We were founded on March 16, 1939 at the Hotel Newhouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the 59 who attended the charter meeting of what was then the Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union was R.D. (Ray) Hagen, a volunteer who eventually became our first full-time employee (treasurer/manager) and later president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The credit union was established in a small office housed in Fort Douglas' Building 207, with service hours on Fridays only from 3:30 to 4 p.m. A Prince Albert tobacco can was used to hold all cash deposits at the time; total assets and membership were $788 and 79, respectively.
A unique characteristic of America First is that, in 82 years, the credit union has had just five Presidents/CEOs: the aforementioned Ray Hagen, James (Jim) Dawson, Olin (Rick) Craig, John B. Lund and Thayne Shaffer.
America First's mission of service is not limited to helping people develop and maintain financial well-being. In fact, it emanates throughout the community. Our employee volunteer program, the Greater Good, offers a planned, managed framework that motivates our staff to effectively donate time and resources to the communities where they live. Other philanthropic activities we engage in are mentoring students at Lakeview Elementary School in Roy, Utah, encouraging children to excel, achieve and succeed; and fundraising for the Community Assistance Program (CAP), which benefits organizations working to end homelessness and assist the impoverished, including the Ogden Rescue Mission, St. Anne's Shelter, Catholic Community Services, the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Christmas Box International, the Assistance League of Salt Lake, the SHARE food bank in Ogden, and Safe Nest in Las Vegas, Nevada.
America First Credit Union is dedicated to creating lifetime memberships with those served.
In our 80-year history, America First has been led by only four presidents and chief executive officers.