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Credit Union stresses key role of financial literacy

South Boston News
Board members of the Tri County Federal Credit Union and guests are, from left, Board Chairman William E. Coleman with South Boston Mayor Ed Owens and board members Morris Bryant and Mary Jane Collie along with guest speaker Jack Gravely and Credit Union President and CEO Rev. William J. Coleman. (SOMcL photo) / March 31, 2014
Members of the Halifax County Community Federal Credit Union gathered Friday night at the Washington-Coleman Community Center to celebrate their 33rd annual meeting and banquet and to hear a challenging but inspiring address by guest speaker Jack Gravely of Petersburg.

Focusing on the Credit Union’s motto of “Community Connections Community Success,” Gravely stressed the importance of teaching younger generations the values of thrift and investing held by their forebears: “It is highly critical to teach our young people financial literacy,” he said. “We need to teach our kids how to make money, save money and invest.

“Where I grew up money didn’t grow on trees, but in working in tobacco fields in Hartford, Connecticut.”

Gravely, a Richmond TV personality and former NAACP state director, stressed the importance of the three C’s — community, commitment and compassion. He said schools, family and friends shape who we are, and nothing is more valuable than what we learn at school and from our families.

Commitment means sticking to principle, a practice that makes life better and should never crease, Gravely continued. He defined compassion as not always putting ourselves first.

Challenging his listeners, Gravely said, “If we don’t provide a moral compass for our young people, they will never understand what is expected of them. They have the right to fail, but need to understand that they must get up and go again.”

The Credit Union currently has 5,296 active members and has shown growth of 2.29 percent over the past year, according to its leadership. Directors were elected for the coming year: William E. Coleman, who currently chairs the Credit Union board; Morris Bryant, secretary; and two other current board members, Freddie Jeffress Jr. and Fields Thomas. Also elected was a board newcomer, Hank Bruining, manager of the Dollar General Distribution Center.

Silvana Hailey and Delois Suitt were elected to continue serving on the Credit Committee with Angela Hupp named as an alternate.

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