In Times of Need, Your Credit Union Stands Ready to Serve and Support

By John B. Lund, President/Chief Executive Officer

Dear Valued Members,

During the past several weeks, we have all experienced considerable anxiety and made significant adjustments to how we interact with one another and conduct business. We’ve experienced fear, not just of potential illness, but that of facing significant hardships such as job loss, the inability to establish normal routines, dealing with children out of school, and other uncertainties. Throughout, I have certainly learned to more fully appreciate life and the good things we cherish most.

On March 16, America First quietly passed our 81st birthday. Over the decades, this organization has confronted innumerable challenges. However, it is clear that such difficulties do not define us, nor have they weakened our resolve. Instead, again and again, we choose to write our own story: We work together to surpass every obstacle, growing stronger all the while.

In trying times, we give each other and our shared communities time, means, and support. When disaster strikes, we rebuild damaged homes, businesses, and lives. We reach out to those in need at every opportunity. Since 1939, the credit union has genuinely cared for our fellow members, lifted and rooted each other on, and celebrated our success. We confront these moments as a united front, and I am profoundly comforted and encouraged to know that this will be no different; it is who we are.

America First is committed to protecting our common physical and financial well-being. The health of the membership and our employee team is the credit union’s number-one priority. Some necessary operational adjustments may cause inconvenience, but we’re grateful for your patience and understanding as efforts continue to reduce the ramifications of the coronavirus and related threats. We adjusted the hours and availability of some branches, and will be making ongoing changes as we monitor and assess current circumstances. An updated list is here. Please check the website regularly to see if your branch has been or will be affected. We encourage managing your money using online & mobile banking, with mobile deposit services, at our ATMs, or by calling 1-800-999-3961 for telephone banking and the contact centers.

If you are having financial difficulties, please get in touch immediately. Plans are in place to help ease the burden and strain of this crisis. We will do everything possible to minimize any lasting effects on you, your family, and your business.

America First is safe and sound. The credit union is well-capitalized, with sufficient reserves to weather turbulent economic cycles and impediments as they materialize. We are robust, vibrant, and capable of helping you achieve current and long-term goals. We appreciate your trust, support, and look forward to a lifetime relationship.

 

Avoid COVID 19 Scams

 

Fraudsters will look for opportunities to take advantage of people, especially during times of increased stress. As a reminder, America First representatives will never ask for your PIN. We also will never reach out to you over the phone or via email to request sensitive information, such as your Social Security or account numbers.

If you receive any messaging that asks you to do this, please forward it to phishing@americafirst.com and we will take the necessary steps to request the site to be taken down in a timely manner.

Additional steps that you can take to spot a scam and keep yourself protected are:

  • If you get a link from a source you do not know, do not click on it.
  • If you get a link from someone claiming to be from the CDC, state or other local authority claiming to have information for you, it is most likely a scam.
  • Currently there are no vaccinations for COVID 19 and online offers claiming to sell the vaccine are scams.
  • Watch for price gouging on essential items. Local stores are working to keep items as stocked as possible. Price gouging is illegal in many states, and if you see it report it to your local hotline.
  • If you want to donate to others at this time, research it first and make sure that your money is going where you want it to go.

America First Credit Union Awarding Scholarships to High School Seniors and College Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Riverdale, Utah – March 5, 2020 – America First Credit Union (AFCU) is calling for submissions for its America First Charitable Foundation Scholarship Program. The credit union will be awarding ten $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors and undergraduate students at two- and four-year technical colleges or universities who share our passion for helping others.

The America First Charitable Foundation is looking for candidates who embody a people-helping-people philosophy. Those who play an active role in giving back to their community, whether through volunteering or other meaningful contributions of time, effort, and care are encouraged to apply.

Applicants are required to submit their hours of community service, grade point average, and current transcript. They must also submit a short essay on how their community service exemplifies the credit union philosophy of people helping people.

This will be the second year of AFCU’s scholarship program. Last year the credit union awarded more than $80,000 worth of scholarships to 80 deserving college bound seniors and undergraduate college students to celebrate 80 years serving members.

The scholarship application can be found and submitted on AFCU’s website. Submissions are due by March 31 and winning members will be notified by May 29.

Dream It. Live It.™

###

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 132 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.7 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,089,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

Ogden-Weber Chamber Inducts AFCU’s Sheryl Cox into Wall of Fame

Two America First Credit Union VPs Recognized by Ogden-Weber Chamber

Ogden, Utah – March 3, 2020 – Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce is recognizing two America First Credit Union (AFCU) Vice Presidents for their outstanding impact in the community. Each year the Chamber is proud to honor outstanding achievements from local business and community members at their Annual Gala. This year, AFCU’s Vice President of Government and Community Relations, Sheryl Cox, was inducted into the Chamber’s Wall of Fame while Kimberli Green, AFCU’s Vice President of Business Development, was honored as the chamber’s ATHENA® Leadership Award recipient.

The Wall of Fame honors those who have made major contributions to the Ogden-Weber community over their career. “Sheryl was selected by the executive board for her involvement with the Ogden-Weber Chamber and commitment to our community,” said Chuck Leonhardt, Ogden- Weber Chamber President & CEO. “Her numerous accomplishments including work at Hill Air Force Base as a liaison between local businesses and service members and serving as chair elect of the McKay-Dee and Layton Hospital Board of Trustees, have made a tremendous impact on our community and it was an honor to be able to recognize her for the work she’s been doing.”

Cox’s additional accomplishments include being awarded the prestigious Hill Air Force Base 2015 Wingman Award, serving as chair of the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee, past Honorary Commander for the 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, served on the executive board for the Ogden Weber Technical College, board member for the Weber School Foundation and past member of the Ogden Pioneer Days Foundation.

“It’s an honor to be inducted to the Ogden-Weber Wall of Fame aside the likes of so many great honorees who have made an enormous impact in Weber County,” said Cox. “I love working for a credit union who values community service and people helping people and allows me to make an impact on someone’s life every day.”

The Chamber also honored Green who received the 2020 ATHENA® Leadership Award which recognizes women in the community who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession, provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and actively assist women in realizing their full potential.

“Kimberli dedicates her time to giving back to the place where she both lives and works, and is always the first to jump in, roll up her sleeves and get to work,” said AFCU President and CEO, John B. Lund. “Volunteering in more than a dozen volunteer positions, Kimberli’s involvement includes being vice chair of the Executive Board for the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce, as well as being a chair for the Boys & Girls Club Weber-Davis Utah among many other activities. It’s truly an honor to be able to work with her.”

###

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 132 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.7 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,089,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union announces Vice President of Trust Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Riverdale, UT – [February 10, 2020] – America First Credit Union (AFCU) welcomes Dirk Samson to its leadership team as Vice President of Trust Services. In this role, he will assist credit union members located in Salt Lake and Utah counties with their financial and estate planning needs including promotion of the credit union’s trust services to estate planning attorneys and other professionals.

With more than 20 years of proven experience in trust administration, estate settlement, and investment management services, Samson is passionate about the opportunity to educate credit union members and estate planning attorneys on AFCU’s notable professional executor and successor trustee services.

With a passion for providing exceptional member service and deep knowledge of world economics, Samson provides members with custom-tailored and executable strategies, providing them with a sense of security. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, he holds various investment and insurance licenses, is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, and is a member of the SLC Estate Planning Council.

Samson is an active member of the Utah community including chairing the Planned Giving Advisory Committee for Salt Lake Community College, which provides educational scholarship to deserving and qualified students. He also is a regular volunteer at animal sanctuaries and rescue organizations, and is an avid year-round outdoor enthusiast, snowboarding on average 50 times a year.

###

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 132 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.7 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,089,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

New Title Sponsor and Community Partner for the Ogden Marathon

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara Mejeur
Marketing Manager, GOAL Foundation
PH: 801-399-1773
Email: sara@goalfoundation.com

Ogden, UT – February 6, 2020 – The GOAL Foundation, producers of the Ogden Marathon, is proud to announce a new title sponsor. America First Credit Union (AFCU) has signed a multiyear contract to be the presenting sponsor of the Ogden Marathon.

“2020 is going to be such a special anniversary year for the Ogden Marathon and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with America First Credit Union,” said Eric Bauman, Executive Director of the GOAL Foundation. “AFCU is doing wonderful things in our community. We want to invite everyone to come out and celebrate 20 years of athletes, volunteers and memories with us, you won’t want to miss it.”

The Ogden Marathon was first established in 2001 and quickly became a bucket-list race due to the panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountain range and the incredibly scenic run through Ogden Canyon. This race accommodates the professional athlete, vacation racers as well as the family that runs together. Race weekend includes a Full and Half Marathon, The Utah Eye Centers 5K, and the Granite Construction Kids K. Racers from all over the world are anticipated to participate in the 20th anniversary celebration and race on Saturday, May 16.

“Ogden is a beautiful place to live and work which is why we love having our Operations Center here in Weber County,” said AFCU President and CEO John B. Lund. “While we operate throughout Utah, Southern Nevada, Arizona and Idaho, we always want to make sure we’re supporting our community right here at home. We’re proud to be supporting the Ogden Marathon to help our members cross the finish line both with their financial goals and their fitness goals.”

“The Ogden Marathon’s impact and reach is far broader than just a race,” said Bauman. “It truly makes a difference and has a positive impact in the lives of our athletes, our volunteers, our spectators, and our community. It’s not only a motivator and opportunity to train and get fit, but it is an opportunity to build a community, build families and spend time with friends. Partnering with America First Credit Union is going to enable us to continue to expand our giveback to the community and to help more families ‘Get Out and LIVE!’”

The 20th celebration will kick off with the NordicTrack Fun & Fitness Expo that hosts more than 70 vendors complete with big prize giveaways, including two treadmills, KT Taping and the latest and greatest in running gear for race day. On race day, runners can look forward to upgraded race shirts, medals, a free beer/beverage of their choice at the finish line as well as many more surprises to be announced. The GOAL Foundation has also integrated youth and family activities into race-day participation. During Marathon Weekend, families can choose from the Kids K, 5K, Half or Full Marathon or join a Relay Team. All participants, no matter the distance, get to cross the same world-class finish line and are fully supported by the Greatest Volunteers on Earth.

With all of the excitement building around the 20th anniversary celebration, the events are expected to fill quickly. Don’t wait, head to www.ogdenmarathon.com to claim your spot.

ABOUT THE GOAL FOUNDATION

The GOAL Foundation, producer of the Ogden Marathon, was established after the 2002 Olympics with a mission to inspire the Greater Ogden Community and its visitors to “Get Out And Live!”™ by participating, volunteering, and spectating at recreational events, programs, and activities. GOAL is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation.

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 132 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.7 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,071,000 members.

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – 2020

FRIDAY-MAY 15
9:00 am     Shake Out Run at the Weber County Fieldhouse, 4400 Harrison Blvd, Ogden
10:00 am – 8:00 pm   NordicTrack Fun & Fitness Expo, 4400 Harrison Blvd., Ogden

SATURDAY-MAY 16
6:00 am – Ogden Canyon Closes
7:00 am – Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay & 5K Start
7:30 am – Autoliv Finish Line Festival opens to the public with food, music & fun!
9:30 am – Amphitheater Archway – Kids Zone Open
8:45 am – Main Park Stage, 5K overall awards presented
10:00 am – 2:00 pm Miller Lite/Talisman Brewery Beer Garden
11:00 am – Kids K registration opens at the GOAL booth
11:45 am – Main Park Stage, Full & Half Marathon overall awards presented
12:30 pm – Kids K Race begins at 25th St. & Kiesel Ave.
1:15 pm – Ogden Canyon reopens
2:00 pm – End of Race

America First Credit Union Opens Business Center in Salt Lake City

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SALT LAKE CITY – February 4, 2020 – On the heels of the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit which celebrated Utah’s entrepreneurs, America First Credit Union (AFCU) is opening a Business Center in Salt Lake City to support and champion Utah businesses. The downtown-based center is a hub and resource for business-owning members to find tools, products, services and people that will help them meet their businesses’ dynamic needs.

“The collective drive to excel is one of the things I love most about being able to work with the Utah companies, and one of the things that makes doing business here so exciting,” said Blake Weathers, AFCU Senior Vice President Business Services. “Whether your organization is small or large, or you’re are startup or one of the old guards, we’ve created the Business Center to help you take your business further.”

At the Business Center, AFCU and community members will have access to local industry experts, including those from AFCU’s Business Development team. They will be able to meet with business account specialists who can help with any product or service needs they might have, including the AFCU’s extensive suite of Merchant Services, business planning through LivePlan, ACH and payroll, and setting up or making changes to business members’ accounts.

Lending services will also be offered at the Business Center, where a lending team is on hand to help members apply for or set up Lines of Credit or Visa credit cards and they’ll be able to help with needs for Small Business, SBA, Commercial Real Estate, and other Business Loans.

The America First Business Center is located in the credit union’s Salt Lake Metro Branch at 455 South 500 East. The Business Center shares the same hours of operation as the branch, making it easy for members to take care of personal finance needs as well.

###

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 132 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.7 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,071,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Opens 110th Utah Branch in Murray

Murray, UT – February 3, 2020– America First Credit Union (AFCU) is set to open a new branch on Feb. 3 inside Macey’s grocery store to serve as a convenient option for members and better serve the Murray community.

The new branch is located inside Macey’s at 5632 South 900 East, Murray, UT 84121. It will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The leading, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution branch will be managed by Shannon Marshall, who has been part of the AFCU team for five years as a teller, receptionist, loan officer, assistant manager and market assistant manager.

The full-service, 555-square-foot branch includes one teller station, one loan office stations, a branch self-service kiosk, and an ATM inside the Macey’s that can be used anytime the grocery store is open.

“We are excited to make our services even more readily available to our members who visit the store,” said Marshall.
“We welcome the opportunity to serve shoppers that walk-in front of our in-store branch every week achieve their financial goals.”

AFCU members will be able to perform everyday financial transactions at this branch, including withdrawals and deposits, in addition to opening checking, savings, and loan products.

###

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 80 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 132 locations, and is the ninth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $11.7 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,071,000 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801.913.9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

Guest Commentary: Harnessing the Benefits of Economic Growth

By Glen Olpin, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist

 The nation’s ongoing fiscal recovery has become the longest-running period of American economic growth on record. January was the 127th month of expansion since the Great Recession concluded, far surpassing the previous mark. However, it is also notable that the pace of improvement is the slowest in history.

Consumers are leading the way, as our collective confidence is at an all-time high; many are comfortable with increasing their spending and debt levels. Personal income is up from last year, while inflation risk and U.S. unemployment remain low. Utah and Idaho enjoy robust employment, while the jobless rates in Nevada and Arizona inched only slightly higher.

Home prices across the country continue on an upward trajectory, but it is not quite as rapid. For the first time in many years, personal incomes are moderately outpacing housing costs. Western states are seeing home prices surge at a rate higher than the national average.

Auto sales slowed only modestly in 2019, with on-and-off downturns projected to extend into 2020. Overall, though, sales are expected to remain robust. Business production and capital expenditures are decreasing, while positive news regarding the resolution of trade disagreements could boost the economy and investment markets.

Overall U.S. economic strength, as measured by real gross domestic product, has been moderating. The yield curve, inverted for a short period during late summer last year, added to worries about future growth. We can expect election-year politics to generate further concerns as well.

What does this mean for America First in 2020?

  • Our credit union is, without question, financially strong and well capitalized
  • Economic slowdowns are uncomfortable, but the durability of our local economies can guard against negative national trends
  • As economic volatility persists, expect higher unemployment
  • Savings should grow, as members improve personal financial balance sheets
  • Competitive consumer borrowing will be available
  • Expect lower rates, especially in the short-term
  • Improved affordability, along with lower mortgage rates, will provide home-buying & refinancing opportunities

On balance, 2019 proved positive for the credit union and our valued members. Although some weakening signals appear in the forecast, we expect to manage any economic fluctuations and continue delivering the benefits you’ve earned.

During my career, I was privileged to witness and personally participate in the tremendous growth and success of America First, founded in 1939 on the principles of service, sharing resources, and members working alongside one another to achieve financial health. Going forward into the next 80 years, we remain committed to these same ideals, providing high-quality, competitive, convenient, safe and professional services to those who choose membership in our credit union.

Editor’s note: Glen retired in January 2020 after 44 years of service to America First Credit Union members.