Kathy Fratamico was 23 year old and working at the post office when she became a member of Pioneer Valley Credit Union. Almost immediately, she was asking the CEO what the credit union did for its members.
“He said, ‘Why don’t you come on the board?’” Fratamico recalled. That was 31 years ago, and she did join the board. She’s been chairman of the board of directors of the Pioneer Valley Credit Union (PVCU) for the past 16 years.
Anabela Pereira was a teller at the time and remembers Fratamico from those days. Today, Pereira is PVCU’s CEO. She said Fratamico’s most prominent quality is that she’s “all about the members.”
“She’s a very matter-of-fact person,” Pereira said. “She’s reserved and funny and very passionate about the member of the credit union. She’s a problem-solver who doesn’t cut corners. She’s very cooperative, collaborative. She has a heart of gold and looks at everything through the lens of how it will impact membership.”
Fratamico said the best decision she was a part of was the credit union’s move from a little office with two tellers to its own building with a drive-through window. She said PVCU has grown a lot since those early days.
“We have a very sturdy foundation, with an excellent CEO and board and management team,” Fratamico said. “I’m very proud of our team.”
Fratamico said she was surprised and honored to be named a Credit Union Hero. She said she really enjoys her role as a volunteer looking out for her fellow members, many of whom she knows personally.
“It’s been a pleasure to be on the board of the credit union and to make it all it can be for the members,” Fratamico said. “We’ll keep our strengths and work on our weaknesses. We’ll grow, but not at the cost to members. It’s been a great ride. It’s been teamwork. I didn’t get here by myself. I’m very proud of all our team.”
When she isn’t working in the post office or volunteering for the credit union, Fratamico said she loves to tend the annuals and perennials in her garden. She also loves to bake and cook for her fiancée and two sons, who particularly enjoy her lasagna, stuffed shells and homemade sauce.