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Our History

Established in 1936, Merck Employees Federal Credit Union is federally chartered and federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration to serve Merck employees and their family members. The credit union was created just two years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law as part of the New Deal. Credit unions were created to promote thrift and affordable access to credit after the Great Depression.

The credit union has a rich tradition of living the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.” The credit union is consistently ranked near the top in the nation for returning value to its members. It achieves this by offering attractive savings and loan rates and maintaining a low-cost fee structure. Because credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives owned by their members, the credit union’s sole mission is to improve the financial lives of its members.

Unlike publicly traded financial institutions, which have to not only serve their customers but drive shareholder value with strong profits, the credit union does not have to drive shareholder value — it exists only to serve its members.

Another unique aspect of the credit union is it is governed by a volunteer board of directors who are elected from and by the membership. These volunteers commit their time and talents to establish the credit union’s policies. This governance model ensures the credit union is always operating in the best interest of its members. In addition to the board of directors, the credit union has another layer of oversight via the Supervisory Committee, which is required by the Federal Credit Union Act. This committee is also made up of volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to monitor the safety and soundness of the credit union.

Unlike many credit unions that have expanded their field of membership and serve different groups from the group they were originally chartered to serve, Merck EFCU has stayed true to its mission of only serving Merck employees and their family members.

By 1940 the credit union had grown to more than 1,000 members. In 1943, Mr. Clarence Parker, known as “Mr. Credit Union” was hired.  By the 25th anniversary the credit union’s assets reached $3 million dollars.

Donald Kradjel was appointed President of the Credit Union in 1972 and served until 1989.  The credit union’s asset size grew dramatically in the ‘70s and the ‘80s , as did the product line, including the introduction of share drafts, the first branch, home equity lines of credit and telephone banking. Upon Mr. Kradjel’s retirement, Mr. Raymond Del Nero was elected President of the Credit Union. The credit union continued to grow under Del Nero’s leadership, eclipsing $1 billion in assets, and adding to its service offerings, including ATMs and electronic banking.

In October of 2018, Mr. Paul Gentile was named President, becoming just the fourth President in the credit union’s history. Mr. Gentile has served in the credit union industry for more than 20 years in various capacities, including in leadership advocacy roles where he was responsible for advancing credit union issues with lawmakers and regulators. He is committed to ensuring the credit union continues to return value to the membership through attractive offerings in both loans and deposits, while enhancing online and remote services. Improving the Financial Wellness of the membership is a key tenet of the credit union today and in 2019 the credit union launched its Financial Wellness Center to educate members on financial topics.

Today the credit union is one of the largest in the country with $2.5 billion in assets, serving approximately 25,000 members. The credit union does not measure success by its size or growth, but by the value it brings to the membership.

Our Board & Management

Our Board and Management are committed to providing you with the best service. To contact our Supervisory Committee, please email supervisorycomm@merckefcu.com

Board Members Jeffrey Hack - Chairman Patrick Ruane - Vice Chairman Andrea Krysienski - Treasurer Raffalle Karby - Secretary Lisa Auerbach - Director Douglas Christie - Director Ronald Coleman - Director Charles Orgelfinger - Director Bernard Wisniewski - Director

Supervisory Committee Linda George - Chairman Cynthia Francisco Lorraine McLeod Linda Tuma Anthony Richards

CEO/President Paul Gentile

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