MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT
It is indeed a pleasure to have an opportunity to welcome our members to our new credit union website, SmartChoiceCreditUnion.com. We fully anticipate that Smart Choice will provide new and exciting services, many of them electronic in future updates. I urge you to participate in your credit union as a member and an owner. – Denis Collins, President
Denis has over 45 years experience in Banking and the Credit Union Business. Also, Linda has several years in Banking and Credit Union experience.
Smart Choice is a minority depository institution, a community development institution and a low income designated credit union.
Denis comes to the SCCU with over 45 years in the financial arena. His experience includes both traditional banking and non-traditional financial services. He is a native of Bradley County and is a lifelong resident of East Tennessee.
Linda is a native of Bradley County, and the community Smart Choice serves. She has worked in the financial industry for many years. She believes it is a top priority for our members to feel valued.
What is a Credit Union?
What is our Mission?
Smart Choice Credit Union History & Future
Bradley Initiative for Church and Community began to listen to the people from the Oldfield Blythe Community to determine their needs. Time after time we would hear that there are no financial institutions in our community.
2001 – 2015
Bradley Initiative for Church and Community began to raise funds to open a Credit Union. After making several visits to Bethlehem Community Development Credit Union (the first CDCU in Tennessee), they saw first hand the challenges they would face to open and maintain a financial institution of this type.
It was decided that $300,000 would be needed to open the Credit Union. Also, 1 million dollars in non-member deposits would maintain the Credit Union for the first five years.
Knowing that it would take an experienced person to open and set up the overall operation, it was decided to hire Denis L. Collins who incedentally was the current CEO of the Bethlehem Community Credit Union and a native of Cleveland, Tennessee.
Ed McIntire and Collins began the task of obtaining State and Federal approval. After months of reports and visits to the Tennessee Department of Financial Institution, the approval came.
The original Board of Directors were Keith Barrett, Barry Currin, Robert Fisher, Carlos Geraldo, Ian Harper, Brenda Hughes, Ed McIntire and Diane Wade.
On January 21, 2003, Bradley Initiative Credit Union opened its doors. A staff of two, Jean Malone and Denis Collins, would operate the Credit Union. To this date, the Credit Union remains the oldest operating CDCU in existence in Tennessee.
Without the financial support of the Cleveland-Bradley County as a whole, it would not be possible for the Credit Union to exist. Two major donors; Alan Jones and the Johnson Family Foundation made it possible.
2016 & Beyond
Financial Education has and will always be the Credit Union’s main focus. Let’s celebrate our new name and our bright future. We foresee a new location with better visibility better equipped to support our continual emphasis on financial education and making a great impact on our community. We at Smart Choice Credit Union envision a Credit Union that will look at every opportunity to best serve our members.
Our new slogan, “Smart Choices – Builds Financial Freedom” best describes our goal for the future.