Lend money to actors? Are you crazy? Despite this early response from those outside the entertainment community, Actors Federal Credit Union has grown to a full-service credit union, as they celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2002.
"Our year-long anniversary celebration, highlighted by our annual Volunteers' Dinner on May 7, is a great time to recognize those who lead and serve us today - as well as those who were here during the formative years," said AFCU President Jeff Rodman. "AFCU has a rich past filled with many hardworking people who gave selflessly when the credit union's future was precarious."
Founded in 1962 by members of Actors' Equity Association, AFCU now serves more than 14,500 members, has assets of over $68 million, and has 48 different groups in their field of membership, including many members of Local 802.
Among those who were there during the formative years was co-founder and first president Conrad Bain (television viewers will remember him as Phillip Drummond on the '70s sitcom, Diff'rent Strokes). "Conrad and his contemporaries worked tirelessly as volunteers to get the whole thing started when it was very much an uphill struggle," said Rodman. "Today our volunteer credit committee, volunteer supervisory committee and volunteer board of directors, comprised of working members of the entertainment community, continue to give generously of their time and talent. This has helped us to stay focused on the group we serve best, members of the entertainment community."
Proclamations congratulating AFCU on 40 years of service were presented on behalf of NYC Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Third District Council member Christine Quinn by Torrence Allen, personal assistant to Mr. Miller. Mr. Allen also delivered a proclamation and letter of congratulations from New York State Senator Tom Duane and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum issued a proclamation declaring May 7 "Actors Federal Credit Union Day" in New York City, in perpetuity.
"It always creates a great feeling of pride when your efforts are recognized," said Vice-President of Operations Sandra Jager, responding to the tributes. "The proclamations were great, and having our own day in New York City was icing on the cake. When we began planning our celebration, we were thinking in terms of honoring those who have given to the credit union and its members. We didn't know it would include such a fantastic surprise."
Some highlights in AFCU history: the credit union issued its first mortgage to actor Jerry Orbach in the late 1960s, signed Angela Lansbury as the ten-thousandth member in 1979, helped to get the Credit Union Membership Access Act (HR-1151) enacted in 1998, placed its first ATM in 1999 and became NYC's number one credit union deployer of ATMs last year. For more information visit www.actorsfcu.com.