CoVantage Expansion Takes Shape

There are four cranes and man-lifts working today on the expansion of the home office of the CoVantage Credit Union at Sixth Avenue and Clermont Street.

The usually busy location in the downtown section of the city featured the lifts and cranes putting beams into place and the workers putting the superstructure of the added level to the building and multi-story addition on the east side of the existing facility.

The additional space will allow the fast-growing organization to add the employees needed at the headquarters, Charlie Zanayed, president/CEO of CoVantage Credit Union, explained. “This is really a success story that our members made happen. We have not only been able to survive, but CoVantage is thriving, thanks to our member-owners. We are humbled and thankful that our members continue to trust us with their financial needs and look forward to serving all for many years to come,” he added.

The headquarters building was constructed in 2006 and was built to allow for 10 years of growth with the foresight to expand in the future. And that projected out to be just about on schedule, Zanayed said.

The additions will total 24,000 square feet and will bring the headquarters to a total of 72,000 square feet. General contractor for the project is Miron Construction, with Martin Riley as the architect.

The CoVantage headquarters houses the Antigo branch staff that members see, such as tellers, commercial lenders, member specialists, and mortgage loan officers, and also serves the back office operational functions that support all 15 CoVantage branches. That includes the full-service contact center, information technology, card services, accounting, human resources, lending operations, administration, and more, Zanayed explained.

Zanayed said that CoVantage has been experiencing substantial growth in offices, services, assets, and employees. Five years ago, the Antigo flagship office housed 146 employees, today the Antigo staff totals 205 individuals; and with the additional square footage will be able to accommodate up to an additional 100 staff in the future.

By the end of the year, CoVantage expects to have 400 employees spread across its fleet of branches in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The growing financial cooperative has well over $1.5 billion in assets.

There will be some logistical challenges as work continues, Zanayed said. CoVantage employees, which have received top marks in surveys on member services, will have to be flexible, he said, but from members’ perspectives, the credit union doors will be open as usual.

Zanayed said CoVantage’s connection to Antigo remains steadfast, and he gave a special shout-out for the work of the various city officials and departments as the project has moved forward.

We have a commitment to all the communities we serve, but especially to Antigo, where we were founded, he said. Because of our employees, we view having our headquarters in Antigo as a strength.

The project is expected to be completed in June 2019.

Source: Antigo Daily Journal – Tuesday, July 31, 2018