FAMU Credit Union Named Outlook’s Business of the Year
By Christal Searcy
Many would expect Ernest Allen to be surrounded by balloons after hearing the good news about the company that he leads. However, Allen was found hard at work in his office.
Allen, chief executive officer of Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union, is hard at work and perhaps that dedication is one reason why his business was named business of the year by the Capital Outlook
“It’s not about me or an individual,” Allen said. “There’s a lot history here. Over the past year, we focused on trying to reconnect with our members and reconnect with the community that’s important to us.”
The 79-year-old FAMU Credit Union is one of the few Black-owned financial institutions in the community. That’s why that reconnection to the members and the community is important to Allen.
Throughout the years, FAMU Credit Union has strived to meet its members’ needs by increasing services.
“I’m looking forward to growing, adding branches, bringing in new people and just getting out in the community as a whole with the youth at the university,” Alexandria Cawthon, vice president of member services, said.
There seems to be a working vision being carved out because there is a bigger picture in the works.
“I see this organization being an integral part of the community. I see us being a contributor to a lot of charitable functions in this community. I see us being a source of reliable, honest and affordable financial services for the community,” Allen added.
Vice president of Lending Andrea Steinlauf values the recognition the Capital Outlook extended to the credit union.
“The Credit Union is hoping to expand in order to service our community and this will help with some recognition to let people know we’re here. We are part of the community and looking forward to growing together,” Steinlauf said.
Allen also appreciates being a 2014 honoree. He said he’s also dedicated to evolving the business.
“It’s always pleasing to have someone say to you ‘we think you’re doing what you should be doing.’ I accept the award but I understand we still have a long way to go,” said Allen.
This award illustrates that FAMU Credit Union embodies the leadership to strive, he added.