Description of Organization
Three dedicated Credit Union visionaries from Georgia were committed to becoming better acquainted with other African- Americans attending the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conferences. Gene Johnson and Pete Crear were very instrumental in encouraging Sheilah B. Montgomery and Calvin Tucker to create a meet and greet. They decided to invite people to Hogates Seafood Restaurant. Tucker would stand in the hallways inviting other African-Americans to meet for dinner at the informal gathering. The first gathering was a success and the opportunity to network was so valued that a core group committed to consistently including the annual gathering in their personal itineraries for the GAC. From 1993 – 1995, the group began to seriously discuss the feasibility of forming an association to cater to the specific needs of African Americans in the Credit Union Movement and their organizations.
The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), was formally organized in 1995 by credit union volunteers and professionals at one such meeting at Hogates Seafood Restaurant in Washington, D.C. Those present at the formal organizing meeting were: Sheila Montgomery, Helen Godfrey Smith, Richard Turnley, Dr. Willie Bryant, Eldridge Etienne, Gene Johnson, Calvin Tucker, Phyllis Moore, Martin Olagbegi, Carol Aranjo, Paul Dumars, Eva F. Edmon, Gary Holmes, Cleveland Lockett, W. Scott Logan, Goldie C. Randle, Roderick Sanders, Brenda Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Stephenson, Byron A. Taylor, Jennifer Taylor, Charles Williams, A. Lee Williams, George Wright and Louisiana Wright. Strong Supporters who were unable to attend: Pete Crear, Leroy Nesbitt, Jr., JoAnn Bailey, and Shirley Jenkins
The Coalition was created to initiate a platform that would increase diversity at all levels of the Credit Union Movement and provide an avenue to exchange ideas and experiences to bring value to the Movement.
AACUC Executive Board of Directors
- Adrian Johnson, Chairman
- Larry Sewell, Vice Chairman
- Ed Presnell, Treasurer
- Lynette Smith, Secretary
- Timothy L. Anderson
- Michael Hale
- Tracey Jackson
- Dorthy Mack
- Maurice Smith
- Bert Hash, Jr. - Director Emeritus
The African American Credit Union Hall of Fame website is a product of the African American Credit Union Coalition’s Funding Development Committee.
Chairperson: Adrian Johnson
Co-Chair: Lynette Smith
The Funding Development Committee's purpose is to assess the financial needs of the AACUC on an annual basis and to fulfill those needs by securing adequate funding to carry out and support activities, programs, and services as sanctioned by the Board of Directors.
WHY IS THIS A PROJECT OF FUNDING DEVELOPMENT?
AACUC is an established credit union organization with a mission to:
- Increase the strength of the global union movement. We are a non-profit organization of African-American and African descent professionals and volunteers in the Credit Union Movement; and
- The website is a way to raise funds for the organization to continue its mission and to identify African Americans instrumental in making changes in our communities.
AACUC Timeline - Accomplishments
- To assist low income producers in South Africa communities to increase their income and wealth through improved access to financial services
- To build long-term, sustainable community based institutions which support this individual economic growth
- And to build South Africa civil society through increased popular democratic participation in credit unions
- CEO Institute I
- Strategic Planning University of Pennsylvania
- The Wharton School
- CEO Institute II
- Organizational Effectiveness
- Cornell University
- Johnson Graduate School of Management
- CEO Institute III
- Strategic Leadership Development
- University of Virginia
- Darden Graduate School of Business Administration
In an effort to continue support to the country of South African, the AACUC Board adopted this partnership four years ago. So far, AACUC has paved the way for twelve students to continue their education.
Both board members and management students will come together and take a series of courses, which prepare them to handle the challenges SACCOs face in today’s changing environments. The management students will come in on Monday to begin their course of study, then the board member students will join them later in the week. In some cases they will be learning together in a joint classroom setting.
The scholarship was named after credit union pioneer, Mr. Pete Crear, President/CEO of the World Council on Credit Unions. Pete has served with distinction and has dedicated his professional career to the service of credit unions both in America and abroad since 1965. He was the first African American to serve in various high level positions in the credit union movement.
The program encourages the mentoring pairs to develop a plan of activities that meets the individual credit union needs. Within the general guidelines of the plan, the participants determine the goals of the mentor-mentee partnership and the action steps to meet those goals.
Mentorship Mission: “To offer technical assistance, funding and management expertise to credit unions in need”
- To help credit unions advance by providing a motivated, creative work force.
- To provide African American Credit Union employees with an opportunity to enhance their careers through guidance of experienced professionals.
- To supplement the credit union movement’s existing programs with the added perspective of African Americans.
- Mentorship organized an assessment team that went to New Orleans ready to help
- The team met in New Orleans with a group of affected credit unions
- A plan was put together to help each credit union return to the business of serving members
<- Picture: VAHNOLA FCU Board Chair Yolanda Jackson expresses gratitude for AACUC support following hurricane Katrina.
<- Picture: Mentorship committee view damage from hurricane Katrina at Claver FCU in New Orleans
AACUC Timeline - History
- 1st credit union in the United States was located in Manchester, New Hampshire, St. Mary’s Bank.
- Groups were poised and ready to employ this cooperative model as a means to bring “access to reasonable financial services” to African-American communities. Some of the earliest and most successful efforts were in the State of North Carolina. North Carolina was the first State south of the Mason-Dixon Line to pass a credit union statute.
- The credit union movement was officially ushered in by the Passage of the Massachusetts Credit Union Law
- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded with a mission intersecting the credit union movement’s mission. The NAACP adopted the credit union model as a means for community development.
- There were 136 African-American credit unions in the U.S. of which 86 were in the south. Of the 86 southern credit unions, 33 of those were in North Carolina. The earliest African American Credit Unions which operated under community charters were the Wayne county FCU in Jessup, Georgia and The Light of Tyrrell Credit Union in Tyrrell County, NC.
- There were 36 “education based” African-American credit unions in the U.S.
- The total assets estimated in African American credit unions totaled $500,000.00 and the average loss ratio was estimated to be .075% or 7.5 cents of each $100.00 loaned.
- Records showed 13 African-American church credit unions.
- 27 states and the District of Columbia had credit unions which were chartered, owned and operated by and for African Americans.
- Total loans made by African-American credit unions totaled approximately $3,000,000.00 since their inception. Losses were very low at .07%.
- John “Ernest” Johnson started his extensive career in the credit union movement with the chartering of Delta Valley Community FCU in Tallulah, Louisiana. He did organizing work and technical assistance in 17 states and in South Africa.
- Aston A. “Paddy” Bailey was credited for bringing the credit union concept to the continent of Africa.
- In August 2002, AACUC presented Maudelle Shirek with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Littleton P. Mitchell, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, was named Delaware Outstanding Credit Union volunteer for his tenure as a credit union president and volunteer for 39 years. He led the Delaware state branches of the NAACP as President for over 30 years, and was directly involved in defeating cases of discrimination and segregation affecting thousand of citizens.
- October 2005 - When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the AACUC was one of the early credit union organizations to respond with an assessment team of volunteers to assist the credit unions.
- November 15, 2005 - Rodney E. Hood was appointed by President George W. Bush to a seat on the Board of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
- November 30, 2005 - the NCUA Board elected Mr. Hood to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Board.
- On March 4, 2008 it was announced in Washington, DC that credit unions from California to Maine and from Washington to Florida have donated $1.2 million to the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. The African American Credit Union Coalition and Board Member Hubert Hoosman, spearheaded the national fundraising effort within the credit union movement.
- The African-American Credit Union exhibit was formerly unvailed at America’s Credit Union Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire, October 16, 2008.