ABNB FCU's Mary Ann Melchers Recognized for 50 Years of Credit Union Volunteer Service with Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award
Vice President of Public Relations and Communication
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|Mary Ann Melchers, a longtime credit union volunteer and current board member of ABNB Federal Credit Union, was honored with the Virginia credit union system’s highest individual honor, the James P. Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award.|
Mary Ann Melchers, a longtime credit union volunteer and current board member of ABNB Federal Credit Union, was honored April 22 with the Virginia credit union system’s highest individual honor, the James P. Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Kirsch Award recognizes individuals who have unselfishly devoted their time and energy to ensuring a brighter, better future for credit unions. It is named in honor of the late James P. “Jimmy” Kirsch, a longtime credit union volunteer whose passion for the movement led him to leadership roles at the state, national and international levels.
The award is given by the Virginia Credit Union League, the state trade association that has promoted, protected and supported the commonwealth’s credit unions for more than 80 years.
“The credit union movement was built by individuals who believed passionately in our ‘People Helping People’ philosophy,” says Virginia Credit Union League President Rick Pillow. “Mary Ann has carried on that proud tradition, and through her volunteerism and belief in our philosophy, has had a hand in helping tens of thousands of credit union members during the past five decades.”
“The credit union became a way of life for me,” says Melchers. “I’m so proud we’re able to help so many members. I think of all the people I’ve met over the years who are so thankful to the credit union for being there for them. That makes you feel like you’ve made a real difference in people’s lives.”
Melchers, 78, got her start as a credit union volunteer in 1965. While working as a civilian on the Norfolk Naval Base, she was approached by the base’s personnel officer about volunteering to help run the credit union.
“We were a small operation in those days,” she notes. “We were a one-room shop and only opened for half-days, but even then I saw firsthand how members depended on us; the way they looked to us to take care of them. In those early days, members would talk directly to you about their loan needs and you really got a feel for their personal lives. Some of those stories have stuck with me to this day.”
Even today, in this era of homebanking and ATMs, she is still amazed at the stories she hears through everyday encounters about how ABNB Federal Credit Union has helped members. She cites a recent visit to a doctor’s office where three of the employees sang the credit union’s praises and an encounter with a longtime acquaintance who refuses to bank anywhere but ABNB, despite having relocated.
Melchers currently serves as ABNB’s Board Chairman, a position she has held since 1998. Previously, she served as Vice Chairman (1996-1998) and as a member of the Nominating Committee (1997-1998). During her 50 years of service to the credit union, she served at various times on the credit union’s Education and Special Events, Personnel, Legislative and Compensation committees. Her volunteer service extends to charitable organizations as well, and includes support of the Cancer Care Foundation.
She retired as Deputy Director, Defense Automated Printing Service (Norfolk), after a distinguished 40-year career of government service.
“When you say it’s the credit union, you really mean the people at the credit union,” says Melchers. “And when I say it becomes a way of life, I think that’s true. Credit unions attract special people, whether employees or volunteers, and I think they truly understand credit unions have a special role to play, and that’s to take care of their members.”
ABOUT ABNB FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
For 55 years ABNB has maintained a commitment to providing quality products and services along with professional and personal service to its members. With 17 branches and numerous service centers, ABNB is one of the largest home-based financial institutions in the Hampton Roads area. For more information on ABNB Federal Credit Union and its services, visit www.abnbfcu.org or call 757.523.5300.
ABOUT THE VIRGINIA CREDIT UNION LEAGUE
The state trade association for 148 Virginia-based credit unions, the Virginia Credit Union League provides legislative, regulatory, media, and consumer advocacy; compliance assistance and consulting services; development opportunities for credit union professionals and volunteers; communications; and products and services that empower credit unions to better serve their members. The League maintains offices in Richmond and Lynchburg, Virginia. Learn more online at www.vacul.org.