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Noel Sanger – Missouri Western

Arkansas Business 40 Under 40

Road to Greatness


Missouri Eta Phi Noel Sanger was a commercial banker, working at a small bank in his native Missouri and with some of the big boys: U.S. Bank and Chase.

Then, four years ago, he made the leap to a credit union.

“What interested me was the service and what we offered to all individuals,” Sanger said. “We’re really about the profits going back to the members in the form of lower interest rates on loans and higher interest rates on deposits instead of into the pockets of the shareholders.”

Sanger oversees the Arkansas-Oklahoma market for United Federal Credit Union of St. Joseph, Michigan, which originally served Whirlpool employees in Fort Smith. Even though Whirlpool left Arkansas shortly after Sanger arrived, UFCU has continued growing and now has five branches and about 45 employees in the state.

Sanger is originally from the other St. Joseph, the one 40 minutes north of Kansas City. He attended Missouri Western State University and adopted a mission statement from the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity: “To do what ought to be done but would not have been done unless I did it, I thought to be my duty.”

He is president of First Tee of Fort Smith and serves as a director of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce amongst other volunteer activites.

Over the years, Brother Sanger has been recognized a number of times including:

  • Next Top Credit Union Finalist
  • Arkansas Business’ Best Places to Work 2014 & 2015
  • Arkansas Business‘ 2015 40 Under 40
  • Credit Union Times Trailblazer 40 Below

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