ABOUT US

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 Collins

Denis Collins

President

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 Bishop

Linda Bishop

Personal Banker

Linda is a native of Bradley County. She has worked in the financial industry for the last five years and has been working with Smart Choice Credit Union for the better part of a year. She believes it is a top priority for our members to feel valued.

Mark Gravelle

Mark Gravelle

Sales & Marketing Director

Mark has lived in Bradley for most of his life.  He brings a wealth of knowledge about the lending business, and will be able to provide SCCU with helpful marketing and advertising tools.  Growing up in Bradley County, attending local schools, working exclusively in the area, and staying connected to the community will provide SCCU with a vast amount of opportunity to grow and expand.  His new role will be to build community awareness of the CU along with increasing the loan production.  These will go hand in hand toward moving SCCU forward in Southeast Tennessee.

Mark moved back to Cleveland after attending the University of Tennessee, where he graduated with a BS in Communication.  He and his wife, Olivia, have 2 kids.  They are extremely active in many local sports, enjoy spending time by the pool, and rooting for the Tennessee Vols and Buffalo Bills.

What is a Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a financial institution that is owned by its members. Its main focus is to provide financial services to the community at interest rates that are most favorable to its members in both savings and loans.

What is our Mission?

Our mission is to offer financial services to members of our community with an emphasis on asset development and the achievement of long-term financial security. We specifically will strive to develop relationships with persons who previously have had no interaction with existing financial institutions. All deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000

Smart Choice Credit Union History & Future

2000

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.