General Telephone Company employees founded General Telephone West Credit Union in downtown Muskegon, Michigan in November 1953.
Under the management of Bill Dickerson, the credit union grew through expanded services and mergers with Centel Credit Union and Owosso Credit Union to strengthen the financial standing of members employed by the telephone company across the state of Michigan.
As President (1977-2009), Dorothy Lester oversaw the move from downtown to the basement of the General Telephone Company building on Ellis Road near the airport. Upon the closure of Anaconda Wire & Cable’s plant in 1981, General Telephone and Anaconda Employees Credit Union merged. The combined credit unions were renamed First General Credit Union.
This independent credit union continued to grow throughout the 1980s and 1990s with a broad and stable membership, a merger with Bennett Pump Employees Federal Credit Union in 1998, and the November 1999 opening of a second branch on Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon.
In 2006, the credit union expanded its field of membership by including not just telephone and industrial employees, but by inviting anyone working, living, worshiping, or studying in Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana, Newaygo, or Kent counties to join. The main office on Ellis Road completed an addition of office space in 2009 during Tim Hichue’s tenure as CEO (2009-2014).
Connie Taylor assumed the role of President/CEO in 2014 when First General Credit Union held assets over $60 million dollar
In 2021, the membership voted in favor of merging with Community Choice Credit Union. On May 1, 2021, the name changed to First General, a Division of Community Choice Credit Union.
First General, a Division of Community Choice Credit Union, values teamwork-based personal service to enhance the member-owners’ experiences with integrity and being a civic advocate that delivers on its promises of being a neighborhood partner in Muskegon and other Western Michigan communities.
- Member-Owners: Members of First General, a Division of Community Choice Credit Union, own the credit union and as such are the top priority whose needs provide the focus in guiding staff and leadership decisions.
- Personal Service: First General, a Division of Community Choice Credit Union, staff and leadership are dedicated to serve member-owners with personal attention and care for the best interests of the member and the membership.
- Integrity: First General, a Division of Community Choice Credit Union, staff and leadership will abide by moral and ethical principles to deal with members, visitors, and one another with a dedication to fulfill all promises and to communicate all actions and decisions promptly and honestly.
- Teamwork: First General, a Division of Community Choice Credit Union, staff and leadership will work collaboratively for and with member-owners and one another to achieve common goals. This commitment will be done with dignity, honesty and respect and an appreciation of how diverse personalities and viewpoints strengthen the Credit Union.
- Community Involvement: First General, a Division of Community Choice Credit Union, representatives pledge to support partners and organizations in the region with donation, time, and expertise to enhance everyone’s quality of life.