The credit union, chartered in 1955, will soon begin construction on a new facility on Forrest Road, next to the Fort Oglethorpe Post Office and behind Fine’s Hearth & Patio, which faces LaFayette Road. Credit Union officials expect the building to be completed by the end of the year.
The credit union is currently located inside the hospital at 100 Gross Crescent Circle in Fort Oglethorpe.
“The staff and board of directors at our credit union are extremely excited about our new facility,” said credit union CEO Shannon Walters. “This has been part of our vision and business plan for many years.”
“The Hutcheson (Federal) Credit Union has been a vital asset to the hospital and its employees for many years", hospital president and CEO Roger Forgery said. “I'm encouraged by their recent plans for expansion as it will benefit our employees as well as the community. We will continue to support them in any way possible.”
Walters said the credit union has about $5 million in assets and offers savings, checking, certificates of deposits, money market accounts and club accounts.
“We have all types of loans, from mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, recreational vehicle loans (boats, four-wheelers, travel trailers, motorcycles) as well as farm equipment loans,” she said. “We have approximately 1,100 members. We are a community charter credit union so our membership base varies. Our credit union was originally employees of the hospital and their families, but in 2007, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) approved us to become a community credit union.”
Membership in the credit union is open to all “who live, work, worship or attend school in Catoosa County,” Walters said.
Walters said the credit union’s location inside the hospital has given the public a perception that membership is exclusive to Erlanger at Hutcheson employees and their families. This is one reason the credit union’s board of directors and administrators decided to move the credit union outside the hospital’s walls, she said.
“Our new facility will provide greater access for our members and potential new members and will feature a drive-thru window, ATM cash machine, and plenty of parking,” Walters said. “Its location also provides greater visibility for the community we serve and, for this reason, will help to strengthen and grow our credit union.”
The credit union has contracted with Construction Consultants of Chattanooga for the new building’s design. A final cost on the project has not yet been determined, according to Walters.
Walters added that the NCUA has approved a company name change. The proposed name for the credit union is Mountain Community Federal Credit Union.
“This name change was decided so as to eliminate any confusion non-members might have about being able to join the credit union and to better serve all of the people within Catoosa County; our field of membership,” she said. “An official date to formally change our name has not been determined at this time.”
Walters said she and her staff pride themselves on providing customers personal service.
“We know our members by name,” she said. “When you join our credit union you become part of a family. We experience their triumphs and their heartbreaks. We aim to provide the same personal service at our new location. That is why our credit union will continue to succeed.”
Walters has been working in banking for 21 years. She said she started out as an assistant manager at a credit union upon finishing college.
“I loved the whole credit union philosophy and what credit unions were doing for their members,” Walters said. “After completing my bachelor’s degree I took the job as CEO of Hutcheson Federal Credit Union in 1995. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The credit union employs four full-time staff members, including Walters. Hutcheson Federal Credit Union is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial institutions, according to hutchesonfcu.org. To become a member, an individual must open a savings account with at least an initial deposit of $25.
For more information, call 706-858-2270 or visit hutchesonfcu.org.