Maine Education Credit Union was chartered in 1967 as the Maine Teachers Association Credit Union by members of the Maine Teachers Association. The field of membership was limited to members of the Maine Teachers Association. It was operated part-time by the assistant treasurer of the Association and was considered a "shoe box" operation. Four years after its founding, Jacqueline Fortunato was hired as a manager (a position she held until her retirement in July of '99) and operated the credit union out of her home. Under Jacqueline's leadership, products and services were added, the credit union's hours were expanded and the one person operation evolved into a full service financial institution with a five person staff.
After moving from Jacqueline's home, the Maine Teachers Association subsidized the credit union by providing free office space. The credit union grew to be self-sufficient while continuing to lease space within the Association's building. As the credit union grew, we needed more space and in May of '01 we purchased our own building. Our current space of 2700 square feet provides for a modern teller area, private loan offices and ample storage with room for growth.
The credit union was founded originally to provide an alternative to "for profit" banking for educators who otherwise would not have had access to a financial cooperative. The credit union initially offered only shares and personal loans. The philosophy of the founders was to not compete with other teacher credit unions and, as a consequence, the credit union did not widely market its services and remained relatively small. That philosophy changed over the years, and the board of directors and management determined that it ought to become a full service financial institution and offer a full menu of financial products and services. This proved to be a wise decision that has opened up many new opportunities for the credit union and its members. Fierce competition and the costs to offer the latest services has lead to consolidations and mergers within our industry, both nationally and close to home. One such credit union, Chestnut Community, decided to join forces with us and a merger was completed in May of '05. Our membership has now expanded to include Kennebec and Somerset Counties. Assets now exceed $20M and we service nearly 4300 members.
As we look to the future, the credit union continues to expand its' product offerings. We are committed to providing our members with the latest technology and the most convenient access to their accounts.
The Maine Education Credit Union meets its members' financial needs by delivering the latest enhancements in personalized financial services and technology, while maintaining fiscal stability.