There are many ingredients that make the right recipe for your financial success, the most important is knowing where to start. As a member-owned financial cooperative, GKCU is proud to provide a unique structure that allows for members to have a forum where their one voice equates to one vote in the business of the credit union. GKCU has showcases that credit union difference at their annual membership meeting, where the members can actively participate, elect and vote on credit union issues.
Held February 24, at Georgetown Middle School, the annual meeting was an opportunity for the members to meet and review the financial condition and future plans for the credit union.
Chairman Jim Bessant opened the meeting by reviewing reports from the 2019 Annual Report including the Treasurer’s and Supervisory Committee reports which outlined the financial condition and internal and external audits of the credit union.
Chairman Bessant reiterated to importance of democratic, member-owned structure of the credit union. Because of the loyalty and trust of its members, GKCU continued to provide a safe and stable financial option with saving, investment, and lending options in 2019. He reviewed the successes of the past year with record loan and deposit growth, as well as low delinquencies, proving the right products being delivered to the right people at rates they can afford. He highlighted new opportunities for new and existing members, as well as ongoing community service. He closed by thanking the members for their loyalty and trust.
The guest speaker was Chief Kelvin Waites, Police Chief with the City of Georgetown. He discussed Chief Waites began by thanking for the opportunity to speak and addressed three major challenges facing our area currently: Opioid crisis, gun violence and human trafficking. He mentioned several community initiatives that are currently being implemented in our area to educate and involve local residents in finding solutions. Ongoing communication is the key to helping subside all these challenges. He challenged the audience to ask the question “why are we here?” with the notion we are here to help each other. He encouraged members to get out and find ways to get involved, serve, and help. Finally, he encouraged us to get to know our neighbors more so that we can all help make where we live better for us all.
Elections for several volunteer committees were held. The following volunteers were elected: Board of Directors: Raymond Pearigen, Felicia Wilson and Patsy Ethridge. (3-year terms); and to the Supervisory Committee: Wade Marsh (3-year term).
The evening included special staff recognitions and presentations. For their years of service to the credit union the following employees were recognized. For 20 years of service: Sherry Epps, Senior Loan Officer, Kingstree office. For 15 years of service: Douglas “D” Walters, Head Teller, Kingstree office. For 10 years of service: Kevin Langford, Chief Information Officer and Kelly Duvall, Account Specialist in Operations Department. For 5 years of service: Libbie Lewis, Vice-President of Branch Operations, Jessica McCarren, Loan Officer/Member Service Representative, Fraser Branch, Teena Miller, Loan Officer/Member Service Representative, Pawleys Island Branch, Kimberly Chong, Electronic Lending Specialist. Brittany James, Head Teller in the Pawleys Island branch, was recognized as the 2019 Employee of the Year, as voted on by the employees. The evening concluded with door prizes and drawings for the members.
As outlined in the 2019 Annual Report, GKCU reported asset growth over $112 million, with member deposits growing (up 2.3%) at a steady rate indicating a strong return on assets (1.76%) while loans to members (up 10%) and delinquencies at a record .021% meant more good loans were made to deserving members to help achieve their dreams. At their five locations in Georgetown, GKCU welcomed over 1,800 new members, remained competitive with loan products, grew our in-school kids savings program with CU Save program and expanded staff resources to make for better member service. GKCU also outlined strong community involvement with over $35,000 in donations and sponsorship, including $14,000 in college scholarships, as well as countless volunteer hours.
GKCU is a full-service, member-owned financial cooperative where profits are returned to the members through lower rates on loans and higher returns on investments. GKCU offers a range of financial services and is open to anyone who lives, works or attends school in Georgetown and Williamsburg counties. GKCU employs 62 staff and has five full-service branches. For information about joining or to view the annual report, visit their website at www.gkcu.org.