2016 Applicant: Ben Hering

Ben Hering is a 32-year-old Business Development Specialist of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union ($1,839M) in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States.

Project Title
On Your Path, a bike financing program

Short Pitch
Connect with the community by making access to alternative forms of transportation easier and more affordable.

Minneapolis is the top city in the U.S. for bicyclists and, with its comprehensive plan to drastically increase ridership, will continue to be a leading example for cycling-safe infrastructure within major metropolitan areas. 

Our ongoing project is to bring credit union services to members who rely on alternative forms of transportation – specifically within our bicycling community – as a means to reach more of our membership.  

In 2014, we launched one of the first drive thru lanes designated specifically for bicyclists. This commitment to our members has given us the ability to grow close relationships with local bike organizations which have brought impactful opportunities for promoting bike awareness, safety and accessibility. 

Now, we’re joining local bike share program, Nice Ride Minnesota, and a nonprofit healthcare provider, to create a new bike financing program. In our pilot phase, we are building intentional partnerships with bike shops to pair tangible financial education with bike ownership. Our goal is to offer members high quality, affordable transportation, while improving financial and physical fitness.

As urban populations grow and credit union members continue to use a range of transportation, we have an opportunity to make access to alternative forms of transportation easier and more affordable. By thinking differently about the products and services we can bring to our communities, credit unions will stand out in our industry, ultimately growing membership and the cooperative movement. 

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