PAWTUCKET â€” For the past 16 years, Joyce Lupien has been calmly and quietly at the helm of the Pawtucket Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union in City Hall. On Friday, she will reconcile the â€śyear-endâ€ť for the last time before heading off to retirement, while at the same time handing over her manager duties to another familiar face in City Hall, former Parks and Recreation Superintendent William Mulholland.
On Thursday, Lupien was surprised with cake, coffee and a bouquet of flowers from the credit union's board of directors while a parade of municipal employees and longtime customers stopped by the fourth floor to wish her well. That morning, Mayor Donald Grebien had presented Lupien with a proclamation that, among other things, noted her â€śeasy-going and cool demeanorâ€ť and her credo: â€śWe all need to be more careful.â€ť She explained that whenever a mistake occurred, she would â€śalways say this to the girlsâ€ť (tellers Betty Abbott and Lori Araujo) rather than using any kind of reprimand.
Lupien, who had worked at John Hancock for 20 years, said she was hired as credit union manager on Jan. 30, 1995 after some management problems and a period of turmoil. The mayoral proclamation also praises her for turning the situation around at the credit union, which has been serving municipal employees and their family members for some 40 years.
Mulholland, who retired from the city on June 30, will take over as manager of the independent credit union as of Jan. 1, working three days a week. He has served on the credit union's board of directors for the past six years and also as the board's treasurer. He has also spent the last four months as a volunteer training with Lupien to prepare for the manager's job.
Lupien and Mulholland said the credit union, which was created solely for the use of city workers and their relatives, has managed to weather the ups and downs of the economy over the years and remains solid. Currently, there are about 1,000 credit union members and approximately $3.4 million in federally insured assets.
The credit union office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to checking and savings accounts, the credit union offers personal loans and auto loans. New employees are always brought by the credit union and told about its services as part of the hiring process.
One big benefit for city workers, noted Mulholland, is being able to have payroll deductions go directly into a savings account or toward paying off a loan. The branch also offers municipal employees a handy place to cash their paychecks.
â€śI really and truly enjoyed working here,â€ť noted Lupien, a Seekonk native and former Pawtucket resident who now lives in Cumberland. â€śEveryone was always very friendly and it was a really wonderful experience.â€ť
Mulholland added, â€śJoyce knew her role was to serve the shareholders. And the large number of people who have been stopping by to say goodbye is testimony to how well-regarded she is with the workers here.â€ť