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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Dupaco office at Kennedy and Hillcrest in 2009

DUPACO COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION. On July 17, 1948, ten employees of the DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY pooled five dollars each and received a loan of $123.20 from the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Local Number 150 to form the Dupaco Employees Credit Union. (1)

Membership was restricted to employees of the Dubuque Packing Company and their immediate families. Services included share savings and personal loans. Business was carried out from a part of the Local 150 Union office at 16th and Central and later moved to 620 East 16th Street. In 1950 Dupaco borrowed $5,000 from the Iowa Credit Union League to begin making real estate loans. Operations moved in 1958 to a new facility at 1465 Sycamore Street. In doing so, Dupaco became the first credit union in Iowa to have constructed its own office building. (2)

The 1960s saw additional growth. In 1964 Dupaco was among the first credit unions in the nation to install an in-house bookkeeping system. Passbooks were eliminated in favor of computer-generated statement mailings. In 1966 the bylaws were amended to allow membership for in-laws and grandchildren of primary members. The following year, membership was extended to sons-and daughters-in-law of primary members. (3)

Membership was further extended in 1973 when any person related to a primary member by blood, marriage, guardianship, or adoption was eligible. Share draft checking was introduced in 1976 and new office facilities were opened at Hillcrest and JFK Road in Dubuque. (4)

In 1982 the DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY was closed. The bylaws of Dupaco were amended to change the name to Dupaco Credit Union. In 1983 membership was expanded to include employees of any food-related industry in Dubuque County. This was again changed in 1985 to extend membership to any person living or working in Dubuque, Jackson, and Delaware countries. Discount brokerage and financial planning service were introduced. In 1986 the name of the business was changed to Dupaco Community Credit Union. (5)

In 1990 Dupaco was one of only fifteen credit unions among 15,000 nationwide to be recognized for community involvement efforts. In 1991, it was one of only four Iowa credit unions to have assets in excess of $100 million. In 2008 the credit union had membership in excess of 50,000. It was chartered to serve Delaware, Dubuque, and Jackson counties in Iowa; Grant County, Wisconsin; and Jo Daviess County, Illinois. Construction in the 1990s included a new six-lane drive-up facility at the Hillcrest location in 1900 and a new branch office at 300 South Locust Street in 1992 in addition to buildings in cities outside Dubuque. (6)

In 1991 the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Awards Competition presented Dupaco with its first place award in the $50-$100 million asset category. The annual competition, sponsored by the Credit Union National Association of Madison, Wisconsin, recognized credit unions that showed exceptional commitment to community involvement. Dupaco had received honorable mention in 1989 and second place in 1990. In 2005 Dupaco was named the recipient of CUNA Mutual Group's Roy F. Bergengren Award for High Achievement. President and CEO Robert W. Hoefer see:Robert and Marilyn HOEFER was inducted into the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) Hall of Fame. (7)

In 2008 when it celebrated its 60th anniversary, Dupaco served 52,383 members and had assets of $545,793,516.

In 2013 Dupaco officials announced that its board and the board of Iowa Community Credit Union intended to merge. The new organization would operate with the Dupaco name and have 18 branches and more than 80,000 members. (8)

Helping potentially at-risk Dubuque-area high school students create sustainable careers brought Dupaco, the Housing Education and Rehabilitation Training (HEART) Program, and the Dupaco R. W. Hoefer Foundation together in 2015. The project included hands-on-learning financial education, savings goals, certificate programs, and advanced degrees. In the same year, Dupaco received a Diamond Award from the Credit Union National Association for exemplary entry in the category of Community/PR for partnering with the Telegraph Herald in the production of the People of the Pack book. Dupaco also sponsored the four-day JULIEN DUBUQUE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL and Music in the Gardens, a free event on Sundays at the DUBUQUE ARBORETUM AND BOTANICAL GARDENS.

In May 2015 Dupaco opened its 19th branch. Located in Peosta, the site was called the "Learning Lab" with its use of new video-teller technology to allow on-site staff more time to help members with advice and services.

The Dupaco MoneyMatch program allowed savings of a participant to be matched dollar-for-dollar with a grant from the Dupaco R. W. Hoefer Foundation or the Iowa Credit Union Foundation. The savings and matching funds were used to purchase a specific wealth-building asset, starting a small business, or paying for education.

In 2017 the credit union became an investor in CULedger, a program exploring the possibility of a private, permissioned distributed ledger that could be used by organizations like Dupaco. The technology known as blockchain would allow a simple, safe way of exchanging information among financial institutions, members and other parties. Rather than storing information at a centralized server, blockchains keep information in secured nodes-- member credit unions.

Officials of Dupaco announced plans on January 4, 2018 to purchase and re-develop the 175,000-square foot "Voices Building" in the Millwork District. Located at the corner of East 10th and Jackson STREETS, the five-story building constructed in 1924, had been leased by such local businesses as SPAHN AND ROSE LUMBER COMPANY and EAGLE WINDOW AND DOOR. It had hosted the Voices From the Warehouse District annual arts festival for eleven years. With an anticipated opening of the building in 2020, the structure would be converted into a new operations center for Dupaco and office space for additional tenants. (10)

At the time of the announcement, Dupaco had grown from 64,000 members to over 112,000 and employed an estimated 485 people in a service area including Iowa, southwest Wisconsin, and northern Illinois. About 150 of these were "operations employees" dealing with marketing, finance, software development, card services, fraud prevention and information technology. That number was estimated to triple by 2032. The number of workers who would first occupy the new facility were currently utilizing the McGraw-Hill Higher Education Building at 501 Bell. (11)

In June, 2019 Dupaco was the recipient of the Economic Impact Award presented by the DUBUQUE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. (12)

On July 8, 2019 the announcement was made that the building project to create Dupaco Community Credit Union’s future operations center in Dubuque was one of eight projects to receive $29.2 million in tax credits. The renovation project would receive $8,590,043 in State Historic Preservation Tax credits in fiscal year 2020, according to the Iowa Economic Development Authority. (13)

In June, 2019 the announcement was made that Dupaco was one of just two Iowa-based credit unions listed as one of the highest-rated institutions of its kind in the nation Forbes.com listed Dupaco just below Waterloo-based Veridan Credit Union. Forbes working with market research firm Statista ranked businesses on overall satisfaction, trust, terms and conditions, services offered and financial advice. Only 182 credit unions and 149 banks--about 3.1% of the total United States financial institutions--made the list. (14)



1. The Dupaco Times

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Mozinski-Schmidt, Eileen. "Dupaco 'Excited" About Merger," Telegraph Herald, Aug. 15, 2013

9. Jacobson, Ben. "Dupaco Exploring Bitcoin-tested Technology," Telegraph Herald, January 12, 2018, p. 3A

10. Montgomery, Jeff, "Dupaco Plans Move to Millwork District," Telegraph Herald, January 4, 2019, p 1A

11. Ibid.

12 Montgomery, Jeff, "Theisen's Named Business of the Year," Telegraph Herald, June 21, 2019, p. 3A

13. "Dupaco Voices Building Project to Receive Nearly $9 Million in Historic Tax Credits," THonline. July 8, 2019, Online: http://www.telegraphherald.com/news/tri-state/article_d5fedd44-812e-5a62-9355-e2920bd2ce2e.html

14. "Forbes Lists Dupaco as a Top U. S. Financial Institution," Telegraph Herald, July 24, 2019, p. 3A