Special to The Hays Daily News

GARDEN CITY — The $450 million Golden Plains Credit Union and $75 million Central Star Credit Union intend to merge. The merger will provide expanded service offerings, additional locations and greater financial stability for both Golden Plains and Central Star Members.  

Golden Plains Credit Union Member President Erich Schaefer is excited to join Central Star Credit Union in serving members in the aircraft and chemical industries, and the greater Wichita community.  He also sees providing Golden Plains’ 3,000 Sedgwick County members with three local offices as a tremendous benefit.

“Both Central Star and Golden Plains have a strong history of commitment to reach out to our field of membership and to provide superior value at every member contact,” Schaefer said.

The partnership will result in one of the strongest credit unions in the state, with a combined 15 branches, $525 million in assets and more than 70,900 members. The merger is expected to be completed this year.

“Golden Plains Credit Union is the ideal strategic partner for us,” said Lee Williams, president and CEO of Central Star Credit Union.  “We explored multiple options for our membership’s future growth, and a partnership with Golden Plains was a win-win for all.”

Central Star Credit Union was established in 1940 and serves those who live or work in Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey, McPherson, Saline or Sumner counties, as well as employees of Beechcraft Corp. and OxyChem.

“Both credit unions offer strong financial services, our fields of membership will enhance one another and we share a common vision and value for our members, employees and our communities,” Williams said.

All three Central Star locations will remain in operation and will join the 12 Golden Plains’ locations throughout the state.  

Golden Plains Credit Union has been in existence since 1951 and serves anyone who resides in central, western or southeast Kansas, the Liberal trade area and members of the Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo. GPCU has 170 employees and serves 62,200 members with 12 locations. Offices are located in Garden City, Ulysses, Quinter, Phillipsburg, Liberal, Lakin, Hays, Hesston, Ellsworth, Parsons and Pittsburg.

“This is an exciting merger for Golden Plains, and we’re thankful to be joining with the wonderful volunteers, staff and membership at Central Star Credit Union,” Schaefer said.