Ryan seniors get first-hand business experience

Sixteen Archbishop Ryan seniors learned the inner workings of the American Heritage Federal Credit Union.

Open for business: American Heritage Federal Credit Union welcomed 16 Archbishop Ryan High School seniors at its offices. TOM WARING / TIMES PHOTO

Sixteen Archbishop Ryan High School seniors in the business department recently learned all about the inner workings of American Heritage Federal Credit Union, getting to meet president and CEO Bruce Foulke and other senior management leaders.

The students spent about two hours at AHFCU, 2060 Red Lion Road, as part of a Biz Kids Expedition, funded by the National Credit Union Association.

Ryan graduate Mary Anne Benner, a business development manager at the credit union, arranged the day’s activities.

The day began on a light note, with Foulke high-fiving everyone in the company boardroom, named in honor of former Gov. and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Ryan math teacher Glen Galeone, who coached the Raiders to four Catholic League football titles in the early 1990s, led the students (except one Giants fan) in an Eagles chant.

During their visit, the students learned that AHFCU has 35 branches in the Philadelphia area and membership includes some 800 companies.

Foulke, who has been with the credit union almost 40 years, welcomes members to contact him.

“I call every member back who emails me,” he said.

A North Carolina State graduate, Foulke asked the students what they want to be. The answers included nurse, electrician, doctor, physical therapist and veterinarian.

Foulke encouraged the students to cultivate relationships.

“Meet people,” he said. “Meeting people is really critical in getting jobs.”

AHFCU is deeply involved in charity work, and Foulke welcomed the students to join him in visiting the Ronald McDonald House to cook for families and talk with young hospital patients.

After meeting with Foulke and before enjoying a pizza lunch, the students toured the computer room and information systems area, met branch manager George Florence and heard from leaders of the marketing and branch operations/lending departments.

They learned money management by watching a Wheel of Misfortune video and took part in a scavenger hunt. They received candy for correct answers to questions such as which famous person Foulke is related to (Abraham Lincoln).

In a Shark Tank-styled exercise, students divided into teams presented proposals for an electric wallet, sophisticated lawnmower, phone case with emergency button and pet rental service (the favorite of the AHFCU judges). ••