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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Bobby Michael leaving a stronger CORE in Statesboro

Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Bobby Michael leaving a stronger CORE in Statesboro

Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Bobby Michael leaving a stronger CORE in Statesboro

DeWayne Grice


        The year was 1974 and our country was experiencing tough financial times with interest rates reaching double digits. Local high school principal Hubert Tankersley saw how this was adversely affecting educators in reaching their financial goals.
        So, he convinced a few of his friends to pull together with him in founding CORE Credit Union on the principles of people helping people. At that time, it was run by one employee out of a room at Sallie Zetterower Elementary offering only savings accounts to teachers.
        Now, 40 years later, CORE is still going strong. With its 25 current employees, CORE serves more than 50 employee groups in Bulloch, Effingham, Bryan, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins, Screven and Candler counties
        During the past nine years, CORE was led by president and CEO Bobby Michael, who recently accepted the same position at Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union - a $1.1 billion credit union that is one of the top credit unions in the nation. It is a huge promotion and opportunity for Michael. Army Aviation is a leader in the industry and one of the largest in Alabama. These opportunities do not come along often as the former CEO was in place for 29 years.
        Army Aviation has 330 employees, 20 locations, including two in north Florida and five in Mobile, with the rest in the Wiregrass area. The corporate headquarters is in Daleville, Ala., which is near Ft. Rucker and Dothan.
        During his tenure in Statesboro, Michael and his leadership team doubled the asset size of CORE to almost $60 million. He also oversaw the additions of branches in the Market District, Brooklet and Portal. He was instrumental in CORE receiving the Low Income Credit Union Designation from the NCUA and the Community Development Financial Institution Designation from the US Treasury.
        I asked Michael what he thought helped create the growth. He said that in addition to the local branch expansions, joining a shared branch network that allows members to have banking access at 5,000 credit union designations across the nation was a major incentive for customers.
        "In 2007, we were able to get a charter addition which allowed CORE to serve the all of the residents of Bulloch Country," he said. "This transformed CORE from a teachers only credit union to a true community credit union. Along with this, the one program I am most proud of is the establishment of the first time home owners program with generous credit terms to help people purchase homes who would not have been able to do so without this program."
        Michael credited his success in Statesboro to the tremendous team he has in place.
        "My success was a direct reflection of the team in place at CORE. Every one of them play a critical role to my success and more importantly to the success of CORE. I am leaving CORE in very capable hands," Michael said. "The hardest part of this decision is having to leave a community we love in Statesboro. It is the perfect place to call home."
CORE's board of directors has begun a search for Michael's replacement and hope to have a new president/CEO in place in August.

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