Second College Kids Family Savings Night Proves to be Successful

1stFin_collegeSavingsNight_groupKidsSt. Louis, MO (March 30, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union partnered with the St. Louis Office of Financial Empowerment and the City of St. Louis Treasurer, Tishaura Jones, for their second College Kids event of the year on March 14, 2017 at the Downtown 1st Financial branch.

College Kids is a program providing children’s savings accounts for every single kindergartner and first grader in a public or charter school in the City of St. Louis. When a child enters Kindergarten, these accounts are opened at 1st Financial, automatically, with a $50 deposit from St. Louis City Treasurer’s Office to jump start their savings.

This was the fifth College Savings Night event hosted by 1st Financial since the launch of the program in 2015.

The children and their families were treated to pizza and were able to make a deposit into their accounts at 1st Financial. As a bonus, 1st Financial also deposited a $20 scholarship into each child’s account who attended the event. The children were encouraged to submit a quick 60 second video about their future education and dream job. One entry will be awarded a $500 scholarship from 1st Financial.

Treasurer Tishaura Jones spoke to the crowd of about 40 families and encouraged them to keep saving. She and the Office of Financial Empowerment staff were there to meet the families and answer any questions about the program.

$1,254 in family deposits were made that evening, not including the scholarship deposits made by 1st Financial.

“College Kids Family Savings Night at the Credit Union is one way we not only serve the kids who are excited about saving for college, but we are able to help each family more holistically as well. Some of our College Kids families lack banking resources and we seek to change that. At every Family Savings Night we offer College Kids families free credit reviews. On average, we have about seven parents or grandparents sign up for an appointment to have their credit report reviewed and to develop a strategy to build or repair. If our College Kids families can improve their overall financial situation they’re more able to help their College Kids dreams come true,” stated Tracy Verner, Community Development Manager at 1st Financial.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA). For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

 1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


1st Financial Groundbreaking in St. Charles

St. Charles branch groundbreaking ceremony
Pictured Left to Right: Mary West, St. Charles Ward 4 Alderman; Mary Jo Garofalo; Sally Faith, St. Charles Mayor; Michelle Rosner; Lone Callahan; Bob Rutkowski; Paul Sikorski, Carol Minges; Jim Combs; Dave Franke; Robyn Whalen; Brad La Macchia; and Steve Broadbent.

St. Charles, MO (March 9, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union officially broke ground on their new branch located in the heart of St. Charles, Missouri on March 1.

1st Financial will relocate their St. Charles branch to 1721 Zumbehl Rd, St. Charles, MO 63303 in late 2017. The branch will be built by the professional team at La Macchia Group, LLC, a Milwaukee-based firm that specializes in financial institutions. Construction will take approximately 6 months to complete.

Community leaders, 1st Financial employees, and 1st Financial members were invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony. St. Charles City Mayor, Sally Faith, and Ward 4 Alderman, Mary West, participated in the ceremony. Shelley Barr, 1st Financial member for over 20 years, attended the groundbreaking event and shared what 1st Financial has meant to her and the personal relationships she’s built through the years at 1st Financial.

During the construction phase, there will be no interruption of member service at the credit union’s current St. Charles branch location on Hwy 94.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA). For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


New St. Charles Branch Groundbreaking Scheduled for March 1

St. Charles, MO (February 13, 2017) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is breaking ground on a new credit union branch in St. Charles. Plans for the new branch include an innovative open concept lobby with teller pods in place of counters, a coffee bar for members and a more convenient location.newBranch_rendering

The professional team at La Macchia Group, LLC, a Milwaukee-based firm that specializes in financial institutions, created the design and will manage the construction. Local Union contractors will be used for construction.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at the new branch location at 1721 Zumbehl Rd. which is at the intersection of Zumbehl Road and Highway 94 in St. Charles. Construction is expected to take approximately 6 months to complete. During the construction phase, there will be no interruption of member service at the credit union’s current St. Charles branch location.

In making the announcement, 1st Financial CEO Carol Minges said, “We are excited about our move to the new location in St. Charles. This building shows our commitment to the St. Charles community. Unlike a large bank that is driven by profits for shareholders, 1st Financial is a member-owned cooperative that puts our members first. For the last 49 years we have been helping to build the communities that we serve in and we look forward to continuing to serve the St. Charles community at this new location.”

1st Financial, a $222 Million Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) credit union, operates four physical branches in Missouri in the communities of Wentzville, St. Charles, Hazelwood, and in the heart of the City of St. Louis.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, please visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 34,000 members and $222 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.


A New Initiative in North County Partners with 1st Financial

STL_North_County_ClassSt. Louis, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union announces a 2017 partnership with STL Youth Job’s new youth initiative in North County. The program, funded by Emerson, equips youth ages 18-24 in the North County area with job readiness training, life skills training, and financial literacy.

“Through our remarkable partnership with 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, not only are we able to provide youth with a safe and youth-friendly banking product, but we are also able to give them the tools they need to stay financially empowered into adulthood,” said Hillary Frey, Executive Director at STL Youth Jobs.

Over the past two years, 1st Financial has supported the efforts of STL Youth Jobs which has employed 359 youth and worked with over 80 employers through the Ferguson Forward initiative in North County.  In 2015-2016 alone, 71% of youth participants were hired on by their employer, found new employment or were connected to other training programs.

“STL Youth Jobs provides young people with an opportunity to earn a paycheck and develop transferable workplace skills, including the skills to manage their own finances. The combination of these resources is the perfect formula for long-term success and a better prepared future workforce,” said Frey.

1st Financial will provide the participating youth with banking resources including savings accounts, checking accounts, and free debit cards. 1st Financial also equips the youth through financial empowerment courses.

“We are incredibly happy to support the youth involved in STL Youth Jobs: North County. This program brings much needed skills and opportunity to an under served community. We were invited to be a partner so the participants could truly be empowered through full financial capability,” said Tracy Verner, Community Development Manager at 1st Financial.

1st Financial partners with local nonprofit and government initiated organizations to serve the needs of greater St. Louis community.

“1st Financial members can be sure that when they invest their money into a checking account or auto loan, they get more than just a great banking product. They are investing in the future success of our community,” said Verner.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA). For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


Local Students Save for College through College Kids

Comm_CollegeKidsSt. Louis, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), partnered with St. Louis Office of Financial Empowerment and the City of St. Louis Treasurer, Tishaura Jones, for the 2017 kickoff event of College Kids, on January 25, 2017 at the Downtown 1st Financial branch.

“1st Financial has been a wonderful partner in our financial empowerment initiatives since shortly after I started in 2013. The ability to house the accounts at a credit union allows children and families to deposit additional funds at any branch that participates in the shared branch network, giving us a strong regional footprint. Additionally, the staff at 1st Financial stand ready to volunteer with us to make sure the program reaches as many as possible,” stated Jones.

College Kids, a program providing Children’s Savings Account for every single kindergartner in a public and charter school within the city of St. Louis, launched in the fall of 2015. These accounts were opened automatically with an initial $50 deposit from the City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office to help families jump start their college savings. The College Kids savings accounts are held at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

This was the fourth College Savings Night, hosted by 1st Financial since the launch of the program in 2015. Each year, the number of kindergartners participating and attending College Savings Night grows, along with deposits made by the City of St. Louis and the students themselves.

During the event at the Downtown branch of 1st Financial, kindergartners and their parents were treated to pizza and the kindergartners were able to make a deposit into their account. 1st Financial also deposited a $20 scholarship into each child’s account who attended the even to help jump start their savings.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA). For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

 

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


Connecting People to Success through Partnership

IMG_3659St. Charles, Missouri – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union served Connections to Success of St. Charles in January as a part of its Helping People 1st Grant Program.

1st Financial created the Helping People 1st Grant to assist non-profit organizations that are focused on housing, financial literacy, job training, or education efforts in the St. Louis area. In January, the Wentzville Branch continued this support by working with Connections to Success of St. Charles County.

“1st Financial continues to be a strong partner. We are so grateful for the ways they are positively impacting the local families we serve through volunteerism and financial investments, like this grant,” stated Mary Lambert, Chief Executive Officer Co-Founder, of Connections to Success.IMG_3627

Connections to Success, is a local organization which provides services and support to break the cycle of poverty. The organization serves people transitioning from poverty, incarceration, domestic violence, and other complex situations. The program’s main goal is to empower individuals through their transformation to economic independence by creating a program that meets the program participants where they currently are in life.

1st Financial presented a check to Connections to Success in the amount of $997.47 which was made up of a $500 grant plus additional funds from 1st Financial employees fundraising efforts.

“Connections to Success is a non-profit organization that I feel very strongly about. They strive to work to break the cycle of poverty. Their mission is gives people hope, resources, and a plan. Volunteering at this organization was inspirational and continues to be an inspiration because of their passion to help people in our own communities” stated Pat Johnson, Wentzville Branch Manager of 1st Financial.

1st Financial also had the privilege of volunteering 10% of their workforce at Connections to Success for a total of 80 volunteer hours.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union is known as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year by Credit Union National Association (CUNA). For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

IMG_3633

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial product s and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.


Urban League Receives Grant From 1st Financial

IMG_3536Ferguson, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union’s Hazelwood branch awarded $500 to the Urban League’s Save Our Sons program in December as part of their Helping People 1st Grant.

Save Our Sons provides education and job training to men who live in Ferguson and surrounding St. Louis County communities. The program’s goal is to develop career-skills and a strong work ethic to become successful in today’s workforce. Since its inception in 2014, they have helped more than 300 men find jobs.

“This program isn’t for everyone, but it is for anyone who a propensity to believe in themselves. Save Our Sons is a program like no other which has been custom-designed to save those who are willing to be saved. In the nearly century old tradition of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, we aim to economically, educationally, politically, and socially empower all participants who receive our services,” said Jamie Dennis, Director of Save Our Sons.

“The Hazelwood branch was honored to bring awareness to our members about Urban League: Save our Sons. This is an organization right in our very own community helping people find opportunities to improve their quality of life,” stated Tanya Forsythe, Hazelwood Branch Manager.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 34,000 members and $215 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.


1st Financial and Bruce Franks Empower Local Youth

bruce1St. Louis, MO – “There are so many challenges and barriers in the world; it’s going to take unity to better our environment,” said Bruce Franks, Missouri State Representative.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), awarded their quarterly community grant to 1st Financial member, Bruce Franks, to support his efforts to strengthen the community through youth empowerment and economic growth through 28 to Life.

“28 to Life is dedicated to bringing out the Super Hero in everyone, especially our youth,” said Franks. “Super Heroes do two things: they save those who don’t want to be saved, and they often save those who didn’t know they needed to be saved.”

In 2015, 28 to Life started as a gun-violence prevention organization. Today, the organization has shifted focus to mentoring, job development, education, and the financial empowerment. The organization has helped over 2,000 young people in St. Louis.

With the $500 Community Grant, Franks plans to use the money to host their first teen summit in 2017. This summit is a series that will bring together youth, local law enforcement, community partners, and community leaders.

“The Summit serves as a tool to bridge gaps between the youth and law enforcement, as well as activist and politics,” said Franks.

“Our community grant empowers our members with a financial investment to use toward their good work. Bruce is undertaking work that truly embodies the Credit Union philosophy of people helping people! Bruce’s efforts as the founder of 28 to Life and 1st Financial’s community development activities intersect often so I can appreciate first-hand the impact the grant money will make,” said Tracy Verner, Community Development Manager at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 34,000 members and $215 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.


1st Financial Federal Credit Union Wins Community Credit Union of the Year

Tracy, Carol, & Laura. Wentzville, MO – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was awarded the 2016 Community Credit Union of the Year Award of Community Development Credit Unions by CUNA in Dallas, TX.

1st Financial a $222 Million Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) credit union, operates four branches in Missouri: Wentzville and St. Charles in St. Charles County, Hazelwood in St. Louis County and Washington Ave, in the heart of the City of St. Louis.

CDFI’s are known for their investments made within the community. One of the many goals of a certified CDFI is to have a mission to guide economic opportunity and renew local neighborhoods. With only 1,000 CDFI’s existing, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is proud to be a part of that number.

Todd Spiczenski, CUNA Chief Products and Services Officer, said, “They, along with all of our 2016 entrants, show how Credit Unions that are fully devoted to the principle of People Helping People can make a difference in the financial lives of, not only, individuals, but also their communities as a whole.”

While it is improving, St. Louis is known as one of the most unbanked cities in the nation. Financial institutions, like 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, work to give members of the community access to financial products and services, while establishing strong partnerships for a more strategic and sustainable outcome.

St. Louis City Treasurer, Tishaura Jones and 1st Financial Federal Credit Union have strategically partnered to implement programs that work on job training and education in St. Louis City.

“My office has made a commitment to invest in the future by providing college savings accounts for every kindergartener in a public school throughout the City of St. Louis,” said Jones. “Our partnership with 1st Financial Federal Credit Union allows parents and family members to make deposits into the savings accounts at any shared branch location. Together, we are eliminating barriers to college access one savings account at a time.”

Statistics show that children with balances as low as $1 in a dedicated savings account are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in and graduate from college than students with no previous savings. 1st Financial has opened over 2,800 college savings accounts for kindergartners in St. Louis City public and charter schools.

Through the STL Youth Jobs program, 1st Financial has provided financial education and checking accounts for over 1,400 young adults between the ages of 16 and 24.

Strengthening the community is in the DNA of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. 1st Financial created the Helping People 1st monthly grant program with the purpose of making a positive impact on the communities they serve. Each month, 1st Financial awards a $500 grant to a nonprofit focused on sustainable housing, job training, and education.

Since 2014, 1st Financial has given over $30,000 or 1.9% of net income, in grant money to local nonprofit organizations, such as Gateway 180, Urban League, Beyond Housing, KidSmart- Tools for Learning, Mission St. Louis, Junior Achievement, and Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, employees of 1st Financial are encouraged to volunteer with the nonprofits each month. Since the launch of Helping People 1st program, 1st Financial has given over 1,100 volunteer hours.

“1st Financial is humbled to receive this award and proud to be making an impact in our communities we serve,” said Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “At 1st Financial, we want you to know that when you invest your money in one of our checking accounts or auto loans, you have done more than give yourself a low cost banking product. You have also invested into the future success and continued change in the communities you love.”

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams. For over 45 years 1st Financial has provided members with a full line of dependable financial products and services which returns profits to the members in the form of lower rates on loans and higher savings yields. The cooperative nature of credit unions enables 1st Financial to provide products and services at very reasonable rates.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.


1st Financial Announces Retirement of Chief Operations Officer after 35 Years at Credit Union

WENTZVILLE, MO (December 12, 2016) – 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), recently announced the retirement of the Chief Operations Officer, Mary Jo Garofalo.

mary jo garafalo 1st financial

Garofalo began her career at 1st Financial as a part-time file clerk in 1981. Since then she has played many roles at 1st Financial including loan administrator, Visa program manager, branch manager, and vice president of operations.

In 2007, Garofalo assumed the role of chief operations officer at 1st Financial. She currently oversees the daily operations of their four local branches: Wentzville and St. Charles in St. Charles County, Hazelwood in St. Louis County, and Washington Ave, in the heart of the City of St. Louis.  She also oversees the contact center.

“Mary Jo has made a significant contribution to 1st Financial and her DNA has been woven into the very fabric of this organization,” said 1st Financial CEO, Carol Minges.  “We will miss her unfiltered words of wisdom, humor and unique view of life.”

With a career spanning three decades, Garofalo has witnessed the evolution of technology in the banking industry. From faxes to email and typewriters to computers, the business operations and the needs of the members have changed dramatically through the years.mary jo garafalo early years

Focused on staying competitive in the banking industry and being an advocate for all credit unions, Garofalo participated in introducing the idea of bringing credit union shared branching to Missouri. 1st Financial had the honor of being the first credit union in the United States to open accounts for other credit unions as part of the shared branch network. The shared branch network is now a nationwide network of more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 5,000 credit union shared branch locations.

Garofalo also spearheaded the introduction of many new products and services for 1st Financial members like mobile and online banking, mobile wallets, SnapDeposit, RollUp Savings, and instant issue debit cards.

“My career at 1st Financial has spanned over 35 years and I will miss that part of my life. However, I’m excited to start the next chapter and am looking forward to spending lots of time with my granddaughters,” said Garofalo.

“While we are thrilled for Mary Jo and her new found freedom it is difficult to see her go,” said 1st Financial Chief Lending Officer Michelle Rosner.  “She embodies what credit unions are about…she enjoys helping people.  Whether giving her managers the autonomy to grow their branches or giving life lessons in leadership, Mary Jo’s presence will be greatly missed.  We are a better credit union because of Mary Jo.”

Following Garofalo’s retirement, Lone Callahan, formerly the Vice President Branch Operations at Harvester Financial Credit Union in Indianapolis, will assume the title of vice president of member experience at 1st Financial.

For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference, visit www.thebetterwaytobank.org.

###

About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union

Like all credit unions, 1st Financial is a member-owned, financial cooperative. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union was chartered on September 3, 1968 as District 837 Credit Union by the International Association of Machinist members employed by McDonnell Douglas. Today, with over 30,000 members and over $220 million in assets, 1st Financial is a St. Louis metro area financial institution dedicated to helping members achieve their financial dreams.

1st Financial Federal Credit Union serves those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County, Missouri and a wide array of companies throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 1st Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial organization committed to providing quality services to the membership while demonstrating safe and sound business practices. Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.