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WSX 25-Year Club Picnic Set

Supported by a generous contribution from First Choice America Credit Union, the Weirton Steel 25-Year Club will stage its 73rd ladies and men’s annual summer picnic on Saturday, July 13th at 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Serbian Picnic Grounds in Weirton.  Pictured are (front row, l-r) John R. Thayer, First Choice America Chairman of the Board; Edward L. Kennedy, First Choice America Board Member; Scott E. Winwood, First Choice America President and Board Member; Kathy Baily, WSX 25-Year Club Member; Brenda Ice, WSX 25-Year Club Vice President; and Ernie Nicholas, Sr., WSX 25-Year Club Member.  Pictured are (back row, l-r) Kenneth W. Truax, First Choice America Board Member; Dan Kelly, WSX 25-Year Club Member; Perry Duckworth, WSX 25-Year Club Member; Ernie Nicholas, Jr., WSX 25-Year Club Member; and Robert G. Mrvos, First Choice America Board of Director.  Not pictured was Ron Baker, President of the WSX 25-Year Club.

Cool Kids All Star Event

    Everyone was an All Star at First Choice America’s Cool Kids All Star Event! And even rainy weather could not stop the fun!  During the 4-day event, children were entertained with inflatable amusements and games.  Each child received a goody bag and were treated to hot dogs, freeze pops, and popcorn.  Local radio station, FROGGY, was on hand for a Live Action Broadcast. FROGGY brought Mister Froggy, who was joined by Kennywood Park’s Kenny the Kangaroo, WTOV9’s Snowbird, and a friendly baseball mascot. All events were free for all children who attended. 
    The festive atmosphere was topped off with great prizes, which included baskets of toys, Kennywood Tickets, Pittsburgh Pirate Tickets, Washington Wild Things Tickets, and Pittsburgh Zoo tickets.
    During these fun days, safety lessons were taught by local police, sheriff, and fire departments.  Chester and Weirton events presented a canine officer show with the local deputies and police force. Kids in Steubenville and Chester learned lessons in drinking and driving through impaired goggles.   Wheeling and Weirton also had their fire departments bring smokehouses to teach the children fire safety.
    Wheeling Park cheerleaders stopped by the Wheeling event and Weirton Madonna Cheerleaders stopped by the Weirton Event. Both squads of cheerleaders cheered on First Choice America with an original cheer.
    The All Star Event was brought to local neighborhoods in Chester, Steubenville, Wheeling and Weirton.  Once again, it was a successful year for the children who attended the events, many of them left with huge smiles on their faces!

Supporting the Weirton United Way

First Choice America Credit Union continued its strong support for the Weirton United Way with a generous donation to the charity’s 38th Annual Golf Classic scheduled for Monday, June 10th at Williams Golf and Country Club. 
At the check presentation, in the front row, are (l-r) Linda Stear, United Way Executive Director; Chris Hatala, 2019 United Way Campaign Chairman; Scott E. Winwood, First Choice America President/CEO; and Robert G. Mrvos, First Choice America Board Member. In the second row (l-r) are Edward L. Kennedy, First Choice America Board Member; Casey Richards, 2019 United Way Campaign Vice Chairman; John R. Thayer, First Choice America Chairman of the Board; and Kenneth W. Truax, First Choice America Board Member.
The golf tournament is one of the premier events on the Weirton United Way fundraising schedule for the year.


First Choice America Celebrates 80 Years

Pictured are the Board of Directors of First Choice America, from left to right: Edward L. Kennedy, Board Member; Kenneth W. Truax, Treasurer; Robert G. Mrvos, 1st Vice Chairman; John R. Thayer, Chairman; and Scott E. Winwood, President & CEO, Board Member. 
First Choice America’s 80th anniversary celebration on May 17, 2019 attracted thousands of members to our eight offices for cookies and prizes. Each person was given a commemorative tote bag filled with several give-away items including souvenir 80th anniversary logo key rings.
Each office awarded five $80 cash prizes to members. The Credit Union also awarded five surprise $80 prizes to members who used the Credit Union’s electronic services on May 17th.  There was one grand prize winner of a $500 VISA Gift card.  The grand prize winner was Kathy Wolfe, of Weirton. 
The Credit Union was founded on May 17, 1939, and by the end of that year, listed 977 members and assets of $20,000. Today, First Choice America with over 37,000 members and assets of approximately $465 million ranks as the second largest credit union in West Virginia.


Relay for Life Hancock-Brooke Sponsorship

HELPING TO SAVE LIVES—Helping to fight the battle against cancer, First Choice America Credit Union renewed its Bronze Sponsorship for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  The 2019 Relay for Life of Brooke/Hancock Counties is scheduled for Saturday, May 4th at Brooke Hills Park from 4pm to 10pm. 

Pictured are (l-r) Scott E. Winwood, President & CEO of First Choice America Credit Union and Steve Lauck, Co-Chair of the Relay for Life Brooke/Hancock Counties. Steve has been involved in the Relay for Life for approximately 22 years and thanked First Choice America for their continued support and generosity over the years.




First Choice America Honors Employees

Pictured are the recipients of awards for service, seated from left to right are: Darlene Brown, Leona Hardy, Lynne DiBacco, Karen Krenn, and Liz Murad.    Standing from left to right are: Deidre Wright, Tanya Kelly, John Peterman, William Hutchison, Don Hall, Michelle Campbell, and Taylor Gray.  Not pictured is Joyce Kmetz.
     “As Chairman of the Board, I wish to thank and congratulate each employee of First Choice America for your dedication, your hard work, your team spirit and your commitment to excellence,” said John R. Thayer at First Choice America Credit Union’s Annual Employee Appreciation event on Friday night, April 12th.
     Honored with service awards were 13 employees at a banquet held at the Williams Golf and Country Club in Weirton.
    Thayer noted, “Despite tepid economic conditions and vigorous competition, First Choice America had another successful year.”  He noted that the business set all-time highs in several key financial categories – total assets of $456 million; loans $144 million; deposits $387 million, and investments $294 million.
    Additionally, First Choice America achieved another “Superior” rating from an official industry rating group for safety and soundness.  And once again, for the tenth consecutive year, the Credit Union received a flawless audit from our independent auditors, which is the eleventh time the company has accomplished this distinction in the last twelve years and is unparalleled in our Credit Union’s long history.  Both achievements demonstrate our unwavering commitment to excellence.
    He added, “All of these things—accomplished in a shifting economy—can only be attributed to the dedication, hard work, and pride of First Choice America’s skilled team of employees.  Clearly our employee group is exceptional, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank and congratulate each of you for your excellent work”.  “Your collective skills, knowledge, and strong commitment make First Choice America the success it is today, and positions us for an even greater future.”
    Scott E. Winwood, President and CEO, and J. C. Peterman, Chief Financial Officer, presented the appreciation awards to the following employees for their service:
            35 years – Lynne M. DiBacco and Deidre B. Wright
            30 years – Leona F. Hardy, Tanya Kelly, and Joyce M. Kmetz
            25 years—Darlene M. Brown and William Hutchison
            20 years—Karen Krenn and Elizabeth M. Murad
            15 years –John C. Peterman
            5 years—Michelle Campbell, Taylor R. Gray, and Donald R. Hall.


First Choice America Awards Community Spirit Award

A highlight of the annual meeting of First Choice America Credit Union on Tuesday night was the presentation of the annual Community Spirit Award to the Table of Hope of Weirton, WV.  This non-profit organization supports the community with free meals open to the public 3 days a week.  The organization received a beautiful plaque and a cash award of $2,500. Pictured are the credit union’s Board of Directors and the award winner (l-r) Edward L. Kennedy, Kenneth W. Truax, Robert G. Mrvos, Mandy Merico, Table of Hope Coordinator; Scott E. Winwood and John R. Thayer.  





    First Choice America Credit Union continued to make significant progress in 2018, despite strong competition and a tepid economy.  The Credit Union moved steadily forward with the excellent performance of a dedicated employee team and the tremendous support and loyalty of its 38,000 members.
    Scott E. Winwood, Chairman, said “Our employee team worked diligently to maintain a safe, sound and secure financial institution for its members.”  He listed these significant achievements in 2018:

 ·                    Earned another “Superior” rating.
                    Grew assets to a record $448 million.
                    Increased loans to an all-time high of $142 million.
                    Expanded deposits to a record $383 million.
                    Preserved a strong capital position.

    “Our Credit Union’s capital strength, asset quality and management ability help maintain our enviable position as one of the very elite among America’s 5,500 credit unions,” Winwood exclaimed.  
    “These impressive achievements reflect the sincere commitment to success of the Officials, Management, and Staff of First Choice America.  Our employee team is professional and highly skilled, dedicated to excellence in serving you, and very proud of the significant strides made during the past year,” he stated.
      He continued, “Technology is one of the important factors to success in today’s financial world, First Choice America offers state of the art technology to allow our members access to their accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Looking ahead, we intend to maximize our investments in technology to better serve our members and strengthen our position in a very competitive marketplace.  While keeping pace with the latest technology, we continue to offer members better rates on loans and deposits, more personalized service, and importantly, fewer fees than other financial institutions. We are proud to say that no new fees were enacted during the past year.”
     “Your membership in First Choice America is an important and meaningful financial advantage and it adds up to “better value” for your money,” Winwood said.
      He then noted, “The formidable combination of a dedicated professional staff, excellent technology, and a complete array of affordable financial products and services positions us to continue making a real difference in the financial lives of the people we serve.”
     “Our Credit Union strives to embrace the merits of good citizenship by generously supporting a wide range of charitable organizations in the communities that we serve.” he added, “Throughout our long history, our Credit Union has earned countless awards and commendations for our intensive year round community involvement practices.  We strive to embrace the merits of good citizenship – and expand our value to society.”
      Concluding, he said
“First Choice America is proud of our rich heritage of serving our members and the communities in which they live for the past 79 years.  We have established strong bonds with our members by providing the most cost effective alternative for all their financial needs.  We value and cherish these bonds, and are grateful to our members for their loyalty.  We will never cease in our efforts to earn both your business and your trust.  We remain a safe haven, a reliable resource, and a leader that you can count on for all your financial needs, both today and in the future.”

     During the meeting, Scott E. Winwood was reelected to the Board of Directors.  Kenneth R. Watts, President of the West Virginia Credit Union League, spoke briefly.
     Founded in 1939 in Weirton, First Choice America maintains eight offices in the Ohio Valley.


Visa Gift Cards Make Great Gifts!!

Do you have a hard to buy for person on your list?  Or do you want to give someone the freedom to buy what they want?    First Choice America has the perfect solution for you: a VISA Gift Card.  They are a great fit for anyone on your list.  You can buy a VISA Gift Card at any of
First Choice America's eight locations.

*There is a $2.50 fee for VISA Gift Cards.



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