The Community First Team
For more than 75 years, Community First Credit Union has provided financial solutions for our members and the Greater Jacksonville community.
President and Chief Executive Officer
John Hirabayashi has served as president and CEO of Community First Credit Union of Florida (previously known as Educational Community Credit Union) since 1996. When Hirabayashi first came to Community First, the company had a membership of 44,000 and $200 million in assets. Today, Community First serves more than 105,000 members on the First Coast and has $1.2 billion in assets. It has expanded from an educational credit union to one that is open to anyone living in Northeast Florida. Since 1996 the company has expanded its offerings to include mortgages, investment services, small business services and a full suite of online services. Its Net Promoter Score, the gold standard for measuring customer loyalty, is 80 percent, an achievement that places the credit union in an elite group of highly performing businesses. Under Hirabayashi’s leadership, Community First has consistently performed well in recent years and has expanded its branch network even during the economic recession of 2008. Community First was a recipient of the 2007 Best Places To Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal; 2008 Employer of the Year, awarded by the Society of Human Resource Management; 2009 Excellence in Training and Employee Development from the University of North Florida; and 2010 Mayor's Healthiest 100 Companies for its comprehensive Wellness Program. In 2012, it was named one of the city’s healthiest companies by the First Coast Worksite Wellness Council. Hirabayashi has spent his entire career in the credit union industry, including six years as president and CEO of Cal State 9 Credit Union in Berkeley, CA. A graduate of the University of Colorado (Boulder) with a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Hirabayashi has an M.B.A. degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He also is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®). He has served on the boards of numerous professional organizations in the finance industry, including: The Cypress Group; Members Development Company (MDC); the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the Florida Credit Union League (which he chaired until 2008.) In 2011, Hirabayashi received the “Ultimate CEO” Award by the Jacksonville Business Journal. In addition to his involvement with several professional organizations, Hirabayashi is incredibly active in the community and has served on numerous boards, including: Alliance for World Class Education; the JAX Chamber Board of Governors, the Florida Community College Foundation, JAX Chamber Board of Directors and the Nonprofit Center. He has also served on the boards of the Clay County Education Foundation and Duval County Public Education Foundation. He served as chair of the WJCT Board of Trustees from 2010-2011 and the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) from 2011-2012.
Chief Financial Officer
Sam Inman has served as chief financial officer of Community First Credit Union since 1993 and has been with the company since 1990. Inman is responsible for assuring the overall financial condition and viability of the credit union, while developing and implementing long-term strategies, policies and operating objectives. He has been instrumental in increasing total assets from $156 million to $1.2 billion while improving key operating and efficiency ratios, including PCA Net Worth, Operating Expenses to Assets and Average Balance per Member. As a senior member of the executive team, Inman oversees several departments including finance, accounting, information technology, investment and insurance, as well as credit card operations. He also serves as chairman of the Asset Liability Management Committee, which is responsible for developing agendas and communicating with the Board of Directors the overall financial condition of the credit union, new product development, loan and deposit pricing, monitoring risk to capital, and developing marketing strategies for current or new SEGs. Inman has more than 25 years of experience in the finance industry, including four years at Coastline Federal Credit Union in Jacksonville prior to joining Community First. He has served on the board of the Credit Union Executive Society’s Florida chapter for five years and is a member of the Credit Union Economic Group, a national organization that provides credit unions with a strategic view on both the general economy and in the area of consumer financial services. A Jacksonville native, Inman received his M.B.A. from Brenau University in Gainesville and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. He is also a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2002. Inman actively supports the educational community in Northeast Florida and serves as a volunteer on the annual Teacher of the Year selection committee and was a member of the Steering Committee of the TEACH Symposium for Northeast Florida educators in 2012. Inman also volunteers his time and expertise as a member of the United Way Income Strategies Council, which develops strategy to employ financial and volunteer resources and advocacy activities to help achieve bold community goals in partnership with other community efforts. He has also served on the United Way Resource Management Team as well.
Senior Vice President of Lending
Susan Verbeck has served as senior vice president of lending for Community First Credit Union since 2011 and has been with the company since 2008. She is responsible for oversight and management of consumer, mortgage, and business lending and portfolios, as well as collections. Areas under her direction include product development, underwriting policies and practices, loan processing and lending policy adherence. Verbeck joined Community First during tough times at the beginning of the recession and her strong leadership has helped the organization weather the economic downturn. Under her direction, Community First is now positioned as an industry leader and is able to take on new loans. With more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Verbeck has worked for regional and national banks and credit unions. She began her career in 1981 as an investment officer at Signet Bank in Richmond, Va.,and then served as a vice president at Landmark Bancshares of Illinois and Heritage Savings Bank. She worked for 10 years at Chartway Federal Credit Union, an $800 million community-chartered credit union with fifteen offices in four states, holding positions of vice president of retail and lending. Verbeck served as vice president of retail for New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union before joining Community First. Verbeck received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Glenville State College in West Virginia, graduating magna cum laude. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin’s B.A.I. School of Bank Administration, where she completed an intensive three-year banking program. Verbeck also studied at the CUNA Management Development Institute of Louisiana State University, with an emphasis on managerial concepts and application methods of credit unions. She received her business lending underwriting and administration certification through the CUNA Lending School. Verbeck is a member of the CUNA Lending Council and the American Credit Union Mortgage Association (ACUMA).
Senior Vice President of Operations
Mike Tomko has served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Community First Credit Union since 2003, He is responsible for all member-facing functions, including 16 retail branch locations and call center operations. He is also responsible for branch development and construction. Under Tomko’s direction, the company implemented a very successful need-based sales and service program, which has driven its superior loan, deposit and membership growth. He created a branch manager coaching and leadership program, integrating accountability with reward and recognition, and developed a team-based sales and service incentive program. Tomko was also instrumental in creating an $11 million strategic branch expansion program to develop new branch offices in dynamic growth markets. All these efforts have helped the company achieve an 80 percent Net Promoter Score, the gold standard for measuring customer loyalty. The rating places the credit union in an elite group of highly performing businesses. Before joining Community First Credit Union, Tomko was Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking at OceanFirst Bank in Toms River, N.J. and Senior Vice President at Colonial Bank in Bonita Springs, Fla. He has a bachelor’s degree from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and was a graduate with honors of the Graduate School of Retail Banking at the University of Wisconsin. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner, with certification from the Institute for Financial Crime Prevention in Houston, Tex. Tomko serves as vice chairman of the board of directors for the Florida Credit Union League Northeast Florida Chapter. He is also actively involved in the community, including the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Standing Business Committee, the executive committee of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, United Way Keel Club, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Cancer Society. Tomko also graduated from the Leadership Bonita Program through the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Vice President of Marketing
Roger Rassman has served as vice president of marketing for Community First Credit Union since 2012. He is responsible for strategic market planning in adherence to the organizational vision to attain set goals and objectives, including increasing customer retention, expanding sales and driving revenue. Rassman also supervises market research and analysis, modeling, data mining and segmentation strategies, advertising, direct marketing, customer growth, business development and public relations. Under Rassman’s leadership, Community First has expanded its reach and visibility within the community by negotiating title sponsorship agreements with the Community First Hale & Hearty 7K race series, Community First Saturdays in Downtown Jacksonville and the Community First Natural Life Music Festival. He was also instrumental in the development and implementation of Community First Cares, a 501(c)3 foundation formed to help streamline and enhance the organization’s charitable giving and community involvement. Rassman also led the redesign and launch of the new www.communityfirstfl.org and has helped to develop a number of new products and services including a new personal checking product called Bonus Debit Checking. Rassman has more than 20 years’ experience in a marketing management capacity in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Community First, he was chief banking strategist for Stellar Strategic, a consulting and marketing firm serving credit unions across the United States. He also served as vice president of marketing for Rochester, New York based ESL, one of the nation’s largest and most successful credit unions and held marketing management positions in Dubuque, Iowa; Stevens Point, Wisconsin and Owatonna, Minnesota. Rassman received a bachelor of science in business administration with a major in finance and minor in economics from Minnesota State University. He is a member of the Bank Marketing Association, the JAX Chamber Board of Governors and Credit Union Executives Society.