highlight of the annual meeting of First Choice
America Credit Union on Tuesday night was the
presentation of the annual Community Spirit Award to
Never Alone WV, a Weirton non-profit organization,
which supports a drug free community and helps those
struggling with addiction, their families, and all
that are affected by this epidemic. The organization
received a beautiful plaque and a cash award.
Pictured are the Credit Union’s Board of Directors
and the award winner (l-r) Edward L. Kennedy,
Director; Kenneth W. Truax, Treasurer; Patti
Barnabei, recipient of the Community Spirit Award,
John R. Thayer, Chairman; Scott E. Winwood,
Director; and Robert G. Mrvos, Director.
First Choice America Credit Union made headway in 2015
despite a struggling economy and vigorous
competition. Significant progress was achieved,
reflecting a strong spirit of teamwork, efficiency,
and remaining committed to the financial well-being
of the members.
John R. Thayer, Chairman, said “Our employee team worked
diligently to maintain a safe, sound and secure
financial institution.” He listed these significant
achievements in 2015:
Grew assets to a
record $422 million.
to a record $362 million.
strong capital position.
“By renewing the distinction of once again earning a
"Superior" rating from an official rating group for
the excellence of our capital strength, asset
quality and management ability, our credit union
maintained its position among the very elite of
America’s 6,225 credit unions,” he stated.
He added, “In addition, the 2015 edition of the Top 200
Healthiest Credit Unions listed First Choice America
#96 out of 6,225 credit unions nationwide.”
“These impressive achievements reflect the sincere commitment
to success of the officials, management, and staff
of First Choice America. Our employee team is
highly skilled, committed to excellence in serving
you, and very proud of the significant strides made
during the past year,” Thayer said.
He exclaimed, “We continue to offer consumers better
rates on loans and deposits, more personalized
service, and importantly, fewer fees than other
financial institutions. We strive every day to
maintain that competitive edge. We are proud to say
that no new fees were enacted during the past year.”
“On the other hand,” he said, “our banking competitors not
only increased several current fees but in many
cases initiated additional ones. So your membership
in First Choice America is an important and
meaningful economic advantage. It all adds up to
better value for your money,” Thayer stated.
He said, “The unbeatable combination of a dedicated
professional staff, excellent technology, and an
arsenal of financial products and services positions
us to continue making a real difference in the
financial lives of the people we serve.”
“Across the decades,” he added, “our Credit Union has
established an impressive record in its consistent
and generous support of charitable organizations
throughout the communities that we serve. We have
strong bonds with these communities and their
residents, and make a sincere effort to assist when
Concluding, Thayer said First Choice America remains a
safe haven, a reliable resource, and a leader you
can count on for all your financial needs, both
today and in the future. “We will continue to
deliver value to every member, every day, with every
transaction, just like we have since our beginning
in 1939 and with your continued support look forward
to the future with optimism.”
During the meeting, Scott E. Winwood, President and
Chief Executive Officer of First Choice America, was
reelected to the Board of Directors.
Kenneth Watts, President of the West Virginia Credit
Union League, spoke to the audience regarding the
value of their credit union membership and
congratulated First Choice America on another
successful year. He complimented the Credit Union
for its continued good stewardship in helping
charitable organizations throughout its operating
This year, the recipient of the credit union’s Community
Spirit Award was Never Alone WV in Weirton, WV.
Patti Barnabei founder and President was presented a
plaque and cash award.
Founded in 1939 in Weirton, First Choice America maintains
eight offices in the Ohio Valley.