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Pioneer Services

Pioneer Services to Give Away $1,000 and Apple iPads® to Eight Lucky Service Members

Pioneer Services will make this holiday season one to remember for eight service members and their families thanks to the Mega Merry Giveaway, a sweepstakes just for active-duty or career-retired service members and their spouses. There will be four winners of $1,000 and four iPad winners—one winner of each from each military branch.

“The Mega Merry Giveaway is our way of thanking those who serve for all they have done for our nation, and in a way that captures the season’s spirit of giving,” said Karen Von Der Bruegge, chief marketing and retail operations officer for Pioneer Services. “The best part—other than the chance to win a thousand dollars or an iPad—is that there is no obligation and no strings attached. All they have to do is be on active duty, career-retired, or a military spouse, and they can enter to win. It really is that easy.”

Those who qualify can enter on the company’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/PioneerServices, or at www.MegaMerryGiveaway.com, which is also where they can find complete rules and details.

“We are incredibly excited for the winners to be selected December 11,” added Von Der Bruegge, “because that is when we will find out who is going to have a very merry holiday season on behalf of Pioneer Services.”

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services and award-winning education to members of the Armed Forces. For more than 25 years, Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, offering military loans,retail lendingVA loansCertificates of Deposit, savings accounts, and award-winning financial education programs through a network of offices and on the Internet. Pioneer Services is proud to support military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

For more information, visit PioneerServices.com. For loan information, visit PioneerMilitaryLoans.com.

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Tom Holcom Receives ‘Outstanding Civilian Service Medal’ from U.S. Army

Tom Holcom, chief executive officer of Pioneer Services, was presented with the U.S. Army’s “Outstanding Civilian Service Medal” Oct. 5, 2010, during a special celebration of his 25 years with the company. The award was presented to Holcom by retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Robert Arter.

Holcom was recognized for his work in helping to found the Command General Staff College Foundation (CGSCF) at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., which supports the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in the development of tomorrow’s military leaders. He was instrumental in helping the CGSCF obtain tax-exempt status, and was elected the foundation’s first president.

“Tom has displayed extraordinary leadership, enabling the Foundation to develop into one of the most successful supporting foundations in history,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, the current commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, which includes the CGSC. “His dedication and selfless service reflect great credit upon him, the Combined Arms Center, and the United States Army.”

Past recipients include Sgt. Audie Murphy, the most decorated service member in American military history; E.N.J. Carter, creator of the “Be All You Can Be” slogan; and ninth Sergeant Major of the Army Richard A. Kidd.

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services and award-winning education to members of the Armed Forces. For more than 20 years, Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, offering military loansretail lending, VA loans, and award-winning financial education programs through a network of offices and on the Internet. Pioneer Services is proud to support military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

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MidCountry Financial Corp. Website And Newsletter Named Finalist For National Awards

PR News has named MidCountry Financial Corp. a finalist for its “2010 PR Digital Awards” in two separate categories: Best Newsletter, and Best Website Redesign. Directed by PR News, a leading communications and public relations news source, these awards for digital communications expertise are nationally recognized and highly competitive.

“MidCountry Financial is proud to have its Vantage Point employee newsletter and website, as well as those employees who develop and maintain these critical communications vehicles, recognized as best in the nation,” said Julie Schaller , senior vice president, human resources, for MidCountry Financial Corp. “Our corporate culture is centered heavily on open communication and transparency with our employees, our customers, and our investors, which makes such national recognition even more important to the MidCountry family.”

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in New York City Oct. 6, 2010. Finalists in other categories include Coca Cola, General Motors, Barilla Pasta, Cisco Systems, Hilton Hotels, and Boeing, among others.

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Pioneer Services’ Fort Hood Office Chosen As One Of ‘The Very Best In Central Texas’

The Fort Hood Pioneer Services’ office was honored recently when a reader’s poll in the Killeen Daily Herald, the area’s 100-year old daily newspaper, named the company one of the best places to get a loan in the Central Texas region. The annual “Central Texas ‘ 100 Best” poll is an opportunity for the community to vote on where they go to find the region’s best products and services. The 2010 winners were announced in the June 27, 2010, edition of the daily publication.

“We are honored that the community chose Pioneer Services as one of the best places for Fort Hood service members and military families to get a loan,” said Romy Mortel, branch manager of Pioneer Services’ Fort Hood office. “Our primary mission is to improve the quality of life for military families and support the community, so it’s nice to know that our associates’ hard work is appreciated and recognized, not only by our customers, but by the broader community as well.”

The poll, initially launched in May, asked readers to complete a write-in ballot telling the newspaper where to find the best businesses and services in more than 100 categories, and generated nearly 6,000 responses. Winners receive a certificate of recognition and a banner to display at their establishment that highlights the honor.

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services and award-winning education to members of the Armed Forces. F or more than 20 years , Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, offering military loansretail lending, VA loans, and award-winning financial education programs through a network of offices and on the Internet. The Pioneer Services Ft. Hood office, located at 202 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd, Killeen, TX, has been proudly supporting military families and the community through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships since 1997.

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Free Financial Education Podcasts For Military

April is Financial Literacy Month, but for more than a decade Pioneer Services has celebrated financial education every month, creating more than three dozen articles, two books, and in-office materials designed to help military families take control of their finances. These efforts have been recognized in recent years with four awards from industry and educational groups.

The company’s library of materials just got even better with the addition of the Pioneer Educational Podcast series’ “Financial PEP Talk,” released this Financial Literacy Month in order to give service members yet another way to access financial education. The podcasts, which last just six to 10 minutes, are available on the company’s website at www.PioneerServices.com/podcast, where users can listen or download an MP3 file. By the end of April, there will also be an iTunes feed to which users can subscribe and listen to at their convenience.

“These podcasts give us another way to share the financial knowledge we’ve gained from more than 77 years in the industry,” said Chief Marketing Officer Karen Von Der Bruegge . “Military families can now choose how they want to learn money management: reading an article or book, visiting our offices for one-on-one consultations, and now, listening online or on an MP3 player. Whatever their preference, we have an option.”

The first three episodes cover setting financial goals, developing a spending and savings plan, and the changes consumers will see due to the recently-implemented Credit CARD Act. A new Financial PEP Talk episode will be released regularly, with future topics to include how to prioritize debts, creating an emergency savings account, how to choose a bank, tips for online borrowing, and many more.

To listen to the Financial PEP Talk, visit PioneerServices.com/podcast.

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Pioneer Services’ Receives National ‘Workplace Innovation’ Award For CSR Efforts

Giving back to the communities it serves is an integral part of Pioneer Services’ workplace culture, and those efforts were recognized when the company received the “CSR Award for Workplace Innovation” from PR News during an event at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., Feb. 24. Pioneer Services received first place, while finalists included Pepsi Co., Butterball, and Deloitte.

Pioneer Services provides full-time associates with 16 hours of paid volunteer time off (VTO) each year, with part-time associates receiving 8 hours. In 2009, the company created the internal “Be the Difference” campaign to increase usage of the benefit. The campaign included a Volunteer Fair at the company’s Kansas City headquarters, a website, t-shirts, poster, and a Volunteer Committee that helps associates find volunteer opportunities.

These efforts led to a 400 percent increase in VTO usage over the previous year, a special award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as several community recognitions for individual associates. The company’s VTO program and commitment to community service have been showcased on several news broadcasts and received other national recognitions.

“Being honored as the best in nation for our corporate creativity and innovation in regard to CSR is exciting, especially given the caliber of other award finalists,” said Chief Operating Officer Joe Freeman. “Our entire organization, including the associate-driven Volunteer Committee, exhibited incredible commitment to this effort, and showed that, for us, Compassion is more than just one of our corporate values—it’s simply who we are as a company.”

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services and award-winning education to members of the Armed Forces. F or more than 20 years , Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, offering military loans and award-winning financial education programs through a network of offices and on the Internet. Pioneer Services is proud to support military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

For more information, visit PioneerServices.com. For loan information, visit PioneerMilitaryLoans.com.

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Pioneer Services Recognized By The American Banker’s Association

Pioneer Services was recognized recently at the American Banker’s Association (ABA) Financial Marketing Awards ceremony, receiving runner-up for its Military Spouse Finance Guide: Financial Advice for the Homefront. The book offers comprehensive financial education for military spouses, and was published last year. This is the second ABA award for Pioneer Services—the company won last year for its entire range of financial education materials.

Established in 1972, the ABA Awards recognize those who have displayed excellence in their financial materials, and are one of the most coveted awards in the financial services industry. Pioneer Services received the award in the financial education category, which recognizes those that work to educate customers on responsible and sound financial practices.

“Military spouses take care of the family and finances during their husbands’ or wives’ deployment, and really are the unsung heroes of the military,” said Karen Von Der Bruegge, Chief Marketing Officer of Pioneer Services. “We’re honored to provide them with information that can help them throughout their military and civilian lives, and to have that information recognized as being the best in the banking industry.”

The book was based on two years of research, and included input from military spouses, industry experts, and Pioneer Services associates. Available for sale on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Pioneer Services has also distributed thousands of free copies of the book to military families. It has been featured in several media outlets. And its website, www.MilitaryFinanceGuide.com, offers more information about the book, testimonials praising its content, and a free chapter on debt prioritization.

“We’ve been providing free financial education to military families for several years, and know it has helped thousands take control of their finances,” said Von Der Bruegge. “Being recognized by the ABA for our continuing efforts is a great honor, and reaffirms our commitment to helping educate the military community.”

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MidCountry Bank Supports 2009 Effort To Save Eternal Flame At National WWI Museum

With the possibility that the National World War I Museum’s eternal flame could be extinguished due to government budget cuts, MidCountry Bank, through its military banking division, Pioneer Services, has stepped up for the second year in a row with a sizeable financial contribution to keep the flame burning atop the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.

MidCountry Bank Supports 2009 Effort To Save Eternal Flame At National WWI Museum

“The eternal flame remains a symbol of our gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Tom Holcom, president of Pioneer Services. “Since we work exclusively with the military community, we could not just sit back and let the flame be extinguished, especially after our organization’s successful efforts to save the flame last year,” said Holcom. “The WWI Museum is the only museum in America that preserves the legacy of those who served in the Great War and MidCountry Bank and Pioneer Services are committed to doing whatever we can to help ensure that legacy is honored.”

In 2008, budget cuts threatened to extinguish the eternal flame except on special holidays. At the time, MidCountry Bank and Pioneer Services initiated the “Save the Flame” campaign, an international awareness and fundraising effort that successfully raised more than $68,000 in just four weeks. The two organizations donated an initial $5,000 to keep the flame lit during the fundraising campaign from Memorial Day to July 4, 2008, contributing a total of $22,500 in matching funds to the widely-publicized campaign. The efforts were profiled in USA Today, Stars and Stripes, and through extensive broadcast coverage.

Since its dedication in 1926, the memorial has been a Kansas City and national monument, looking over the downtown skyline. The National World War I Museum, which opened in 2006, was built beneath the existing Liberty Memorial. It is designated by Congress as the nation’s official WWI Museum .

MidCountry Bank’s military banking division recently committed $5,000 to keep the WWI eternal flame burning through 2010. The companies continue to manage the campaign’s fundraising and awareness Web site, www.SaveTheFlame.org, promoting the need for continued assistance and to facilitate donations.

MidCountry Financial Corp. is a financial services holding company with subsidiaries that deliver high-quality and diversified financial services to targeted markets.

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Campaign Raises Thousands Of Dollars For Wounded Service Members

MidCountry Financial Corp. created the ‘Answer the Call Now’ program to raise money for wounded service members, honor military service during National Military Appreciation Month, and even help the environment by diverting hazardous materials from landfills. The program was a success, as the company collected nearly 1,600 old cell phones during the month of May.

“Teamwork was really what made the campaign successful,” said Karen Von Der Bruegge, chief marketing office for Pioneer Services, a division of MidCountry Bank. “Associates and customers alike stepped up to help our wounded warriors. Some offices were so into it they had contests to see who could collect the most, with one collecting 143 phones in a single day!”

The phones will be sent to Recellular, which pays anywhere from 50¢ to $150 per phone, depending on type and condition. The money received from Recellular will then go to USA Cares, a non-profit that assists service members and their families. In this case, all of the funds raised will benefit their Combat Injured Program, which assists those suffering Traumatic Brain Injury or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“It was fantastic to see so many people dedicated to the campaign,” added Von Der Bruegge, “and speaks volumes to the respect we all have for military families and what they do for our nation. To help them cope during these difficult times is something we’re honored to do.”

MidCountry Financial Corp. is a financial services holding company with subsidiaries that deliver high-quality and diversified financial services to targeted markets. These subsidiaries include MidCountry Bank, Pioneer Financial Services, Heights Finance Corp., OFC Capital, MidCountry Investments, and Insurance Planners. Since 2002, its associates have been dedicated to building a high quality financial services organization respected by its constituencies, and characterized by a commitment to the values of integrity, fairness, honesty, excellence, and compassion. For more information, visit www.MidCountryFinancial.com.

MidCountry Financial associates collected nearly 1,600 cell phones during the “Answer the Call Now” campaign. The phones will be recycled for cash, and proceeds will benefit USA Cares’ Combat Injured Program

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U.S. Marine Wins $5,000 Ultimate Home Entertainment System From Pioneer Services

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, announced today the grand prize winner of the“Sensory Overload Military Sweepstakes.” Lance Corporal Brandon Unis of the United States Marine Corps, currently stationed in Georgia, has won a brand new home entertainment system, including a 52-inch Bravia® LCD Flat Panel HDTV, a Blu-Ray player, home theatre receiver, PlayStation® 3, and $200 in gift cards for games or movies.

Pioneer Services launched the Sensory Overload Military Sweepstakes in June 2008, for active-duty and career-retired service members, and military spouses. There were also three monthly winners during the sweepstakes period, each of whom received a 16-gigabyte Apple iPod Touch, valued at $399 each.

The Sensory Overload Military Sweepstakes is one way that Pioneer Services, which exclusively serves the military community, is thanking service members and military families for their sacrifice and efforts on behalf of the country.

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services, personal loans, and award-winning financial education to members of the Armed Forces. For more than 20 years, Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, and supports military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

(c) 2008 Pioneer Services. No purchase necessary to enter or win. For a complete list of rules and details, visit SOsweepstakes.com. Sweepstakes ended on September 2, 2008. “iPod” is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. “Bravia” and “PlayStation” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. This Promotion has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. or Sony Corporation.

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Pioneer Services Offers Simple Online Banking Tips for Retirees

Consumer use of online banking and financial services has exploded in recent years. While technology has made life more convenient, some Americans are still low-tech when it comes to banking, despite the advantages online financial services can provide. The same is true in the military, where older service members who have likely relied on cutting edge technology to accomplish various missions may not apply this technology to their daily lives, especially after they retire.

As a result, Pioneer Services, a leader in financial services for the military, has created a new article highlighting the benefits of the online banking experience, along with some common sense tips for a safe and secure transaction. The article, Military retirees and online banking – securely saving time and money, is intended to educate both retired and active-duty military consumers.

“New technology and security advancements have torn down the walls between what used to be done kneecap-to-kneecap and what can now be done online”, said Doug Allen, chief information officer for Pioneer Services and author of the article. “Today, online financial services can save time, offer more options, afford privacy, and provide greater flexibility and control over your finances.

“There are millions of online financial transactions every day,” he added. “And just like when using an ATM or walking into a bank, a little common sense while online will ensure a quick and easy transaction while protecting your privacy and security.”

To read other financial education articles for military families, visit the Learning Center at PioneerMilitaryLoans.com. For more information about Pioneer Services, visit PioneerServices.com.

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, offers responsible financial services and education to members of the Armed Forces that enhance their quality of life and financial independence. For more than 20 years, Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending. They offer the protection and security of a personal loan with the speed and flexibility service members need. Through a network of offices and on the Internet, Pioneer Services offers loans, financial education programs, and supports military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

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