Smith, the daughter of migrant workers, has a focus on helping underserved communities

9/27/2021 12:00:00 AM

DUNEDIN, Fla. (September 17, 2021) – Achieva Credit Union’s move into Hillsborough County has a new leader at its helm. The Dunedin-based credit union has named Rocio Smith as Hillsborough Market Vice President, with an initial focus on establishing Achieva’s first Hillsborough branch in Carrollwood.

The Carrollwood branch, located on 10901 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, will be a full-service Achieva location, featuring an area for members with high-top tables, charging stations and a coffee station. Following the opening of the Carrollwood branch in 2022, Smith and Achieva will continue to look for other sites and opportunities to further grow the credit union’s presence in the market.

“Rocio brings a powerful blend of experience and passion to this position,” said Achieva Chief Operations Officer Jennifer Galley. “Hillsborough County is already home to more than 13,000 of our members, and we expect Rocio’s team to drive significant growth for us there, starting in Carrollwood.”

Smith grew up the daughter of migrant workers. In summers, when school was out and other kids were taking vacation, Smith’s whole family would travel from state to state and work in the fields, picking from dawn to sometimes after dark, seven days a week. Even when struggling to feed the family, her parents maintained a positive atmosphere for their kids, encouraging them to pursue education. In 1997 Smith graduated from the University of South Florida, becoming the first of her family to receive a college degree.

Given her background, it’s no surprise that Smith has a passion for reaching out to and supporting the migrant worker population in the Tampa Bay area.  She has dedicated a great deal of time to organizations like the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), which provides child care and early education to children of migrant farmworkers around Florida.

After 17 years of banking for Wells Fargo, when Smith learned about Achieva’s community-centric culture, that inspired her to join the credit union.

“In my experience, many large corporate banks are so big and busy they don’t have the time to truly participate and invest in the people, organizations and businesses who make up the communities they work in,” Smith said. “One of the main points that struck me about Achieva was that they’re made up of and work for the community.”

Financial education is a key mission for Achieva, and Smith is eager to focus on that in Hillsborough. Financial literacy programs are a vital component of establishing meaningful relationships with the communities Achieva will serve, many of which are historically underserved and “underbanked.”

Over the past year, Achieva has been focused on expanding the credit union’s resources for Hispanic audiences, translating its website, creating educational articles and television segments in Spanish, and running Spanish-language ad campaigns. A Hispanic employee-led committee is active year-round dedicated to identifying additional ways to meaningfully engage with the Hispanic community.

Hillsborough County’s first Achieva branch in Carrollwood, planned for 10901 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, will be well placed amidst the well-established north Hillsborough suburb. Located just off North Dale Mabry Highway, the location will provide excellent access to the area’s vibrant small business community and to people who live and work in the Carrollwood area. The branch will open in 2022 in a shopping plaza that will be named Achieva Commons, near the intersection of Dale Mabry and Floyd Road.

About Achieva

Achieva Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Pinellas County. Today, it is rated a Superior 5-Star credit union by Bauer Financial and has more than $2 billion in assets and 22 branches serving more than 153,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties, or whose family member has an Achieva Credit Union account can bank with Achieva. For more information, visit www.achievacu.com.


Donations of school supplies accepted at eight Pinellas County branch locations through August 19

7/30/2021 9:00:00 AM

DUNEDIN, Fla. (July 30, 2021) – Achieva Credit Union is partnering with Pinellas Education Foundation for their annual “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive, with eight Pinellas County branch locations serving as collection sites through August 19.

The community is also invited to Stuff the Bus Day on August 6 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Achieva Credit Union branch in Largo (located at 12580 Seminole Blvd.), where donations will be loaded onto a large yellow bus.

“We’re so pleased to kick off the school year with this supply drive to support students,” said Chelsey Wilson, Achieva marketing and events manager. “Helping kids start the school year with the tools they’ll need will set a positive tone for their year.”

Pinellas Education Foundation estimates that 60 percent of Pinellas County Schools’ students are economically disadvantaged. From binders and index cards to pencils and crayons, every donation will be a help as students return to school in the coming weeks.

Supplies can be dropped off July 22 – August 19 at the following Achieva branches throughout Pinellas County:

·         2201 Drew St., Clearwater, FL 33765

·         1150 Achieva Way, Dunedin, FL 34698

·         12580 Seminole Blvd., Largo, FL 33778

·         3446 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor, FL 34685

·         33715 US Highway 19, North Palm Harbor, FL 34684

·         7105 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

·         413 62nd Avenue N, St Petersburg, FL 33702

·         3629 11th Avenue N, St Petersburg, FL 33713

In addition to dropping off supplies, anyone who would like to support the drive can make a cash donation online or shop the Amazon Wish List from the comfort of your home.

All supplies collected through the drive will be distributed by the Pinellas Education Foundation and Pinellas County Council PTA to students in need through their individual schools.

Learn more about how to donate and Stuff the Bus Day at https://www.achievacu.com/Promo/StuffTheBus.

About Achieva

Achieva Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Pinellas County. Today, it is rated a Superior 5-Star credit union by Bauer Financial and has more than $2 billion in assets and 22 branches serving more than 153,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties, or whose family member has an Achieva Credit Union account can bank with Achieva. For more information, visit www.achievacu.com.


BauerFinancial gives Achieva and five other Florida credit unions its top score

10/19/2020 9:00:00 AM

DUNEDIN, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2020)Achieva Credit Union has received BauerFinancial Inc.’s 5-star “superior” score for the 10th consecutive year. The industry rating is an overall assessment of the health of credit unions and banks, and is particularly notable as it is based on 2020 data through June 30, a timeframe that included the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Ratings are based on compiled financial data, capital ratios and other criteria that serve as key metrics of financial health and operational efficiency, along with community reinvestment ratings, historical data and liquidity. Star ratings range from 1 star for “Troubled” to 5 stars for “Superior.”

 

“The added security and peace of mind that our financial situation gives to our members is a major positive, especially now,” said Achieva CEO Gary Regoli. “As a not-for-profit owned by our members, finding ways to reassure our members and meet their needs has been and will continue to be essentially important to us.”

 

The BauerFinancial rating is a reflection of Achieva’s excellent financial performance and its excellent personal service, which leads to a high level of member trust in the organization. The credit union has doubled in size over the past eight years, growing from $1 billion to more than $2 billion in assets since 2012. Achieva serves west-central Florida from the Tampa Bay area south to the Naples area.

 

Since 1983, BauerFinancial has served as a trusted independent firm that rates all U.S. banks and credit unions and publishes those ratings to the public for free. Its rating practices and excellent track record have earned BauerFinancial the respect of regulators, bankers and consumers across the country.

 

ABOUT ACHIEVA: 
Achieva Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Pinellas County. Today, it is rated a Superior 5-Star credit union by Bauer Financial and has more than $2 billion in assets and 22 branches serving more than 165,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties, or whose family member has an Achieva Credit Union account can bank with Achieva. For more information, visit www.achievacu.com.


Over a 30-day period, Achieva matched donations dollar-for-dollar and raised total of $275,000

6/23/2020 9:00:00 AM

DUNEDIN, Fla. (June 23, 2020) – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on area communities, Achieva Credit Union has completed a donation drive to help support food banks throughout west-central Florida in the communities it serves. Over 475 members and non-members contributed to the 30-day drive and raised $275,000, including a donation from the Achieva Foundation.

“We’re incredibly proud of the way our Achieva members and the wider community came together in a critical time of need for so many of our neighbors,” said Gary Regoli, CEO of Achieva. “We want to thank each individual who gave, however they could, to your neighbor as yourself – these efforts demonstrate the strength of our communities’ unity and resilience.”

Some donors indicated a specific county for their donation; others made a general donation which was split evenly among the counties, along with the Achieva Foundation funds.

Local organizations receiving donations include:

  • Pasco County, $40,835 - One Community Now - The goal of One Community Now is to bring churches, businesses, schools, organizations, and local government together to help meet the un-met and under-met needs in Tampa Bay.
  • Pinellas County, $69,166 - RCS Pinellas - The focus of RCS Pinellas is to direct its resources to people facing hunger, homelessness, domestic violence and basic needs.
  • Manatee County, $37,479 - The Salvation Army - Bradenton - Feeding those who would go without a hot, nutritious meal hits at the core of The Salvation Army’s mission. Each weeknight in Bradenton, they serve a hot meal to an average of 250 men, women and children at their Community Dinner.
  • Sarasota County, $51,747 - All Faiths Food Bank - Together with their partners in the County, All Faiths provides healthy solutions to end hunger in our community.
  • Charlotte County, $38,736 - The Salvation Army – Port Charlotte - The Salvation Army is providing walk in food assistance, community lunch box-to-go events each week and continues to ensure it is serving the community in any way it can.
  • Lee County, $37,038 - Cape Coral Caring Center - This organization is dedicated to providing the minimal essentials of life of food and shelter, creating comfort for people with limited resources. Lehigh Acres Community Services – This organization offers limited financial assistance for people needing food and help with water and electric bills.

Achieva Foundation

The Achieva Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Corporation supporting the local communities that Achieva Credit Union serves. We are committed to supporting organizations that create opportunities for social and economic enrichment of the communities we serve.

About Achieva

Achieva Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Pinellas County. Today, it is one of the top ten credit unions in Florida as voted by Forbes and is rated a Superior 5-Star credit union by Bauer Financial with more than $1.9 billion in assets and 22 branches serving more than 160,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties, or whose family member has an Achieva Credit Union account, can bank with Achieva. For more information, visit www.achievacu.com






6/2/2020 9:00:00 AM

DUNEDIN, Fla. (June 2, 2020) – Achieva Credit Union has set its sights on growing its products and services for both business and individual members, and has hired Hilary Blackburn to lead these efforts as Vice President – Deposit Products and Services.

Blackburn’s wide-ranging role will include establishing new programs to help businesses and individuals, while managing a team focused on relationship building. She is also in charge of a number of existing products and services, such as Treasury Management, ACH wires, debit and credit card payment systems, and digital wallets.

With more than 160,000 members and 24 branches along the west coast of Florida, Achieva is focused on expanding relationships with existing members while providing cutting-edge products and services.

“Hilary has been charged with partnering directly with business and consumer members to fully understand how well their needs are being met and what opportunities we have to round out our product/service offerings. It is our goal to make Achieva a one-stop shop for all of our member’s financial needs,” said Jennifer Galley, Achieva Chief Operating Officer.

Blackburn brings over 18 years of financial services experience working in both smaller and larger institutions. Her most recent role was Principal Vice President, Small Business Banking Program Manager for Burke & Herbert Bank in Northern Virginia.

She has received multiple performance recognition awards during her career in the Washington D.C. area, including 5-Star recognition for improving Burke & Herbert Bank’s small business program; special recognition from Cardinal Bank for leading a bank acquisition project; Capital One Bank’s Team Award, and Chevy Chase Bank’s Diamond Service Team Award.

“I’m very excited about this new role and about living in the Tampa Bay area,” Blackburn said. “I felt an instant connection with the senior leadership at Achieva, and I’m eager to bring a perspective gained from working with both large and small financial institutions.”

About Achieva

Achieva Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Pinellas County. Today, it is one of the top ten credit unions in Florida as voted by Forbes and is rated a Superior 5-Star credit union by Bauer Financial with more than $1.9 billion in assets and 22 branches serving more than 160,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties, or whose family member has an Achieva Credit Union account, can bank with Achieva. For more information, visit www.achievacu.com