First Choice sees success

WEIRTON – First Choice America Community Credit Union has reported a year of progress despite a difficult economy.

The report came Tuesday during the credit union’s 74th annual meeting where credit union officials were joined by 312 members and 15 guests at the Serbian American Cultural Center.

In 2012, First Choice reported a growth in assets to a record $379 million, expanding its deposits to a record $323 million and maintaining a strong capital position.

“Once again, our credit union received the distinction of earning a Superior rating from the official industry rating group,” Kenneth Truax, chairman of the board, said. “This rating recognizes the excellence of our capital strength, asset quality and management ability. Our credit union retains its position among the elite of America’s 6,900 credit unions.”

The credit union also presented its annual Community Spirit Award to the Gabriel House, providing the organization with a plaque and a contribution of $2,500.

Based in New Cumberland, the Gabriel House was started in 2007 by the Immaculate Conception Church with a mission to assist needy families in Hancock and Brooke counties with children ranging from newborns to 6 years old.

Carol Lorenzoni, coordinator of the Gabriel House, was on hand to accept the award.

Lorenzoni expressed her thanks on behalf of everyone involved in the Gabriel House and those it has helped.

“We’re there every Saturday,” she said. “We’ll help anyone who needs it.”

Among the services, the Gabriel House offers diapers, formula, slightly used toys, clothing, high chairs, strollers and play pens.

Also on hand Tuesday with Rich Schaffer, senior vice president of the West Virginia Credit Union League, who congratulated the members and employees of First Choice for their continued success.

“I can’t heap enough praise on the credit union,” Schaffer said.

First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union has 113 employees, with eight offices in the Upper Ohio Valley.

(Howell can be contacted at, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)