By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – After nine years, Servus Credit Union Branch Manager Kevin Wunsch will be leaving the Morinville branch this week. The well-known banker will be taking over a branch in Stony Plain Sept. 1 at which time Kym Moore will officially take over Wunsch’s position in Morinville.
“I had worked for a chartered bank before,” Wunsch said, adding when he came to Morinville in August of 2002 he did not know a lot about credit unions. “I said I’d try it and see if I like it. Here we are nine years later and I’m still trying it and still liking it.”
Wunsch said the change was precipitated by a need to grow. The Stony Plain branch is a larger branch than the one in Morinville and will give him more responsibility. “I was ready for a change,” he said. “I think it is good to come out to a community and I’ve had the pleasure of being here nine years, which is not the norm if you compare it to other managers in other financial institutions. I think a change is good because a change allows a person to grow in many ways.”
Although looking forward to new opportunities in Stony Plain, the branch manager said he would have been happy to stay in Morinville where he has had a home for the past five years.
Over his tenure in Morinville there have been three things of importance to Wunsch: focusing on the branch’s members, its staff and the community. Wunsch said he has seen growth in all three areas of focus, something that has allowed the Morinville branch to grow over the past nine years. “We’ve been able to have more jobs located here in Morinville,” he said. “I’m really happy that we’ve been able to have that growth where we’ve added positions to our branch.”
Another area of pride for Wunsch is having been able to find partnerships in the community where Servus could assist in making a difference in Morinville. Part of that success has been in being able to make local decisions about how to spend a portion of the community investment budget.
“Some things we’ve got recognition for, but for the most part the reason we do community investment is because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s because we want to help the Rotary Club with their Splash Park gazebo project. We want to help the Food Bank help those who are less fortunate. We want to help Victim services where they have an opportunity to provide training for their staff. We want to help out the Morinville Public Library where we have a great opportunity to help them to get some great gently-used shelving. So we look for those opportunities, and I think we’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to grow with the community in that regard.”
Another area of support for Wunsch, both through his role as branch manager and his role as a member of the community, has been the Morinville Jets. Wunsch, in his Montreal Canadians Jersey, together with his wife Sandra, have been frequently found in the bleachers of the Ray McDonald Sports Centre, cowbell in hand cheering on the team. Through the credit union, Wunsch implemented a three-year scholarship program for Jets attending post-secondary education. Wunsch has never looked back on supporting the local team.
“What I look for in hockey is I don’t expect the team to win every time, but I want to see is players who give effort and entertainment,” he said. “I think the last two years in particular we’ve seen that. The players have had great efforts on ice. It’s been entertaining hockey. There have been some highs and there have been some lows, but it’s been good value. Where else can you go and get two hours of entertainment for $5. To me it’s a great bargain.”
But rooting for the Jets is not the only thing Wunsch will miss about Morinville. “I’ll miss the staff, I’ll miss the community,” he said. “It’s been great.”
New manager ready to go
The branch manger has been spending the past while visiting with members to say his goodbyes before his official departure Wednesday. Wunsch will be replaced by Kym Moore who lives in St. Albert and who was previously with Servus’ corporate office in south Edmonton. Prior to her stint at the corporate office, Moore ran a branch in Sangudo. But while new to the Morinville branch, Moore is not new to the community.
“I’ve been involved in the Morinville community off and on for the last eight years,” she said, noting she is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Morinville Branch, and has been a supporter of the Caviar Players for several years. She said she is looking forward to being part of the community. “It’s got such a strong base here.”
A meet the manager event is planned for Sept. 30 at the Morinville branch.