Ripco Credit Union obtained its state charter on November 1, 1932. It was organized by Charles Hyland, and initially, membership was available to employees of the Rhinelander Paper Company and of Ripco Credit Union, and their immediate families. The name “Ripco” is an acronym for Rhinelander Industrial Paper COmpany. In 1972 Ripco became a Community Credit Union with a charter including the city of Rhinelander and the towns of Pine Lake, Crescent and Pelican. The charter further expanded to include all of Oneida County in 1976, and all of Forest County was added in 1977. 1980 saw Ripco’s acquisition of the Musky Credit Union in Woodruff. As a result, people living in the parts of Vilas County who were formerly served by Musky Credit Union were now eligible to be members of Ripco. Most recently – in September of 2011, Ripco’s field of membership was further expanded to include everyone who lives, works or owns real estate in Oneida, Forest, Florence, Vilas, Langlade, Lincoln or Price County.
For 21 years, Ripco Credit Union occupied a small room within the Paper Company. It was a part time operation, manned strictly by volunteers. In 1953, Glen “Bucky” Reed was hired as the first full time employee. With regular hours of operation and the addition of more employees, the Credit Union grew rapidly, and more services were made available to the members. This created the need for a larger facility, and property was purchased from Cleary’s Dairy on Sutliff Avenue in Rhinelander. Ground-breaking ceremonies were held on October 2, 1969, and completion of the new Ripco Credit Union building was celebrated with an Open House on July 26, 1970.
On December 8, 1981 a construction project was undertaken to remodel and add on to the existing building. Completion of this extensive project was accomplished in July of 1982, and an Open House was held on September 26 of that year. October of 1994 saw yet another building and remodeling project. This 4000 square foot addition was completed in stages throughout the summer and fall of 1995, and now houses Bradley Chiropractic and Soft Tissue Treatment on the lower level, and expanded Bookkeeping and Member Service offices upstairs. Our most recent building addition was completed in March 2011. At that time, we added approximately 2000 square feet, providing private offices and increased confidentiality for all our lending functions. We also now have a conference and training room, and an expanded lobby for the comfort and convenience of our members.
Ripco Credit Union opened a full-service, student-run branch at Rhinelander High School in September 2009. The student branch is staffed by extensively trained student tellers with assistance and guidance from adult tellers from the main branch of the credit union. The student branch functions in real time, processing transactions, opening accounts, and providing information and financial education to students, faculty and visitors. In addition, there is a Ripco ATM adjacent to the student branch office, available for anyone’s use whenever the commons area is open. During the school year, the student branch is open for business during the student lunch hours on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Our Annual Report for the year ending December 31, 2015 reflects our continued growth. As of year-end 2015, Ripco had 12,665 members and $114,789,032 in assets.