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 bolster 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. With the construction of an independent location nearby and the merger with Anaconda Employees Federal Credit Union upon Anaconda Wire & Cable’s plant closure in 1981, the credit union was 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 dollars.
First General Credit Union pledges to be the financial partner for life of all members. It will provide member and community service so member-owners can save and borrow for their financial futures, become educated on financial issues, and be engaged with credit union and civic activities.
First General Credit Union is dedicated to enhancing the financial well-being of existing members and recruitment of new ones through delivering products & services they need with personal attention and service. FGCU will be financially sound and secure with clear operating controls, adequate capital reserves and liquidity, and purposeful investments of member capital for the good of member-owners and their community.
First General 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 FGCU own FGCU and as such are the top priority whose needs provide the focus in guiding staff and leadership decisions.
- Personal Service: FGCU 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: FGCU 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: FGCU 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: FGCU representatives pledge to support partners and organizations in the region with donation, time, and expertise to enhance everyone’s quality of life.