America First Celebrates Eight Decades of Excellence in Credit Union Service

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

This year, America First held our Annual Meeting one month after the 80th anniversary of our founding—Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union was chartered on March 16, 1939.

Although our origins are humble, the 59 members who formed this cooperative had one simple yet powerful objective: helping each other improve their collective and individual financial well-being. For 80 years, America First has endeavored to build on this same focus, bringing the same passion for service and a commitment to provide the highest-quality products & services, in the most professional manner.

One of our most distinguishing characteristics is the volunteer Board of Directors who approve the strategy and focus of the organization. America First has nine outstanding board members who give tremendously of their time and talents, without compensation, to benefit the credit union. They are truly dedicated to improving the financial health of every member and we are fortunate to have them on our team.

At the Tuesday, April 16 Annual Meeting in Ogden, Utah, three highly qualified directors were approved to serve three-year terms: Barney B. Chapman, Kenlon W. Reeve and Michael W. Roden. Acting Board Nominations/Elections Committee Chair Linda Carver conducted the proceedings. The board subsequently voted on internal leadership roles, with Linda Carver serving as chair, Kenlon Reeve as vice chair, and John Spease as secretary. Our most sincere thanks are extended to Jim Wendler for his dedicated leadership and service as board chairman the last four years.

Our Loan Review and Supervisory Committees are also comprised of volunteers, all of whom are dedicated to delivering much-needed service & expertise. The Loan Review Committee—unique not only among financial institutions, but among credit unions—is an independent appeals avenue for members initially denied financing. The Supervisory Committee works with internal and external auditors to ensure fiscal and regulatory safety & soundness.

During his chairman’s message at the Annual Meeting, Mr. Wendler noted that the spirit, values and principles of integrity that drove the formation of America First have not changed in 80 years, nor would they change for generations of members to come. “This credit union remains a shining example of how people of diverse backgrounds but sharing a common purpose can form and operate an institution that serves their financial interests and plays a vital role in the communities in which it’s invested,” he said.

Indeed, we at America First strive each day to dedicate ourselves to uppermost standards, forward-thinking strategies, prudent financial management, and excellence in service. It’s therefore an honor to report that our credit union is strong, vibrant and well-positioned for the future. My utmost appreciation is offered to you, our valued members. We pledge our best efforts to maintain your trust in establishing a lifelong relationship.