News & Events

Get around, get around, we get around. You're almost as likely to find a CoVantage worker at a charity brat fry or debt reduction workshop as you are in one of our branches. Check this page frequently for info on credit union news and events.

What's going on with us? A lot. Here are the highlights.



Because CoVantage is a member-owned financial cooperative, you have the opportunity each year to hear about past accomplishments, financial reports, and plans for the future of the credit union. One way this occurs is through the annual membership meeting. The 70th annual meeting was held in-person in the Volm Theater at Antigo High School along with a virtual option on February 15th. There was near record participation in the meeting with over 300 member-owners attending in person and over 500 registered virtually. Reports during the meeting focused on ways CoVantage lives its mission and the steps being taken to ensure your credit union remains financially strong.

In the report of the Treasurer, Willis Qualheim indicated that during 2022, CoVantage assets grew to exceed $2.9 billion and outstanding loans reached a record $2.3 billion. He said net income of $22.7 million was added to capital reserves. With a capital ratio of 10.12%, he stressed CoVantage continues to exceed the 7% benchmark regulators require of a well-capitalized credit union. Qualheim also celebrated the record $5 million patronage payment provided to members at the end of 2022. “This is a tangible way of demonstrating the mutual benefit of you, the members, and your credit union working together for success,” he said.

In his President’s report, Charlie Zanayed focused on ways CoVantage shows it is mission-focused and growing. He noted CoVantage welcomed over 10,000 net new member-owners in 2022 and is now serving over 150,000 member-owners, with more members than ever in every community CoVantage serves. He commented, “The biggest reasons for CoVantage’s ongoing success are that we continue to stick to our simple mission, and we continue to adapt.” Zanayed noted that while the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, CoVantage continues to provide outstanding value to both borrowers and depositors. Zanayed commented, “One way we are dealing with the inflationary environment is by adding expenses slightly slower than the credit union is growing. We’re doing this by utilizing virtual teller ATMs in our new locations and having much smaller physical footprints since members now log in to MyCoVantage over 2 million times per month.” Zanayed stated, “We are continuing to commit to having the last financial institution branch standing in every community we serve.” He noted the cooperative continues to grow by welcoming members in Illinois, opening a branch in Plover, relocating the Menasha branch, and building a new office in De Pere. Zanayed noted CoVantage was recently certified as a “Great Place to Work” and commented that CoVantage turnover remains low. Zanayed reported for 2023 CoVantage will be rolling out a refreshed look to the MyCoVantage digital and mobile banking app that will feature increased functionality and enhanced security.

In closing, Zanayed thanked the board of directors for providing support and expressed appreciation to member-owners for their ongoing loyalty.

During the meeting, Willis Qualheim, owner of Qualheim True Value; Angie Close, Executive Director of Langlade County Economic Development Corporation; and Matt Kolling, owner of Genesis Farms, LLC; were confirmed to serve three-year terms on the CoVantage Board.

CoVantage has multiple systems working behind the scenes to ensure your credit and debit cards are protected. In addition, there are services we provide, and precautions we encourage you to take, that will further reduce your risk of becoming
a victim of fraud.

  • Freeze/unfreeze your debit and credit card within MyCoVantage - or with a CoVantage employee - if your card is misplaced or you just want to deactivate it for a while (without completely cancelling it).
  • Respond promptly to the automated alerts via an email, text, or phone call from our fraud monitoring system. They constantly review transactions and generate alerts to a cardholder if potential card fraud is detected. You’ll be asked to confirm or deny if a transaction is fraudulent. If you receive one of these notifications, don’t be alarmed. Please reply with “fraud” or “no fraud” and the system will handle the transaction as directed by you.
  • Report and delete any text messages claiming to be from CoVantage that request you to share your MyCoVantage credentials or your card number, expiration date, or PIN. Watch for clues that could indicate fraud like typos, grammatical mistakes, or strange website addresses.
  • Avoid using your address, birthdate, phone, or social security number as your PIN.
  • Don’t carry your PIN in your wallet; and never write it on, or store it with your card.
  • Always make sure the card reader or ATM hasn’t been tampered with before inserting or swiping your card.
  • Be cautious when taking advantage of “free trials” of products/services requiring a card to accept the offer. Consumers will often be charged after a “trial” period if the offer has not been cancelled. Make sure to read the fine print so you know what to expect.
  • Review transactions in digital banking or on your statements, and immediately report suspicious activity using the Dispute tool in MyCoVantage.
  • Monitor your credit score in MyCoVantage for changes. CoVantage provides this free program to help you stay on top of your credit and also monitors your credit report daily! You’ll get notifications by email if there are any big changes detected as a result of identity theft.

For more information on this topic and others regarding your money, credit score, and budget, visit our Financial Education Resource Center.

Join an upcoming workshop from the comfort of your home or office where a variety of topics are discussed to increase your financial awareness. Financial education is an important aspect of any long-term plan. Attend as many virtual workshops as you like. You’ll learn the answers to questions, including:

  • The important rules of the road for receiving Social Security.
  • How can conservative investments help you face today’s economic risks?
  • What sources of income should you draw from and when?
  • How to use annuities to guarantee income for life.
  • How does behavioral finance affect investment decision-making?
Upcoming workshops:

Space is limited, so make your reservations today. Contact a CoVantage Retirement & Investment advisor with any questions about the virtual workshops.

There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes.  The purchase of certain securities may be required to effect some of the strategies.  Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.
Fixed annuities are long-term investment vehicles designed for retirement purposes. Gains from tax-deferred investments are taxable as ordinary income upon withdrawal. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company. Variable annuities are subject to risk and may lose value.
This workshop is educational only and is not investment advice. If you need advice regarding your financial goals and investment needs, contact a financial advisor

CoVantage Credit Union is pleased to announce the executive-level promotion of Mary Prunty, CPA, to assume the role of Senior Vice President Chief Financial Officer.

Prunty previously served as Vice President of Finance and Accounting for CoVantage. She was chosen for the top finance position at CoVantage following a nationwide executive search. According to Charlie Zanayed, CoVantage CEO, “Mary is an extremely talented individual and brings a robust background and financial acumen to the CoVantage Executive team. We feel fortunate to have the ability to attract high-level executives such as Mary, and I am proud to welcome her to our leadership team.”  

With her new role, Prunty will lead, direct, and execute the internal and external financial affairs of CoVantage. Overseeing the finance, accounting and payments teams, Mary will establish policies, oversee budget preparation and completion, prepare income forecasts, monitor financial objectives, and guide the long-term financial success of the credit union. As a member of the executive leadership team, Mary will contribute to developing and executing the goals and strategic initiatives of the highly successful financial cooperative.

Prunty has a master’s in accountancy and bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison. She has also earned the designation as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Prior to joining CoVantage in 2022, Prunty served for five years at the accounting firm Ernst & Young in Chicago where she oversaw a team of people as an assurance manager while consulting and providing financial guidance and expertise to Fortune 500 companies. Prunty is originally from Antigo, Wisconsin.  

CoVantage Credit Union is a purpose driven organization with a mission to welcome all regardless of wealth, providing outstanding value and exceptional service, work with members experiencing financial challenge, and remaining financially strong.  Headquartered in Antigo, Wisconsin, the credit union has $3 billion in assets and serves over 150,000 members across locations in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois.

Five million dollars in patronage has been deposited into the accounts of members who borrowed and saved with CoVantage Credit Union in 2022. This is the 42nd consecutive year that a patronage payment has been distributed, a concept that originated many years ago as a way for cooperatives like CoVantage to give extra value to those who use their services. Over just the past five years, the credit union has returned over $20 million to members.

CoVantage is one of only a few credit unions in the country that provide this unique financial benefit. According to CoVantage Board Chair Susan Gitzlaff, “I am so proud to be part of a mission-based credit union like we have with CoVantage. When the Board evaluates the financials, we determine how much income is needed in reserves to protect the credit union when times get tough. To know that we can give back over $5 million after we’ve done this is amazing. Thank you to our 150,000 member-owners who rely on their credit union for home, auto and business loans, and to save for the future. While it hasn’t been an easy year due to the volatile rate environment, CoVantage is doing fantastic, and for that we say thank you to members and employees.”

The year-end patronage payment includes a bonus on dividends earned for those who save, and a loan interest rebate for those who borrow. CoVantage depositors received a 5% bonus on dividends earned on eligible savings, term share certificates and variable rate accounts. Borrowers received a rebate of 5% of their total 2022 interest paid on eligible vehicle, home equity, in-house mortgage, credit card, and commercial loans.

For instance, if $5,000 of interest had been paid on a home loan, the borrower would receive $250 in patronage for just that loan. In addition to patronage, CoVantage also provided over $115,000 to members through the CoVantage match for those enrolled in Change it Up, a debit card savings program. CoVantage members used their debit card more than ever, and collectively saved nearly $2.3 million through Change it Up.

CoVantage President Charlie Zanayed, added, “Part of our simple mission is to provide outstanding value, which we do through everyday great rates and low fees, including not charging overdraft fees on checking. I’m humbled to share that Callahan and Associates (an independent credit union research company) recently ranked CoVantage 3rd out of over 4,000 credit unions nationally for having great rates and low fees. As a direct result of our members’ feedback, CoVantage was also ranked the Best-in-State Credit Union in Wisconsin by Forbes and received the highest ranking of all credit unions in their national study. I want to be clear, that while this recognition is nice, what’s really rewarding is reading the terrific feedback our member-owners provide in our monthly surveys. For instance, our average Net Promoter Score this year is 89, among the best scores nationally for any business. As much as we try to always provide exceptional service, at times we do fall short, and I want to thank you for your patience when that occurs. CoVantage members are simply terrific and thank you for allowing us to serve you.”

Further information about the CoVantage patronage program can be found at

For seven years, the CoVantage Cares Foundation and CoVantage Credit Union has partnered to hold a two-week giving campaign, kicking off every year on Giving Tuesday. This year’s donations pushed our seven-year total to $2.2M in support for more than 60 organizations.  

CoVantage Cares Foundation Director, Morgan Swanson, announced that checks totaling $433,362.10 were presented to local non-profit groups that serve communities where CoVantage Credit Union has branches. The funds were made possible thanks to generous donations by CoVantage Credit Union members, staff, and community members who supported the Foundation’s 2022 Giving Tuesday campaign from November 29 to December 13.   

This year, branch staff throughout CoVantage Credit Union’s locations were asked to select a non-profit group in their community to be the recipient of funds raised, with the understanding that contributions generated during the two-week fundraising campaign would be matched up to $175,000 by CoVantage Cares Foundation. Thanks to the matching funds, along with the generosity of many, donations totaling $433,362.10 were gifted locally.  

These funds will support youth mentoring programs, people facing food insecurities, volunteer fire departments, it will provide shelter and care for those effected by domestic violence and homelessness, it will improve neighborhoods parks, and so much more. Overall, these funds will bring people together to improve our communities and enhance the quality of life for thousands of people.   

Charlie Zanayed, CoVantage CEO and CoVantage Cares Foundation Board President, shared the following regarding this year’s campaign, “Community support is a big part of the CoVantage mission, and we are humbled by the generosity of our members, employees, and community members for supporting these deserving charities. CoVantage Cares Foundation was established as a way to provide financial support to organizations that serve individuals, especially those experiencing significant financial challenge, and organizations that work to enhance quality of life in communities served by CoVantage Credit Union. Together, we have made an incredible impact and plan to keep doing so for years to come!” 

Charities selected to receive funding from the sixth annual Giving Tuesday initiative and their sponsoring CoVantage branches include: Crandon Area Community Foundation (Crandon); NATH-Frederick Place (Rhinelander); Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp (Crystal Falls, MI); West Iron County Volunteer Fire Dept. (Iron River, MI); DAR Boys & Girls Club (Menominee, MI); AVAIL (Antigo); Elcho Fire and Rescue (Elcho); Achieve Center (Wausau, Rib Mountain, Weston, Rothchild); Forget Me Not Fund (Shawano); Friends of Emerson Park (Stevens Point & Plover); Paul’s Pantry (Suamico); and Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Wisconsin (Appleton, Neenah, Menasha) 

For more information about CoVantage Cares Foundation, or to obtain the grant application needed to request a donation, visit

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