Skip to main content


Ignite Credit Union is excited to announce the merger with BlueOx Credit Union has received regulatory approval and member approval by a majority vote!

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Richardson-Isenegger
ALM First
(734) 552-5192
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ignite Credit Union and BlueOx Credit Union Announce Merger Approvals

Battle Creek, MI - Ignite Credit Union and BlueOx Credit Union are excited to announce their
merger has received regulatory approval and member approval by a majority vote of the Ignite
Credit Union membership. The legal date of the merger for the two organizations is planned
for Monday, July 1, 2024.

The newly merged organization will serve more than 32,000 members with a branch network of
11 branches throughout Michigan. Combined, the organization will have assets of over $376

At the time of the legal merger, the two credit unions will operate under the unified brand
name of Ignite Credit Union, with Blue Ox Credit Union becoming a division of Ignite. BlueOx
Credit Union’s legal name will become “BlueOx Credit Union, a Division of Ignite Credit Union.”
From a member perspective, there will be minimal impact at the legal merger date, apart from
the combined organization aiming for members to be able to conduct transactions at all 11
branch locations. Both organizations will continue to serve members as usual as they ramp up
efforts to fully integrate their systems by late 2024/early 2025.

This model, where each organization maintains its individual name, was established in 2022
when Allegan Credit Union and Rivertown Credit Union merged. This collaborative concept
allows the credit unions to ensure their rich histories and legacies continue to be honored.

“I am thrilled to see the overwhelming support from our members for the merger of Blue Ox
Credit Union and Ignite Credit Union,” said Kristopher Lewis, President/CEO of Ignite Credit
Union. “This vote of confidence affirms our vision of creating a stronger financial institution
that is better equipped to serve our members and communities while preserving their
individual credit union histories. Together, under the unified brand of Ignite Credit Union, we
will continue to prioritize innovation, personalized service, and community impact, driving
positive change and prosperity for members, employees, and communities."

“We are grateful for the significant vote of confidence from members,” added Steven Cobb,
President/CEO of BlueOx Credit Union. “We are excited to begin the process of joining forces to
demonstrate our mutual dedication to elevating the financial well-being of our members and
communities. By joining forces under the Ignite Credit Union banner, we are poised to deliver
even greater value and opportunities for our members while still upholding our commitment to
personalized service, community support, and long-term success."

As of the date of the legal merger, Kristopher Lewis, President/CEO of Ignite, will be the CEO,
and Steven Cobb, President/CEO of BlueOx, will be the President of the newly combined

Ignite Credit Union
Ignite Credit Union is the recent culmination of Allegan Credit Union and Rivertown Community
Federal Credit Union, two credit unions that formed a partnership to serve their members,
employees, and communities more effectively. Both credit unions share blue-collar roots and
believed that by joining together, they could do more than either of them could do alone.
Uniquely each credit union has maintained its individual brands under the umbrella credit
union created in Ignite.

BlueOx Credit Union
Blue Ox’s story began in 1936 in Battle Creek, Michigan – Inspired by a small handful of
educators from the Battle Creek School System. BlueOx’s original field of membership was
limited to teachers, principals, supervisors, and superintendents of the Battle Creek School
System. Today BlueOx Credit Union’s field of membership is open to the entire state of

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does This Announcement Mean?

This exciting announcement means that BlueOx Credit Union is moving forward with a proposed merger with Ignite Credit Union. This merger represents a strategic partnership between two forward-thinking, healthy credit unions for the benefit of members, employees, and the communities we serve.

What Does "Strategic" Merger Mean?

Mergers can be initiated for many reasons. The primary reason for a strategic and/or collaborative merger is to better serve members by providing greater value than we would as separate organizations.

In this case, we are merging two healthy credit unions. The goal of both organizations is to build a combined entity that leverages best practices if/when possible and achieves greater economies of scale to ensure we can continue to offer the best service, products, and technologies to members.

Employees benefit from strategic mergers as well, from professional growth opportunities to establishing best practices, best systems, and best processes that help ensure employees have more resources available to do their jobs.

Why Does the Board of Directors Recommend the Merger?

Although mergers have not been our primary growth strategy, several years ago, we did formalize a merger strategy as part of our overall business plan. A merger between our two organizations provides the opportunity to implement best practices to achieve more positive member, employee, and community impact and value. As a result of this partnership, we would grow our branch network to 11 branches across Michigan. This partnership would give us the ability to be more responsive to members and financial needs in a highly competitive financial services sector that continues to evolve rapidly.

Do Both Credit Unions Support the Merger?

Absolutely. The boards of both credit unions approved the proposed merger unanimously and are very excited about this merger with the growth and benefits it brings to our members, employees, and communities.

What Would This Partnership Do for the Credit Unions?

Overall, our combined assets would be more than $376M, serving 32,000+ members with 11 branches in Michigan. With a competitive physical presence and our combined strengths in products, services, and technology offerings, we would be able to better serve our members and our communities.

What Are the Advantages of Being a Larger Credit Union?

Becoming a larger credit union would provide opportunities to leverage resources and position us for continued growth. In turn, this would result in being able to provide even more benefits to members in the form of more product and service access and new and robust technologies and services while continuing BlueOx Credit Union’s ongoing community presence.

Why Was BlueOx Chosen as Our Merger Partner?

We wanted to find a partner that matched our passion, aligned closely with our mission, shares a dedication and loyalty to their membership and the communities they serve, and is similar in employee commitment. Both credit unions share a deep dedication to team members, members, and the communities we serve and share a common vision for the future of the combined credit union. Another amazing benefit of this partnership is that both credit unions are on the same core system, and combining our two organizations will cause minimal to no member disruptions.

Who is BlueOx Credit Union?

Blue Ox’s story began in 1936 in Battle Creek, Michigan – inspired by a small handful of
educators from the Battle Creek School System. BlueOx’s original field of membership was
limited to teachers, principals, supervisors, and superintendents of the Battle Creek School
System. Today BlueOx Credit Union’s field of membership is open to the entire state of
Michigan. To learn more, visit 

What Does This Merger Mean for Members?

The strategic merger between our two organizations would provide the opportunity to achieve more positive member impact and value, such as:

More Member Access

A larger branch footprint would allow us to have more impact on existing members. But bigger than that, through this partnership, we would gain more resources allowing us to serve more members and have a deeper impact in the communities we serve.


As a larger organization, we would achieve greater economies of scale, which would allow us to offer an even more robust product and service line, reduce costs, and ultimately return more value to members.

More Responsive to Evolving Financial Needs

In a highly competitive financial services industry, combining our strengths would allow us to continue to enhance our product, service, and digital banking offerings.

Enhance Electronic Banking Products

This partnership would allow us to constantly assess and improve our technology solutions and make sure we’re providing “the best” digital banking solutions we can for members now and into the future.

More Branch Locations

Together, we would have 11 branches to serve members. 

Same Knowledgeable, Friendly Employees

The same friendly staff at our branches would continue to be available to serve members.

Would My Accounts and Rates Be Affected?

The rates on fixed-rate loans and certificates would remain the same until the end of their existing terms. Other products would adjust as normal due to market conditions.

Would My Account or Routing Number Change?

For now, everything will stay the same. In the event that anything changes, members will be notified ahead of time.

Would My Accounts Continue to Be Federally Insured?

Yes. Rest assured that your savings with the combined credit union will continue to be federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Information regarding NCUA insurance and a calculator to help determine your coverage is available at

Would You Close Branches?

There are no plans for any branch closures. In fact, this merger would provide the opportunity to expand our branch locations and enhance our digital member experience. Ignite branches would not be available to BlueOx Credit Union members immediately. As the merger progresses, we will announce when these locations will be available for members.

Would I Continue to Get the Same Service and Attention?

Yes. Both credit unions are committed to providing high levels of service for members, and this would continue to be a focus for the combined credit union.

Would the Field of Membership Change?

No. Today, both credit unions serve everyone who lives in the state of Michigan. This would remain the same for the combined organization.

Would the Change in the Field of Membership Affect My Membership?

All BlueOx Credit Union members would automatically become members of the combined credit union. Once a member, always a member.

Would Any Employees Lose Their Jobs as a Result of the Merger?

No. Both credit unions recognize the importance of retaining talented and dedicated team members and that a successful merger is dependent on retaining that talent and leadership.

How Will This Merger Benefit the Credit Union Employees?

This partnership would provide employees with more career development opportunities and specialization, all while maintaining a positive culture that encourages teamwork and focuses on providing members with top-notch financial products and services.

What Would the Credit Union Name Be?

Legally, our name would remain Ignite Credit Union, and we would continue to maintain individual brand names in the combined organization. 

Who Would Lead the Organization?

Kristopher Lewis, President/CEO of Ignite, will be the CEO, and Steven Cobb, President/CEO of BlueOx, will be the President of the new organization.

Do Blueox Members Vote?

No. The proposed merger requires the approval of a majority of the members of Ignite Credit Union who vote on the proposal. BlueOx members are not required to vote. 

What Is the Merger Process?

To complete the merger process, we must receive approval from three sources: our boards, our regulators, and Ignite members. In October, the boards of both credit unions unanimously approved and signed a merger agreement, and we recently filed a merger application with regulators for approval, which is required before an Ignite membership vote occurs.

When Would the Merger Be Complete?

It is anticipated that all approvals will be complete sometime in the third quarter of 2024. The tentative date we’re targeting is July 1, 2024. On this date, we would become one from a legal standpoint. However, this is not the date on which all the operational processes change. The process of completing system and process integration would extend into 2025.


If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed in the FAQs above, please feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will do our best to answer any questions you may have.