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Community First Credit Union Named Florida’s Credit Union of the Year

By: Maria Coppola, APR, CPRC

Posted on 6/20/2023 11:24:04 AM

League of Southeastern Credit Unions announced the honor June 16

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 20, 2023 – Community First Credit Union has been recognized as the Florida Credit Union of the Year for 2022 by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates (LSCU). The awards were announced June 16 at the LSCU’s annual meeting. Community First was recognized as the top credit union in the $500 million in assets or more category. This recognition is the second in the credit union’s 89-year history, both honors awarded just two years apart.

Institutions honored as Credit Union of the Year demonstrate the all-around best the industry offers. These credit unions have accomplished outstanding achievements in the areas of daily operations, financial strength, and community outreach. LSCU includes credit unions in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Three credit unions are selected as Credit Union of the Year in each state in each asset category.

In 2022, Community First had strong annual growth in assets and membership and an astounding 20% growth in total loans, an institution record. Community First also launched its largest one-time investment in its branch network with three new branches under construction at Northpoint Village, Murabella (St. Johns) and Boulevard Crossing, the revitalized center at Beach and University Boulevards. It also bought locations for three stand-alone ATMs. Community First established a commitment to living its "purpose” as an organization by prioritizing the empowerment of employees, members, and the wider community to live their best lives.

“Community First has always believed in putting people first.,” said John Hirabayashi, CEO and president at Community First. “We know our employees, members, and the whole community deserve the tools and support they need to thrive and lead fulfilling lives. That's why we've made it our purpose to empower every person we serve.”

Community First also increased savings rates and eliminated fees. It expanded our services to improve the member experience and created additional programs to help its employees access loans and buy homes.

Community First established groundbreaking partnerships with The Community First Igloo and Blue Zones Jacksonville and expanded its award-winning financial well-being program moveUP while increasing philanthropic giving and staff volunteerism. The Community First Cares Foundation, the first credit union-led charitable foundation in North Florida, approached the $1 million mark in funds for our community.

In addition to the 2022 Award, Community First was also named the Florida Credit Union of the Year in 2020 for its rapid growth, service to members and community and its pandemic-focused relief programs.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates represents 333 credit unions in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, with a combined total of more than $120 billion in assets and more than 10.3 million members. LSCU provides advocacy and regulatory information; education and training; cooperative initiatives (including financial education outreach); media relations and information; and business solutions. For more information, visit Follow the League on Twitter or Facebook.

Community First Credit Union of Florida, named Florida’s 2022 Credit Union of the Year by the LSCU, 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 largest credit unions in Florida with $2.7 billion in assets and serving 171,000 members. Community First has 19 locations and nearly 400 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.