About Us

Let’s get to know each other.

Home office.Home office.

We are a community of member-owners.

People joining together to improve their financial well-being and to help one another is at the core of who we are, becoming a strong and meaningful resource for our members, their families and our communities.


More than a place to do your banking.

As a member-owner, you earn more, pay less and your money stays right here making a difference in the place you call home. It really does matter where you bank.

 

 

You’re the inspiration for what we do.

While financial services may be the reason we meet, it’s the relationship that develops along the way that matters most to us. Making the car you need to get to work each day fit your budget. Helping you with financing to further your education. Getting you into your dream home. Or maybe a short-term loan to get you through the rough times. When you are able to realize your best life, it inspires us to find a way for all of our member-owners, every day.

couple by car

We call it Meraki.

It’s a Greek word meaning to do something with soul, creativity and love; to put something of yourself into your work. The experience is difficult to put to words, but you feel it when it’s there. It isn’t something you touch, but it touches you. It can’t be measured, but the impact is immeasurable. Meraki expresses how we choose to serve our member-owners, our communities and each other. It motivates us to provide exceptional experiences and fills us with the satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of others.

happy lady



“We’ll find a way” is more than a slogan.

It’s who we are and what we do. It’s our promise to give our all for our member-owners and the community.

Our Mission

To provide high quality, competitive, financial products and services which anticipate and exceed our members' needs.  To be the primary financial institution for our members.
 

Our Vision

To consistently demonstrate to our members and potential members that Community First is the best choice for the majority of their financial business and is a place where Everybody Counts, Everybody Cares, Everybody Delivers, Everyday!
 
To positively impact our members' lives through our values of:
  • providing WOW service that exceeds the expectations of our members;
  • maintaining a positive attitude and show enthusiasm in everything we do;
  • and demonstrating passion, care and dedication, and to do the right thing for our members.

Ready to become a member-owner?

It started with people helping people.

Some had deposits they wanted to grow. Others were looking for loans for everyday needs. Brought together in spirit of cooperation, each person was able to get what they needed. This still forms the basis of who we are today.

 

 

Working together for the benefit of everyone. It’s that simple.

In 1953, Maurice Dresang organized Outagamie County Credit Union to help county employees with financial needs. He served as volunteer manager/treasurer, a role he held for over two decades in addition to his full-time jobs.
 
In subsequent years he was approached to manage two other area credit unions, so in 1970 he proposed the three credit unions combine their resources to provide better services for each of their members. A vacant grocery store building on Richmond Street in Appleton was converted into the Appleton Credit Union Service Center to accommodate members from all three credit unions.
 
By 1978, the Service Center was serving 13 independent credit unions when members voted to join together as one to provide members with more cooperative benefits and unified services. This merger remains the largest number of credit unions combined in history.
 
In 1983, our name was changed to reflect our commitment to the communities we serve. Since that time, we have continued in our belief that community always comes first and as a cooperative the more of us working together, the stronger we can all be together.
 

first CFCU branch

The original grocery store before being remodeled into our first home.
 
Maury and early board members

Community First Founder Maury Dresang (right) is shown with
other early board members (from left): Gar Vogt, Pat Hughes,
Dwane Seidel, Bob Van Beek and Tony Choudoir.
 


Timeline of events & recognition.

We’re proud of the things we’ve been able to accomplish thanks to our member-owners.

 
1953
  • Outagamie County Employees Credit Union is organized
1966
  • Maury Dresang is asked to manage Zwickerknit Credit Union
1969
  • Maury Dresang is asked to manage the Postal Employees Credit Union
1970
  • Outagamie County Employees Credit Union, Zwickerknit Credit Union and Postal Employees Credit Union form the Appleton Credit Union Service Center
1975
  • The Appleton Community Credit Union is chartered
1978
  • 13 Service Center credit unions merge into the Appleton Area Credit Union
1983
  • On September 20, Appleton Area Credit Union is renamed Community First Credit Union reflecting a commitment to all communities.
1984
  • Oneida Street branch opens in April
  • Neenah-based Marathon Credit Union merges with Community First
1986
  • The Community First Insurance Center is incorporated
  • December 1, 1986, Allis Chalmers Appleton Employee Credit Union merges with Community First Credit Union
1987
  • On January 5, the Ballard Road branch becomes Community First's fourth location
1988
  • The Nicolet branch opens in Grand Chute in July
1989
  • On February 1, the Waupaca Area Credit Union merges with Community First. In Fall of that year, the new branch in Waupaca opens.
  • November 1989, Industrial Drive branch opens in Neenah
1990
  • Community First Fox Cities Marathon is held for the first time
1991
  • The branch at the King Veterans Home opens in October
1995
  • New corporate office opens on Oneida Street in Appleton in September
1999
  • Members Financial Service begins offering members investment and financial management option
  • Community First unveils its website www.communityfirstcu.org
2001
  • First branch in Oshkosh opens on Westowne Dr.
  • Community First student-run branch opens at Appleton West High School
  • Community First opens a branch and convenience store at Touchmark Retirement Community
  • Lakeport Credit Union in Manitowoc joins Community First Credit Union
2003
  • New branches in both Darboy and Greenville open
  • Branches at Appleton North High School and Oshkosh West High School open
2004
  • Appleton East High School branch opens
  • New branch opened in Manitowoc
  • Wolf River Credit Union in New London merges with Community First Credit Union
2006
  • New branch at Fox Valley Technical College opens
  • Nichols branch opens
  • Charter expansion into the counties of Shawano, Oconto, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Waushara
2008
  • Community First marks $1 billion in assets
  • Miller Electric Credit Union merges with Community First Credit Union
2009
  • First branch in Brown County opens in De Pere
  • Second branch in Oshkosh opens on South Park Ave.
  • Opened Jefferson Elementary School branch providing financial education and hands-on branch experience for kindergarten through 6th grade students
2010
  • Community First was the proud sponsor of the Lexington Homes BIG BUILD 2010 for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
  • Manitowoc County Employees Credit Union merges with Community First
2011
  • Menasha Corporation Employees Credit Union merges with Community First
  • WPS Credit Union, Oshkosh merges with Community First
2012
  • Community First opens a branch at Appleton Retirement Community
  • New branch in Howard opens to serve Green Bay area member-owners
  • NewVISION Credit Union merges with Community First
  • Opened Roosevelt Middle School/Kaleidoscope Academy branch, providing financial education and hands-on experience for students
2013
  • Prime Financial Credit Union in Two Rivers joins Community First
  • Public Service Credit Union merges with Community First
  • Menasha Employees Credit Union merges with Community First
2014
  • Oshkosh Central Credit Union merges with Community First
  • New branch in Bellevue opens to serve Green Bay area member-owners
2015
  • Ground breaking occurs for a new home office in Fox Crossing
  • Kimberly branch opens
  • Opened a branch at The Heritage/Peabody Manor retirement community
2016
  • New branch opens at the One Menasha building in downtown Menasha
2017
  • Badger Elementary School branch opens providing financial education and hands-on branch experience for kindergarten through 6th grade students
  • New Home Office opens in Village of Fox Crossing. Village dedicates as Dresang Way in honor of Community First Founder Maury Dresang.
  • St. Elizabeth Employees Credit Union merges with Community First
2018
  • Partnership with Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and Fox Valley Technical College announced to develop the Community First Career Exploration & Financial Literacy Center
2019
  • Opened new branch on Lake Park Road in Menasha
  • Core system upgrade occurs
  • Community First Champion Center opens
  • Community First Founder/Credit Union Pioneer Maurice ‘Maury’ Dresang passes away at age 90
2020
  • Oshkosh Truck Credit Union member-owners approve merger with Community First
  • Community First Career Exploration & Financial Literacy Center opens on FVTC campus in partnership with Junior Achievement
 
 
2002
  • DesJardins Youth Financial Education Award
  • Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility
  • Wisconsin Credit Union League Political Advocate Award - awarded to CFCU employee Rick Sense
2003
  • Business Partnership of the Year, honored at Celebrating Our Volunteers Event for business/school partnership with Appleton Area School District
  • Professional of the Year Award, awarded to Cathie Tierney by Wisconsin Credit Union League
  • Wisconsin Credit Union League Political Advocate Award - awarded to CFCU employee Rick Sense
2004
  • Post Crescent "Small Business of the Year" Award
  • Wisconsin Business & Education Partnership Award, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Appleton Association of School District Administrators "Friend of Education" Award
2005
  • United Way Fox Cities Corporate Challenge Award
  • Urban Forestry Award, Town of Greenville
  • Fox Valley Humane Association "Large Business of the Year" Award
  • Special Olympics Wisconsin Premier Partner Award
  • C. L. Greiber Award of Merit Business of the Year - State level, Awarded by Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education
  • Business Friend of Education Award - State level, Awarded by Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, presented by Wisconsin State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster
2006
  • St. Elizabeth's Philanthropic Business of the Year
  • Post Crescent, Best of the Valley Awards:  Best Financial Institution, Best Financial Planner.  Finalist - Best Mortgage Lender
  • SBA Lender of the Year - Credit Union with the most 7(a) loans
2007
  • Post Crescent, Best of the Valley: Best Credit Union - Finalist
2008
  • Corporate Report, Wisconsin' Business Magazine - Best Credit Union
  • Post Crescent, Best of the Valley:  Best Credit Union - Winner
  • Governor's Council on Financial Literacy Award: Recognizing individuals and organization for excellence for increasing financial literacy among Wisconsin residents
2009
  • Post Crescent, Best of the Valley:  Best Credit Union - Winner
  • Best Supporting Business, Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Presented to Community First Credit Union for giving back to the community through financial and in-kind support and involvement in community events, support of community organizations and employee commitment to volunteering
  • Credit Union Magazine subscribers voted Community First President and CEO, Catherine Tierney, Hero of the Year. Candidates for this award are credit union employees or volunteers that have gone above and beyond to promote credit union philosophy, exhibit a firm belief in credit union values, show dedication to credit union principles and make a difference in the local community.
  • The Pierre Jay Award from the National Association of State Chartered Credit Unions (NASCUS) was presented to Catherine Tierney, President and CEO of Community First Credit Union. This award is presented to individuals who demonstrate outstanding service, leadership, achievement and efforts which benefit NASCUS and the dual chartering system.
  • Bancography Brand Index ranked Community First Credit Union 8th among the top 25 credit unions in the country with assets of more than $1 billion for brand strength. Key factors utilized to determine this ranking include the institution's reputation, service quality, image and market awareness.  The brand value index identifies institutions that produce financial results beyond what their capital base, market conditions and competitive environments would predict.
  • Top 10 Ranking; Crystal Performance Award, Raddon Financial Group, a provider of researched based solutions to the financial services industry, awarded Community First Credit Union the Crystal Performance Award.  The award recognizes credit unions with assets greater than $500 million for achieving a top 10 ranking in 2008 based on a balanced scorecard measurement of growth, income, efficiency and margin management.
2010
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley:  Best Credit Union - Winner
  • 2010 Reader Poll Awards, Best of Oshkosh: Best Financial Institution & Best Mortgage Lender
  • Green Bay Press-Gazette, Best of the Bay Finalist: Best Credit Union
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 2nd consecutive year
2011
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley:  Best Credit Union - Winner
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 3rd consecutive year
2012
  • Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award, Catherine Tierney, President/CEO of Community First Credit Union, Celebrating our Volunteers
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley:  Best Credit  Union & Mortgage Lender - Winner
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 4th consecutive year
2013
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley:  Best Credit Union & Mortgage Lender - Winner
  • Corporate Citizen/Leadership Award, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Fox Cities Business Hall of Fame, inductee Catherine Tierney, President/CEO of Community First Credit Union, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 5th consecutive year
2014
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley: Best Credit Union & Mortgage Lender - Winner
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 6th consecutive year
2015
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley: Best Credit Union Winner and  Mortgage Lender Finalist
  • Waupaca Buyers' Guide, Best of Waupaca: Best Lender & Best Savings Institution - Winner
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 7th consecutive year
2016
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley: Best Credit Union Winner and Best Mortgage Lender Finalist
  • Community First President/CEO Cathie Tierney named Post-Crescent Media's CEO/Executive of the Year.
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 8th consecutive year.
2017
  • Future Neenah/Corporate Citizen of the Year Award, Community First Credit Union.
  • Legacy Award/Governor's Council on Financial Literacy, Community First Credit Union President/CEO Cathie Tierney.
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 9th consecutive year.
2018
  • Post-Crescent, Best of the Valley: Best Credit Union winner and Best Mortgage Lender winner
  • CUES Hall of Fame Induction, Community First Credit Union President/CEO Cathie Tierney, honored for her lifetime of achievements and dedication to the credit union movement.
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 10th consecutive year.
2019
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 11th consecutive year.
2020
  • Best of the Valley: Best Credit Union/Bank winner
  • Best of Winnebago Co.: Best Mortgage Lender winner
  • Top 10 Ranking/Crystal Performance Award for 12th consecutive year.
 


Want to become part of our history?

There’s strength in numbers.

Our member-owners have the power to spend smart, the power to give back and the power to save more. We currently serve more than 141,000 members from 26 full-service locations and manage over $3.5 billion in assets.

 

View our annual reports to member-owners.

Our belief has always been to be fiscally responsible with our member-owners money by maintaining a balance between sound growth, earnings and reserves. See how we have returned value back to our member-owners over the years.

 
2019 Annual Report Cover
 

2019 Annual Report

Click here to view our recorded online 2020 Annual Meeting.

Leadership by members, for members.

We’re all in this together. Our volunteer Board of Directors are members-owners nominated and elected by fellow member-owners. As a member-owner, you have equal ownership and one vote regardless of how much money you have on deposit.

We are very fortunate to have the consistent and capable support of our Board of Directors, who volunteer their time. You elect them as your representatives to guide the organization in fulfilling its mission, to establish governance policies and to monitor our performance. Board members are elected at the Annual Meeting to serve a three-year term. Any member interested in running for the board is encouraged to apply during the call for candidates.
 
Daniel Ferris, Chairman
Vice President/General Counsel/Corporate Secretary, Secura Insurance
 
Dr. Susan May, Vice-Chair
President, Fox Valley Technical College
 
Catherine Tierney, CCUE, Treasurer
President/CEO, Community First Credit Union
 
David Peperkorn, Secretary
Retired, Human Resource Manager, Presto Products
 
Dean Hawkinson, AIA
Licensed Architect
 
Sara Micheletti
Attorney/Shareholder, Sitzmann Law Firm
 
Kathryn Sieman
Financial Consultant
 
Jay Fulkerson
President/CEO, Health Payment Systems, Inc.
 
Monica Hilt
President of Ascension St. Elizabeth (Appleton), Ascension Mercy (Oshkosh) and Ascension Calumet (Chilton) Hospitals
Catherine Tierney, CCUE
President/CEO
 
Tim Hoff
Chief Lending Officer
 
Jessica Brown
Chief Financial Officer
 
Scott Steinfort
Chief Technology Officer
 
Kristy Hesse
Chief Human Resources Officer
 
Amanda Secor
Chief of Staff
 
Sherri Jablonicky
SVP Branch & Contact Center Operations
 
Laurie Butz
SVP Organizational Development, Investments & Insurance
 
Jeff Schweitzer
SVP Facilities & Purchasing
 
Mary Sullivan
Senior Vice President