo
Giving back to our community

We are excited to announce that The Carolina’s Credit Union Foundation has selected Acclaim Federal Credit Union as First Place winner in the $50 – $250 million dollar asset category for the 2021 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award in the Carolinas. We then went on to the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) national competition and won Second Place in the nation in our asset category. “The passion and dedication your credit union put into this project truly inspired us as we reviewed your submission earlier this year!” says Jeff Hardin, CUDE, Director of Collaborative Programs at Carolina’s Credit Union Foundation.

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is given to a credit union or chapter/multiple credit union group for its social responsibility projects within the community. The award is given for external activities. Concern for community is one of the credit union movement’s founding principles and this credit union’s actions exemplified this philosophy.

Acclaim FCU received recognition for our volunteer contributions to the non-profit organization, Restoration Place Counseling (RPC). Restoration Place Counseling is a non-profit organization that provides significantly discounted professional counseling services to girls, women, and couples helping them to restore dignity and virtue. As part of our community involvement commitment, we partnered with Restoration Place Counseling in 2019 and, in 2020, deepened our commitment by sponsoring various events and dedicating volunteer hours to bring awareness for mental wellness and to help raise money enabling them to offer mental health services to a greater number of individuals.  Our social commitment involvement included sponsoring, raising money for, and participating in the May the Course 5K, a Star-Wars themed annual charity run benefiting RPC as well as their annual Restoration Runway event. Acclaim also began donating a portion of our Skip-a-Pay for Charity program fees to RPC. In addition, we lowered membership par share amounts while enacting a one-time membership fee that is donated to Restoration Place Counseling. This change allowed more affordable credit union membership opportunities to the community while creating another avenue to continue to support Restoration Place Counseling.

“We felt like with everything our community has had to endure during the pandemic, it was necessary to educate our members and community of the importance of mental wellness, not just financial wellness.” said Valerie Marsh, CEO/President of Acclaim Federal Credit Union. She goes on to say, “We not only met, but exceeded our donation goal allowing us to provide an entire month’s mental health services to over 24 individuals. It is truly an honor to be recognized for our efforts.”


Budget-friendly Meals Under $8

White Bean and Sausage Soup
white bean and sausage soup

Soup is good for the soul, and this one-pot meal will soothe your mind while filling your belly with warm deliciousness.


6 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed (can also use hot sausage or turkey sausage)

2 boxes low-sodium chicken broth

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 box bowtie pasta

1 bunch of escarole or a bag of chopped kale or spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (optional ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes)

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup Parmesan cheese for serving


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta is cooking, in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, crumble and cook sausage until no longer pink.
  • Drain fat.
  • Add olive oil and garlic to the pan.
  • Sautee on medium heat until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add chicken broth, pepper and cheese, and bring to a boil.
  • Add beans and greens.
  • Cook until greens are wilted and tender.
  • Add in cooked pasta.
  • Sprinkle more cheese on top.

Why You Need to be Financially Fit

Individual Americans spend hundreds of dollars a year and at least as many hours on keeping themselves physically fit — but too many people neglect their financial health. Just like physical health, being financially fit is crucial to your wellbeing, your future and your quality of life. 

Here’s why being financially fit is so important and how you can overcome common barriers to achieving financial wellness. 

Financial wellness: a ripple effect 

Being financially fit is about more than just having enough money in your account to cover your expenses and put away something for tomorrow. Managing money responsibly will affect many aspects of your life:

  • Marriage. According to a recent study by AARPopens in a new window, financial problems are the second leading cause for divorce in the country. Money brings resentment and arguments into a marriage. In a studyopens in a new window reviewing over 740 instances of marital conflict between 100 couples, money was found to be the most common topic couples argued about.  
  • Mental health. Money stress can severely affect your mental health, causing depression, restlessness, anxiety and more.  
  • Physical health. Stressing over finances can also directly impact your physical health, leading to recurring symptoms like headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, insomnia, high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Work life. Being bogged down by money worries can make it difficult to focus while at work, which can bring down productivity levels and hamper career growth. In addition, prospective employers tend to review the financial wellness of new hires as part of their background checks; high rates of debt and a poor credit score can cost an employee a new job. 
  • Parenting. Managing money irresponsibly can mean not having sufficient funds to pay for a child’s education, private lessons, medical needs and more. 

What are the leading causes of money stress? 

According to a surveyopens in a new window by Credit Wise®, 73% of Americansopens in a new window rank money issues as the number one stressor in their lives. Here are the top causes for financial stress: 

  • High-interest debt
  • Insufficient savings
  • Medical bills
  • Living paycheck to paycheck
  • Lack of retirement planning

Stressing over money is never fun. Stressing over money, when any of the above applies to you, takes on its own form of angst by adding a level of long-term anxiety. It takes time, sometimes years, to undo the damage of any of these stressors — but it can be done!

Barriers to financial wellness and how to overcome them

We’re convinced: being financially fit is super-important. But what happens now? Why are 80% of Americans in debtopens in a new window?  Why do only 39% of Americansopens in a new window have enough saved up to get them through a $1,000 emergency? 

Unfortunately, while many people may understand that financial fitness is crucial to their wellbeing, there are several barriers that make it difficult to follow through on their convictions. 

First, many lack the basic financial knowledge necessary to responsibly manage their money. Second, many people mistakenly believe that budgeting, saving and being more mindful of how they manage their money are too time-consuming and tedious. Finally, some people may have fallen so deeply into debt, they’ve begun believing they will never be capable of ever pulling themselves out. 

Here are some simple steps you can take today to help you achieve and maintain financial wellness:

  • Get educated. There is no shortage of financial literacy available to the interested consumer, from financial literacy blogs to personal finance books, podcasts, online classes and so much more. Learning how money works, the power of a long-term investment and how much you’re really paying each time you swipe that high-interest credit card can help you make better choices. 
  • Have the money talk with your partner. Whether you’ve only been sharing expenses for half a year or you’ve been married more than a decade, it’s important to be on the same financial page as your partner. Talk openly and honestly, being careful not to be judgmental in any way, and discuss your individual and shared long-term and short-term money goals. Then come up with a plan for how you intend to reach them together. 
  • Pay all bills on time. If you can’t take aggressive steps toward paying down debt just yet, be sure to make the minimum payment on each credit card bill each month. 
  • Create a budget. Giving every dollar a destination makes it easier to spend mindfully and cut down on extraneous expenses. 
  • Start saving. There’s no such thing as a sum of money that’s too small to put into savings. Every dollar counts, and once you get the ball rolling, you’ll be motivated to pack on the savings until they really grow. 

You give your abs a great workout each day — now it’s time to get those money muscles into shape! Follow the tips outlined above to stay financially fit at all times.


January 17, 2022 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 21, 2022 - President's Day
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Address: P.O. Box 29527
Greensboro, NC 27429
Telephone: 336.332.5302
Toll-Free: 888.794.1001
Email: Admin@AcclaimFCU.org

Lost/Stolen Credit Card: 800.325.3678
Lost/Stolen Debit Card: 888.241.2510
Admin Fax: 336.332.4103
Loan Fax: 336.332.5965
Mbr Service Fax: 336.332.5965

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