Category: Between $200 Million and $500 Million in Assets
Glendale, Ariz.
Assets: $210.3 million
No. of employees: 45
President and CEO: Preston Sanders

At a traditional gift exchange, employees fight over flat-screen TVs, cases of beer and other appealing goodies. At the "white elephant" exchange held by AERO Federal Credit Union, employees competed to see what they could get rid of.

They dragged tacky stuff out of their basements, or hunted for wild and crazy items in stores, said Angie Avers, AERO's associate vice president of marketing.

Planned by employees, the exchange is among the creative ways credit union employees celebrate the holidays, Avers said.

Although they enjoy giving to each other, AERO employees also enjoy giving back to the community, and they do it year-round. Every month, for example, employees from the loan department volunteer and collect donations for a charity that feeds the hungry, Avers said.

AERO was founded in 1957 as Sperry Phoenix Employees Federal Credit Union. The name changed in 1999. Today, the credit union operates six branches in Arizona and one in New Mexico.

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