Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First Honored for Business Support of Military

For the first time, the Tacoma-Piece County Chamber honored a local business for its support of the military in our community. Award sponsor the Port of Tacoma, represented by Commissioner Connie Bacon, made the first presentation to America’s Credit Union.
Pictured:  Lorraine Chambers, Ambassador, Diane Branson, ACU and Tom Pierson, Chamber Pres./CEO.

America’s Credit Union‘s motto is “We do things a little differently around here.” Since establishing itself in 1954, they have grown from one branch to 11 branches; from 3 employees to over 135 and from 150 members to over 37,000 members. In spite of these tough economic times, they are not only doing things a little differently, but doing them well.

Their leadership believes in sharing their success with Joint Base Lewis-McChord and local communities. Whether it’s sponsoring the fireworks for Freedom Fest or helping a food bank in Roy, their contributions are commendable.

Thanks to the generosity of ACU staff, members, volunteers and leadership team ACU annually makes significant contributions to the JBLM community and Army related events, totaling over $157,000. ACU also makes a yearly $15,000 donation to the Pierce Military and Business Alliance (PMBA). This organization has made many contributions to the Army and Air Force units on JBLM.

ACU not only supported troops and families through the partnership with PMBA but also contributed and raised funds through their own efforts including:

• 10th Annual Holiday Troop Support Golf Tournament- a full time employee is committed to garner sponsors and coordinate this annual event. This past year, the tournament raised over $40,000 and the money raised went to The Food Basket, Santa’s Castle, The Madigan Foundation and to Reflection Park.

• Reflection Park Fund: $30,000 was raised through ACU’s coordination of the Reflection Park Golf Tournament. This Park is a war memorial for all fallen soldiers who have ties to Washington State. Ken Leonard, President/CEO, worked closely with COL. Cynthia Murphy to develop this Reflection Park Fund to create this war memorial.

• St. Martins Scholarship Program: ACU funded the scholarship with $10,000 to be given to a soldier from the WTB for continuing education at St. Martins University.

• Launched Junior Achievement Program in several local schools with the Clover Park, North Thurston and Steilacoom School Districts.

• Supported over 40 community events in the areas surrounding 8 branches located off JBLM with donation dollars totaling over $35,000.

The Spotlight! On Business awards recognizes the accomplishments and civic contributions that Chamber member businesses make to the community. The judging committee, made up of volunteers, based their choices on the following five criteria: staying power, growth in employees, evidence of contributions to community-oriented projects, innovativeness of product or service and response to adversity.

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