Feel the love

PACE Credit Union celebrated the 2014 Credit Union Day with the launch of an exciting new rewards and referral program. PACE Rewards is the first of its kind in the country, bringing together members, potential members, business clients and a unique payment card*.

Where they started
PACE Credit Union was looking for a rewards program that would tick a few very important boxes:

1. Thank members
Most importantly, the credit union wanted to find a meaningful way to thank its current members for their loyalty. 

2. Gain new members
PACE wanted to find a way to leverage its most important and enduring asset – its existing members – to gain new members. 

3. Support business members
PACE also wanted to find a way to get personal banking members to get engaged as consumers with its business banking clients. 

4. Strengthen the PACE brand experience
The PACE team also wanted to increase engagement with its brand through the development of unique, vibrant campaign creative that would support its short and long-term goals.

The solution: PACE Rewards
A traditional rewards/referral solution would benefit its current membership and help gain new members, but it wouldn’t help PACE to achieve its goal to support its business membership.

Dan Coldwell, VP of Business Development at PACE wanted a solution that would help business clients to experience a direct benefit from their association with PACE. With that goal top of mind, Coldwell conceived a dynamic rewards program that would reward all stakeholders. His concept centred around a pre-paid rewards card* that could be ‘spent’ at participating businesses.

Coldwell made it very easy for PACE business clients to participate in the PACE Rewards program. As long as they had at least one POS terminal that could process MasterCard transactions, they were golden.

With that established, the concept of a member rewards and referral program took shape quickly. Here’s how:

  • an existing member refers someone to PACE Credit Union
  • that someone becomes a member
  • the existing member and the new member receive a $50 PACE Rewards card to be spent at any of the participating businesses

The creative: Feel the love
PACE asked us to help them find a creative spin for this program that would support its goals and engage members, existing members and businesses. Coldwell says,

Pace was looking for a marketing partner who could take our new program concept and bring it to life. Our Rewards program is the first of its kind in the country and it was very important that the marketing and creative representation was strong.’

Our approach to bringing the rewards program to life was to let the PACE Rewards card play the starring role in the creative. We wanted to infuse it with personality and energy and for the messaging to evoke excitement and possibility. We wanted colours and fonts to support the PACE brand, of course, but we also wanted to establish a creative flavour that would be unique to the PACE rewards program. Finally, to support PACE’s long-term goals, the creative would also need to be adaptable.  


Coldwell and his fantastic marketing team were happy with the final outcome, saying,

thirdstream helped us to give the program a voice while creating a value proposition to our members as well as our valued business members. The creative really adds a new layer to our visual brand and we can see using this as our creative strategy moving forward. We also like how the concept can be used for recurring themes and not just member referral. It’s a step towards a solid marketing partnership, that’s for sure.”

Get more details at pacecu.com.

*The PACE Rewards Card is issued by and is the property of Peoples Trust Company

Five cool insights – social engagement

1. What are the top things I can do to increase engagement?

  • Build an audience and continually seek new ways to grow that audience (i.e. Likes campaigns, contests, incentives, ads).
  • Pay for placement (ads).
  • Use planning tools to develop strategy and schedule activities.
  • Always strive to create content that is likeable and shareable.
  • Use high-quality images.
  • Provide your followers with value.
  • Look for ways to engage your internal team.

2. What happens when a Facebook post is boosted?
When you boost a post, your post defies Facebook’s built in algorithms which dictate that your post is only shown to approximately 16% of those who like your page. The boost will help your ad to be shown to more of your followers or even people who don’t follow you. So you are essentially paying to share your message with a wider audience.

It’s a smart idea to boost any post that has already had good engagement organically. This is an indicator that your content has strong traction.

3. How does paying get more people to engage?
A Facebook-boosted post can be targeted to several different groups. You could choose to boost the post to:

  • people who already follow the page
  • people who follow the page and their friends
  • specific geographic areas, genders, age groups or interest groups

By promoting your post to people outside of your current circle of followers, you have the opportunity to earn new page likes, post likes, comments and brand awareness.

4. Can I do similar promotions of my content on Twitter?
It is possible to promote an account, promote a single tweet or promote a trend (#hashtag) as a Twitter ad. Similar to other platforms, you:

  • are bidding for placement
  • can control spending by setting a budget
  • can use analytics to measure and make adjustments

They offer many targeting options including the ability to target followers of specific accounts.

5. What are some tools you recommend for planning?
Creative planning sessions and an editorial calendar are the most basic and essential tools you should consider implementing. These two things will ensure that you always have content in your pocket and that you can deliver it in a timely and consistent manner. Other tools that can be helpful when thinking about the big picture for social media at your organization are a social flight plan (annual) and a social media scorecard.

Meet our chief technical officer

As Chief Technical Officer and co-owner of thirdstream, Keith inspires our team to reach higher and dig deeper when it comes to developing products that will keep thirdstream on the leading edge of acquisition, authentication and origination technology. A strong leader with brilliant insights, Keith motivates our team to find creative, effective ways to continually push the envelope in everything we do.

When he’s not driving business and innovation forward, he’s working directly with our clients, building partnerships and alliances and getting to the heart of what they need. This is a natural role for Keith. Anyone who has ever met him can’t help but be drawn to his genuine warmth, big smile and contagious laugh. 

Here are some other cool facts about Keith.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
2004 – Christian and I were the first two standing.

What is your role with thirdstream?
My official title is CTO. However, from a day-to-day perspective, I deal more with client relationships on the software side of our business to determine the opportunities that we may have in relation to applying our technology to their environments.

What appeals to you the most about the work you do with thirdstream?
Establishing and fostering relationships with our client. What gives me the most pleasure is when a client sends through a note from one of their staff members, stating how our solution(s) have changed their daily activities for the better.

In 1-2 sentences, what do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
I truly appreciate everyone’s unique skills and abilities that allow us to “wow” our clients. On the marketing side, our team’s ability to capture the essence of a particular client and knock it out of the park. On the tech side, the team’s ability to make all of our hair-brained ideas work.

Now for the fun stuff  

Steinbach, Manitoba

Altona, Manitoba

Grew up in which decade
I still haven’t.

Biggest musical (or other) influence when you were growing up
Anything 90’s. GnR, Skid Row, Queensrÿche. Really anything with a strong beat and an awesome guitar solo.

Favourite beverage
Beer, beer and more beer.

Other hobbies
Playing guitar, downhill skiing, curling up with a Grisham novel in front of the fire.

I’m happiest when …
I’m the first on the golf course, fresh dew on the ground and I hit a perfect iron shot into the green.

our family is growing

Our team is made up of one-of-a-kind leaders, brilliant creatives, insightful strategists, genius programmers, a sky’s-the-limit sales force and a management and support team that takes care of the crazy-making details for us like loving parents.

Now it’s become even better because we’ve added two new members to the thirdstream family. You’ll learn more about them soon, but for now, we’re happy to officially welcome them to our team.

Pauline Marimo, project coordinator


Pauline has been working with Financial Institutions and Credit Unions for 8 years, which means that she brings a wealth of industry knowledge to our team. She’s also near completion of her Project Management Professional (PMP). As our project coordinator, Pauline meets every new challenge with an open mind, a smile on her face and management skills that keep us on task and our clients happy.

Tana Chasakara, business analyst


Tana is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph, where she earned an honours degree in Management, Economics and Finance with a GPA of 4.0. Not too shabby, right? She’s also worked in the financial sector for several years. Her combination of intelligence, experience and skill are already paying off for our team, our projects and our clients.