Introducing We Are Community First: Stories that will make you Love Where You Bank. We have so many employees, members, business members, community partners, and others who are doing amazing, inspirational things. Whether they are achieving personal milestones or implementing major initiatives that drastically change the lives of others in a positive way, we know some wonderful people whose accomplishments are truly remarkable. We think these stories are worth sharing and hope you enjoy reading them as much as we love sharing them. Do you know someone in our community who deserves the spotlight? We’d love to hear their stories.

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At Community First, we’re always trying to give you even more reasons to Love Where You Bank.

Whether it’s providing excellent customer service or offering a great product, we do our very best to make your member experience an exceptional one. It’s important to us that we live up to our name and truly put the Community First. We’re dedicated to supporting organizations that make a difference in the communities where we live, work, and play. But that’s only half the story.

As a company, we strive to be good stewards of the community.

One of our Core Values is “Community Focus,” in which “We place a special emphasis on activities that improve financial education, enhance the quality of our educational system, upgrade the health and welfare of our community, and help citizens advance their standard of living by adopting sound financial practices.” But who are the people making that happen? And what are their stories? 

As a nonprofit credit union, our members are our owners.

There is no "us" or "them" when it comes to our members, our employees, or even the credit union itself. We are all in this together, much like a family. Individually, everyone has a story and represents just one piece of the puzzle. Together, our collective stories represent a much larger picture and say a lot about who we are. We are Community First. 


Jennifer Wolfe | Executive Director, Women Writing for (a) Change, Jacksonville

Jennifer established the Jacksonville chapter of Women Writing for (a) Change) in 2013, creating a non-profit component in 2018. She is a writer, facilitator, business owner, and community leader. She said she feels inspired by a comment she heard once: “Women will step into a leadership role when they feel that there is a need that is not being addressed or an injustice that’s been done.” Jennifer’s work does both, which is why we are fortunate to have her as a member and feel compelled to tell her story. Jennifer is often told, “You’re changing lives,” to which Jennifer replies, “If I was doing this for my ego, to feel good about myself, then that would be very wrong. My job is not to become the vaunted expert and the great heroine in the room. My job is to be a facilitator of human connection and human consciousness.” 

Read Jennifer's Full Story

Jennifer Wolfe, Executive Director, Women Writing for (a) Change, Jacksonville


Elizabeth Andersen | Board Member, Duval County Public Schools (District 2)

Elizabeth Andersen is a former Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) teacher, an experienced non-profit agency worker in the mental health field, owns her own business, and is a newly elected School Board Member for DCPS in District 2. Throughout all of her roles of serving children and communities in Jacksonville, she recognizes a common thread in her work. “Everything is really rooted in what I see as a calling to help people realize their full potential. I believe in the goodness of people,” she said. She’s a long-time Community First member and her story of putting the community first inspired us to share her passion.

Read Elizabeth's Full Story

Elizabeth Andersen, Board Member, Duval County Public Schools - District 2

Jennifer Smith | Founder, The Giving Closet Project

You may be familiar with Jennifer Smith as one of our Community First Cares Foundation recipients. You may even know her story of founding The Giving Closet Project in Jacksonville for children living in poverty who need clothing, shoes, and hygiene items. Perhaps the most inspirational part of her story, though, is the motivation behind her work and her vision for the future. “It’s about developing the whole child – mind, body, soul, physical – and if a child’s basic needs aren’t being met, nothing else will happen. But if we can meet their basic needs – the clothing, the food, the shelter, it’s going to give them a self-esteem boost and they’ll get to hold their heads a little bit higher and hopefully they’ll say, ‘Okay, I can do this.’”

Read Jennifer's Full Story

Giving-Closet-Project a group of women in front of clothes


Matt Cummings | Assistant Branch Manager, Oakleaf

Our first story is about our Assistant Branch Manager at the Oakleaf Branch, Matt Cummings. Matt has an incredible transformation story. Matt’s initial goal was to lose 100 pounds in one year. He officially started on May 29, 2018, and has far surpassed his goal. “The cool thing is that I’ve learned a lot along the way. My mind is stronger, I’m a better husband, I’m better at work, better all around. So it’s learning to apply that same tenacity you must have to lose this much weight to other areas of your life.”

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Before-and-After-Weight-Loss of Matt Cummings