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Community First Credit Union Appoints New Board Members

By: Maria Coppola, APR, CPRC

Posted on 8/5/2020 9:00:00 AM

New board members join volunteer credit union’s board of directors

Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 5, 2020Community First Credit Union announces the appointment of two board members to its volunteer board of directors. Chantelle Schart and Dr. James E. (“Jim”) Farah, have joined the board effective 2020. Schart replaces Scott Bennett and will finish his three-year term in progress and Farah replaces Marsha Coarsey and will serve a three-year term.

Schart is senior vice president, controller and chief accounting officer at Stein Mart, Inc. For the past six years, she has served on the Community First Credit Union Audit Committee. Chantelle has over 25 years of accounting, auditing and finance experience at both large, international companies including Dun & Bradstreet and Ernst & Young. Prior to joining Stein Mart, Chantelle was shareholder and director of audit services at Ennis, Pellum & Associates, CPAs, a full-service accounting firm in Jacksonville. 

Schart is active in community issues in Jacksonville. She is the immediate past chair of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus board of directors and past chair of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center Advisory Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and serves on the organization’s finance committee. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in managerial finance and completed graduate studies at the University of North Florida. She lives in Jacksonville Beach.

Farah is a native of Jacksonville. He has earned the degrees of Juris Doctor, Doctor of Business Administration, and MBA. Jim’s professional career spans over the past 30 years, which includes having worked for United Parcel Service for twenty years. While at UPS, he held various management and staff positions as well as being one of UPS’s in-house attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia.    

Jim is the president of Farah Law® and has been a licensed attorney with the Florida Bar since 2000.  Jim also is the President of Pantheon Realty Group, Inc.  Further, he is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Court Mediator. Finally, Jim is a Resource Professor of Management at Jacksonville University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on ethics, business law and management.  

“Community First is governed by top local leaders and executives,” said Community First CEO and President John Hirabayashi. “Schart and Farah bring their years of business expertise to our growing financial institution. We look forward to their leadership and insights.”

Community First Credit Union of Florida is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the 10 largest credit unions in the state, serving more than 146,000 members and with assets of $1.9 billion. Community First has 19 locations and 340 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses across the First Coast.