Credit Union News
to Save Lives
Helping to fight
the battle against cancer, First Choice America
Credit Union renewed its Bronze Sponsorship of $500
for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The
2016 Relay for Life of Brooke/Hancock Counties is
scheduled for Saturday, June 4-5 from 6pm to 12am at
Follansbee Middle School. Last year, more than
$81,000 was raised in Brooke/Hancock Counties to aid
in the fight against cancer.
(l-r) Scott E. Winwood, President & CEO of First
Choice America Credit Union and Tammy Hornick,
Co-Chair of the Relay for Life of Brooke/Hancock
Counties. Tammy has been Co-Chair of the event
for 12 years and thanked First Choice America for
their continued support and generosity over the
Choice America Honors Employees
Pictured are the
recipients of awards for service, seated from left
to right are: Lynn A. Stake, Jeanine M. Keenan,
Sandra Kinsel, Nancy Buchanan, and Tammy Fuoco.
Standing from left to right are: Carol Rodriguez,
Paula Spataro, Sheldon McElfresh, Richard Bryan, and
of the Board, I wish to thank and congratulate each
employee of First Choice America for your
dedication, your pride, your team spirit and your
commitment to excellence,” said Kenneth W. Truax at
First Choice America Credit Union’s Annual Employee
Appreciation event on Friday night, May 6th.
Honored with service awards were 14 employees at a
banquet held at the Williams Golf and Country Club
Truax noted, “Despite sluggish economic conditions
and a continued low interest rate environment, First
Choice America had another successful year.” He
noted that the business set all-time highs in
several key financial categories – total assets of
$425 million; deposits $364 million, and investments
Additionally, First Choice America received another
“Superior” rating from an official industry rating
group for safety and soundness. And once again, for
the seventh consecutive year, the Credit Union
received a flawless audit from our independent
auditors, which is the eighth time the company has
accomplished this distinction in the last nine 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
weak 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.”
Also, First Choice America recently received the
Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award from the
West Virginia Credit Union League in recognition of
the Credit Union’s continued strong community
support of those in need. This represents the 13th
consecutive year that First Choice America has
received this distinguished honor.
Scott E. Winwood, President and CEO, and J. C.
Peterman, Chief Financial Officer, presented the
appreciation awards to the following employees for
45 years—Sondra K. Ronshausen
35 years – V. Nancy Buchanan
30 years – Richard D. Bryan
25 years—Dawn M. Swiger
20 years—Teresa M. Lewis
15 years—Darlene Ellis, Tammy L. Fuoco,
Karen D. Monigold, Paula Spataro, and Lynn A. Stake
10 Years—Sheldon R. McElfresh
5 Years—Jeanine M. Keenan, Sandra Kinsel, and Carol
its traditional assistance, First Choice America
Credit Union made a significant donation in support
of the 2016 Weirton Rotary Club’s Kentucky Derby
fundraiser. Pictured are Mike Gianni, Rotary member
and Scott E. Winwood, President and CEO of First
Choice America. This year’s 142nd Kentucky
Derby “Run For The Roses” will find Rotary and
community boosters gathering at Williams Country
Club on Saturday, May 7, 2016 for Weirton Rotary’s
12th Annual Charity Event. From 5:30 to
10:30, there will be hors d’oeuvres, refreshments
and entertainment by “T” & Rich Dueling Piano Show.
Choice America Sponsors Fashion Show RunWay
Choice America Credit Union once again is serving as
the runway sponsor for the 2016 Weirton United Way
Fashion Show on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p. m. at the
Serbian-American Cultural Center. Tickets are $30
each and include dinner and the Fashion Show
featuring apparel from SerendDipity Boutique.
Pictured are (, l-r) Linda Stear, Executive Director
Weirton United Way; Tom McDonald, 2016 United Way
Campaign Chair; Scott E. Winwood, President and CEO
of the Credit Union; and Rachel Price
Administrative Assistant of the Weirton United Way.
The Weirton United Way supports 13 member agencies.
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.
Visa Gift Cards Make Great Gifts!!
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
America's eight locations.
is a $2.00 fee for VISA Gift Cards.
Choice America Credit Union renewed its Platinum
Level sponsorship to the Rotary Club of Weirton
Heights for its annual Mardi Gras Charity Ball
scheduled for Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.
at Williams Golf & Country Club. At the presentation
are (l-r) Barb Barkley, Weirton Heights Rotary Club
Member and Scott E. Winwood, President and CEO of
the Credit Union. All proceeds this year will
benefit the Weirton Christian Center. The Mardi Gras
event will feature music by the “Groove Doctors”,
dancing, Hors d’oeuvres & other surprises.
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