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Freedom Credit Union Announces Promotions, Addition

SPRINGFIELD — Barry Crosby, president and CEO of Freedom Credit Union (FCU), announced the promotion of three officers within the credit union and the appointment of a new mortgage loan originator.

• Karen Chauvin Katsanos has been promoted to vice president of Human Resources at FCU. She will continue to manage the human-resource and training activities for the credit union, which employs a staff of 130. Katsanos joined the credit union in 2012 and has 20 years of HR experience in several industries, including healthcare and manufacturing. She has held a number of senior management positions throughout her career. Katsanos earned her bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and has earned two master’s degrees — one in psychology from Westfield State College and the other in business administration from Western New England College. She holds an SPHR designation that she earned from the Human Resource Certification Institute. She is a board member for the Human Resource Management Assoc. of Western New England and the Ronald McDonald House of Springfield.

• Cheryl Podgorski has been promoted to vice president of Operations. She joined the credit union in 2012 and has more than 26 years of operations experience in both the banking and credit-union industries, holding several senior management positions throughout her career. In addition to her responsibilities in the credit union’s Operations department, Podgorski has been managing Freedom’s Loan Servicing department for the past year. She earned her master’s degree in business administration from Western New England College and holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. She is a past certified treasury professional through the Assoc. for Financial Professionals.

• Lisa Astley has been promoted to branch officer of Freedom’s Ludlow Branch. In her new position, she oversees the financial and lending operations of the branch, develops new business opportunities with individuals and businesses, and promotes financial literacy at area schools. Astley has been employed at Freedom for five years and has 12 years of experience in the banking and financial-services industries. Prior to joining Freedom, she was customer service supervisor at Randall’s Farm in Ludlow for 15 years. Astley is currently working toward a financial services degree with the Center for Financial Training.

• Antonio Sanches has joined Freedom as a mortgage loan originator and is responsible for real-estate origination throughout Hampden and Hampshire counties. As he helps expand Freedom’s mortgage services to its members in Hampden and Hampshire counties, he will offer his expertise in conventional, FHA, MassHousing, Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s One Mortgage, and USDA loans. He has 10 years of experience in the finance industry, including expertise in residential mortgage origination, first-time homebuyer assistance, and secondary market sales. Most recently, he was assistant vice president at Florence Savings Bank. Currently, Sanches is president of the Rotary Club of Ludlow and a corporator at the Randall Ludlow Boys and Girls Club. In June, he was named Affiliate of the Year by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. Sanches is working at the Freedom branch on Center Street in Ludlow.

Freedom Credit Union was chartered in 1922, and anyone who lives, works, or attends a college or university in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, or Berkshire county can become a member. Freedom consists of nine branches throughout the Pioneer Valley in Chicopee, downtown Springfield, Easthampton, Feeding Hills, Greenfield, Ludlow, Northampton, Sixteen Acres in Springfield, and Turners Falls. Freedom’s 10th branch — in the Roger L. Putnam Technical Vocational Academy — is slated to open in September.


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