New credit union’s team will include attorney Marcelin

Adner Marcelin has accepted a position with Self-Help Credit Union.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

A credit union that had just $77 as its first capital and operated out of a Volkswagen Beetle before becoming major player in the financial world, is coming to Tallahassee.

Self-Help Credit Union recently announced that attorney Adner Marcelin will be on its leadership team when it opens its first branch in the city. Marcelin, who has been an administrator for attorney Benjamin Crump, confirmed he is joining the credit union.

However, he will remain with Ben Crump Law in a limited capacity as a consultant, he said. He also said the law firm has already hired a replacement, who will operate out of Washington, D.C.

“It doesn’t mean this is the end of a relationship with Ben; it’s just an additional duty,” Marcelin said of the move to Self-Help. “I’m always going to be committed to fighting for the rights of people and that is never going to change.”

One of Marcelin’s other major roles in the city was serving as former president of the local chapter of the NAACP.

He said he was motivated to join the credit union because “Self-Help represents opportunity in our community.”

He also said that Self-Help Credit Union has already purchased an office building at 3515 Maclay Blvd. South, just off Thomasville Road. The projected opening could be as early as January, Marcelin said.

Self-Help Credit Union, which was founded in North Carolina, has six Florida locations between Orlando and Jacksonville. It also has locations in California and Illinois.

“Adner brings a wealth of experience to Self-Help, which is one of the largest credit unions committed to community development in the country,” according to a press release issued by the credit union.

During the past 35 years, Self-Help reported providing families, individuals and businesses with more than $7 billion in financing.

Although he is known for his work as an attorney, Marcelin said he has a master’s degree in accounting. His job with Self-Help puts him in a position where he would be able to help families and businesses that are struggling to get loans from conventional banks, he said.

One of his major goals, Marcelin said, is to help eliminate the wealth gap in the city.

“You can see that just by looking at our neighborhoods,” he said. “It’s one Tallahassee but there are two sides of the city. You have the poor impoverished side and you have a wealthier side. What we want to do is try to bridge the wealth gap.”

Helping businesses grow also will be a priority, Marcelin said. Meetings that he’s attended with business leaders points up how urgent the situation is, especially for Black business owners who can’t come up with required collaterals.

That “makes it very difficult for our businesses to grow and be successful because they don’t have access to a lot of capital,” he said.

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