“I remember the exact date I started at Dane County Credit Union: November 16th, 1981.” It’s been almost 35 years since one of our longest-tenured employees, Ann Castillo, has been with DCCU. And after all those years, it’s finally her time to retire and say goodbye.
The announcement brings up many mixed emotions for our staff and numerous members who have been greeted by her smiling face all these years. Everyone dreams of retiring at some point, but when it’s someone as warm, friendly, and dedicated as Ann, it makes the news for the rest of us a little harder to take. But everyone who knows her can likely agree, she’s earned it!
Ann started when the Dane County Employees Credit Union was located in downtown Madison, on the corner of Doty and Hamilton. Back in 1981 there was only a staff of 5 people! Ann stared as a part-time employee. “This was really me getting my foot in the door, and seeing if I wanted to pursue anything in the financial world,” Ann recalls. And pursue she did, as she was made a full time employee the following year, and never looked back.
During her career, she’s been involved with new accounts, teller duties, certificates, lending, IRAs, and even the credit card program! Ann has worked in nearly every aspect of the credit union, making her a true jack-of-all-trades at DCCU.
When Dane County Credit Union moved to its current main location on Rimrock Road, Ann moved too, and has been there ever since. She has seen some remarkable changes take place, especially with technology at DCCU. Ann has watched everything go from handwritten and archived paper to all online files.
Ann has so many great DCCU memories. One of her favorite things has been getting to know all the new Dane County employees during their orientation. “I loved getting to meet all the diverse employees, from the highway department to the sheriff’s department. It was always an engaging group every time I went over.”
Did you know Ann was often in the Great Dane costume walking in the Madison holiday parade? Do you even remember that Madison had a holiday parade?? As the (then purple) big dog she even got to ride in the back of Miss Wisconsin’s convertible one year! Ann’s son used to be her elf, and they even made appearances at Madison Muskie games, (another long gone Madison favorite) as well as local area hospitals to deliver gifts to children.
What’s next for Ann?
Ann is definitely looking forward to upping her travel game. Some future and favorite destinations include Door County and Bayfield in Wisconsin, and all the way up to Banff, Canada, after winning some passes at the most recent Banff Film Festival right here in Madison! You’ll also be able to find her cruising around town on her bicycle or attending local festivals. She also hopes to do more camping, which she enjoys.
Ann wants to stay connected with Dane County Credit Union for as long as possible. Over the years she’s been a huge fan of the DCCU Cares volunteer initiative, and a major participant. She would love to continue her involvement with Meals on Wheels and the River Food Pantry, both of which work closely with DCCU.
A legacy of service excellence
Over nearly 35 years of making lasting relationships and friendships she has come to believe in the importance of providing the best, friendliest, and most outstanding service possible. “This is exactly the message I want to leave with our tellers and front line staff,” she says. “There are members whose accounts I opened more than 30 years ago, who don’t even live in Wisconsin anymore, and who still call my number direct when they need help with something. If you can leave that kind of lasting impression with somebody, they trust you, and they will keep coming back. You’ve really left your mark.” And Ann certainly has left her mark with members and staff.
Best of luck, Ann!
In her own words, she’s “taking down her tent, and heading for new adventures.” Ann Castillo, you will be greatly missed. We wish you all the best for a long and happy retirement and thank you sincerely for everything you’ve done to make Dane County Credit Union a special place.