In early 1958, a small group of teachers met one evening at Midview High School in Grafton, Ohio to discuss the possibility of forming a credit union. One teacher, John Bartter, was rather hesitant to this new concept. Little did he know this meeting would lead to a 39-year career.
The organization, first known as the Midview Credit Union, received its charter, No. 841, on February 21, 1958. At an organizational meeting the following month, each of those in attendance were asked to contribute money to pay the fee for the charter. Mr. Bartter just happened to have the total amount ($20) with him. His colleagues joked that anyone who had any money the day before payday should be elected treasurer. Thus, Bartter became the first treasurer.
Foreseeing a need for a credit union to serve the county, the committee applied to expand, after only seven months. In September 1958, the credit union received approval to open its membership to other Lorain County schools. The name was then changed to School Employees Lorain County Credit Union, Inc. (SELCCU).
In 2020 SELCCU we through a name change and is currently known as Achieve Credit Union with the member promise to support our members to LEARN, DREAM, and ACHIEVE all of their life goals.
At its inception, the credit union could not afford an office of its own, so John Bartter's home on Ohio Street in Elyria served this purpose. In January 1962, the office was moved to Room 317 in the Elyria Savings and Trust Building for a $25 monthly rent. The credit union had several "homes" over the years: the Baker Building, the Spitzer Building and a former funeral home at 36 Lake Avenue.
By August 1998, Achieve constructed a new building at 340 Griswold Road in Elyria. In 1999, Seventh Generation honored the credit union at its annual beautification awards dinner as one of the best new buildings in Lorain County. In July 2014, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Financial Institutions gave approval for Lorain School Employees Credit Union to merge with ACHIEVE. This meant the addition of approximately 1,500 members and a second branch at 4459 Oberlin Avenue in Lorain.
To keep expenditures low in the early years, Mr. Bartter served as the only employee. For the first few years, he continued his full-time positions as industrial arts and mechanical drawing teacher at several area high schools, as well as working the hours necessary to maintain the credit union after school.
As the credit union membership grew, the staff grew. In 1980, Mr. Bartter quit teaching and began working full time as the credit unions manager/treasurer. In 1991, the board of directors appointed him as president and CEO. That same year, Edward Enyedy, a teacher at Midview High School, accepted the position as assistant treasurer/assistant manager.
Mr. Bartter retired in 1997 and Mr. Enyedy was appointed as president and CEO. Following Mr. Enyedy's resignation, Deborah L. Humbert took the helm to help phase in the credit union's new data processing system. In early 2008, Brent Binkley, SELCCU's chief operating officer, was appointed as president and CEO. Following the 2014 merger of Lorain School Employees Credit Union with ACHIEVE, the board of directors appointed Neil R. Sommers as CEO.
In June 1990, the credit union created a subsidiary corporation called Member Plus CUSO (Credit Union Service Organization). The CUSO offers financial services including financial planning for the credit union members. Today, ACHIEVE CREDIT UNION has 41 employees.
The credit union founders' initial $20 investment increased substantially. At the end of its first year of operation, the credit union had 54 members with $343.41 in cash, a share balance of $1,800 and $1,402 in outstanding loans. The following year, the credit union grew to 124 members with a share balance of $9,000 and $11,556 in loans. Today, ACHIEVE has more than $154 million in assets and more than 13,000 members.