America First Credit Union was founded on March 16, 1939 at the Hotel Newhouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the 59 who attended the charter meeting of what was then the Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union was R.D. (Ray) Hagen, a volunteer who eventually became our first full-time employee (treasurer/manager) and later president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The credit union was established in a small office housed in Fort Douglas’ Building 207, with service hours on Fridays only from 3:30 to 4 p.m. A Prince Albert tobacco can was used to hold all cash deposits at the time; total assets and membership were $788 and 79, respectively.
On June 23, 1947, the finance office of the U.S. Army at Fort Douglas was moved to the Utah General Distribution Depot in Ogden, Utah, and the credit union moved with it and renamed itself Federal Employees Credit Union.
In 1960, with the addition of the Naval Supply Depot in Clearfield, Utah, the credit union was now affiliated with four military installations, the other three being the Utah General Depot, Hill Air Force Base, and Fort Douglas. Utah-chartered credit unions began serving anyone in the state and the credit union changed its name to America First Credit Union in 1984. In order to best serve its members, America First Credit Union converted to a Federal charter in May 2003.
Today, America First is the seventh largest credit union in the United States with over 736,000 members and 113 full service branches. The credit union is also the twelfth largest in assets, which total over $7.1 billion.
In 76 years, America First has had just four Presidents/CEOs: the aforementioned Ray Hagen, James (Jim) Dawson, Olin (Rick) Craig, and John B. Lund.