Redstone_Mike Panesi

Mike Panesi stands outside Redstone Federal Credit Union’s new main branch at 2404 Medical Center Parkway. Redstone will hold a ribbon-cutting and grand opening on Thursday.

Food, deals and entertainment by Blackman High School’s jazz ensemble await if you make the trek to Redstone Federal Credit Union’s new branch rising above the Gateway area.

Redstone held a soft opening Aug. 12 of its new 26,000-square-foot branch at 2404 Medical Center Parkway, across from The Avenue. Now, it will hold a grand opening reception on Thursday, starting with a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m.

Mike Panesi, vice president for Redstone in Tennessee, said the credit union has about 32 employees between Medical Center and existing branches on Rutherford and Fortress boulevards. It expects to add between 10-30 more positions soon. That compares to 2011 when it entered the Rutherford County market and had only 3.5 positions.

“Don’t be surprised if we open more locations,” Panesi said.

The $10 million branch, with its access to Gateway, “will enhance the ‘live, work, shop, dine’ appeal” of that side of town, said Patricia Lloyd, public relations coordinator.

Community service makes up a big part of Redstone’s local DNA, said Panesi and Lloyd.

“Everything we do is designed to help people,” Lloyd said.

That help includes referring people to other institutions that are better suited to help them repair bad credit when necessary, and providing financial literacy training, Lloyd and Panesi said.

Redstone participates in a range of community programs and sponsorships, including Junior Achievement and the Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Rutherford County’s Chicken & Stake Dinner, Panesi said. It buys banners at a number of school athletic centers too.

The credit union provides mailboxes in its branches so children can easily send Santa Claus their letters. Last Christmas, more than 8,500 local children mailed their letters with Redstone’s help. In turn, the credit union donated $1 for each letter to the Child Advocacy Center, totaling $8,583.

As of this summer, Redstone provided $67,400 in sponsorships and other community events for those programs and more, Panesi said.

And, Redstone plans to take advantage of its three-story branch to help local non-profit organizations, Panesi said. The third-floor is set aside as a large event space. Non-profits will be given priority to rent the space at a low fee. The conference center includes patios that provide a view over much of Gateway and beyond.

A large training room on the second floor with computers and remote conference abilities will be available for rent as well, Panesi said.

Redstone’s grand opening celebration will offer customers more than one special in addition to the food and entertainment.

The special offers include the Brighter Day savings account, which offers a high annual percentage yield for balances up to $2,500, and is meant to boost savings, said Panesi. A Bankrate survey from 2018 showed that 71 percent of adults did not have six months’ savings to handle emergencies, so Redstone created Brighter Day.

And, though the end of October, the credit union is offering Rutherford County residents $400 if they open their first Redstone checking account and meet several criteria. Check with Redstone for more details.

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