TULLAHOMA – For the fifth consecutive year, Ascend Federal Credit Union (Ascend) has been recognized by Credit Union Journal as one of the top 50 best credit unions to work for in the U.S. Ascend is the only Tennessee credit union listed five times since the survey and awards program’s inception in 2014.
To qualify for the Best Credit Unions to Work For, companies must have a minimum of 25 employees and have been in business for at least one year. Companies are evaluated in eight areas: 1) leadership and planning, 2) corporate culture and communications, 3) role satisfaction, 4) work environment, 5) relationship with supervisor, 6) training, development and resources, 7) pay and benefits and 8) overall engagement.
This year, Ascend was specifically recognized for its support of a strong company culture and local community charity support. Judges mentioned its annual carnival themed picnic for employees and their families, annual food drive benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and its Running to Ascend program, which reimburses employees for charity race entry fees.
“Ascend’s employees remain one of our greatest assets, and we are happy they feel valued and appreciated,” said Peggy Stubblefield, Ascend’s chief human resources officer. “In 2020, we increased our minimum starting pay rate to $15 per hour. We continue to see improvements in our internal promotion rates, with 52% of positions filled internally in 2019, and 70% so far in 2020. We are proud to be recognized again this year for supporting our employees’ career and personal goals, which is also directly in sync with our culture of community giving.”
Ascend’s benefits include employee opportunities to support local fundraising efforts, 10 paid holidays through the year and tuition assistance. Additionally, Ascend pays for 100% of health coverage for employees, and 92% of employees are currently enrolled in the plan. The organization also offers 401(k) contributions that match 100% of an employee’s contribution by the fifth year of participation, up to 10% of the employee’s annual salary. This year, employees were awarded an “Employee Recharge Day” to allow them to rest and recharge or cope with difficulties and uncertainties caused by the pandemic.
The Best Credit Unions to Work For process includes submitting an in-depth employer benefits and policies questionnaire that details organizational policies, practices and demographics. Employees then provide feedback through an employee engagement and satisfaction survey, which consists of more than 75 statements to respond to, as well as demographic and open-ended questions. After all the data is compiled, Credit Union Journal partners with Best Companies Group and ranks each participating organization and releases the list of the top 50 credit unions.
For more information on the Best Credit Unions to Work For program, visit
About Ascend Federal Credit Union
With more than 220,800 members and more than $2.95 billion in assets, Ascend Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Middle Tennessee and one of the largest federally chartered credit unions in the United States. Based in Tullahoma, the member-owned financial institution offers banking, loan, retirement and investment services from its 28 branches, more than 55,000 free ATMs worldwide, online banking portal and mobile app. The credit union’s mission is to serve by offering financial literacy education and giving back to its community in a variety of ways. Ascend is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. For more information, visit ascend.org.