History of MVFCU


» Charter Members «

» History of Credit Unions «

» History of Cooperatives «

Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union (MVFCU) was chartered December 7, 1948. Credit unions hold the philosophy of “people helping people”, which is why this hometown credit union was established by farming residents of the area. There were 20 members reported the first month with an initial share balance of $395.00. Growth was slow at first and all work was done by volunteers. Through the perseverance and vision of many MVFCU pioneers, the credit union has grown and thrived.

Below is a timeline highlighting significant MVFCU events that have had the most impact on our members.

Thanks to the volunteers, staff and members, MVFCU has seen many improvements and member benefits added over the years. We look forward to many more years of serving our community!

    1948 December 7, the credit union signed their original charter in Palmer
Savings cap of $500 was lifted 1954    
    1971 First full time manager was hired
      Matanuska Susitna School FCU merger
Reached $1 million in assets 1972    
    1976 Willow Community Office opened
Wasilla Community Office opened 1978    
Began offering share draft accounts      
    1982 Charter field of membership expanded to include MEA service area
Beginning of Alaska Option Automated Teller Machine services 1983    
    1984 First Annual AVIS Sale
Easy Access by Phone implemented 1989    
    1993 Plan America Center opened (currently Matanuska Valley Financial Services)
Conversion to Symitar Systems, Inc. 1995    
    1996 Began offering VISA CheckCards
      Easy Access PC implemented
      Web site established
Eagle River Community Office opened 1997    
    1998 Reached $100 million in assets
      Big Lake Community Office opened
      Mortgage Service Department was established
Joined the Shared Branching Network 2002    
Seward Meridian Community Office opened      
    2003 Began offering commercial and construction loans
      New Willow Community Office location
Sunshine Community Office opened 2005    
Began offering VISA Credit Cards      
    2008 Meadow Lakes Community Office opened
Exceeded $300 million in assets 2009    
    2011 Palmer Carrs Community Retail Office opened
      Knik-Goose Bay Community Retail Office opened
      First "Get Real" Financial Reality Fair: teaching financial literacy to high-school-aged children
      First Annual Adventure Sale
Acquired Kunia Federal Credit Union/Waipahu, Hawaii Community Office opened 2012    
    2013 MVmobile app launched
      December 7: MVFCU's 65th Birthday
      Launched this new website incorporating our previous credit union, commercial lending, and home mortgage websites into one functional site
MV Member Express online
newsletter launched
First Annual SNOWSOON Event      
    2015 Coming: 30th Annual AVIS Sale
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Charter Members

...membership shall be as set forth in the attached bylaws
and any amendments thereto or thereof approved pursuant
to Section 8 of the Federal Credit Union Act

IN WITNESS WHEREOF we have hereunto
subscribed our names this 7th day of December, 1948.

Carl R. Rasmussen
M.D. Snodgrass
Charles Scheefer
Oscar Keatliche
Simon J. Newcomb
James Berry
Thomas Lepak
James W. Wilson

History of Credit Unions

Credit unions are financial cooperatives. They are member owned, democratically run, and have a volunteer board chosen from the membership by the membership.

Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch put forth effort for credit unions in order to help combat poverty and created a credit union in Germany in 1852. Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen is remembered as the father of the credit union movement. In 1864 as Mayor of Flammersfeld, Germany, he asked his people to pool their savings and make loans to one another at reasonable rates. The principles he used to establish the credit union are still fundamental today. He went on to start more than 425 credit unions.

Alphonse Desjardins, a Canadian journalist, brought the idea of credit unions to North America. In 1901 he opened the first North American credit union in Quebec, Canada.

Not long after, Edward Filene, a wealthy department store owner heard about credit unions and was convinced they would help people. Pierre Jay, a bank commissioner in Massachusetts, reached the same conclusion. He and Filene met with Desjardins, who helped them start the first credit union (St. Mary’s Bank) in the United States, namely, Manchester, New Hampshire.

Filene hired a lawyer by the name of Roy F. Bergensen. By 1921, they had started a national organization to promote credit unions. In 1934 this organization became known as the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) focusing on serving credit unions and has continued to do this important job.

In 1934, the Federal Credit Union Act, a federal law allowing credit unions to be incorporated in any state in the country, was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. » top «

History of Cooperatives

Cooperatives are businesses, in many ways like any other business. But a cooperative belongs to the people who use it, and it operates solely for the members’ benefit. Cooperatives vary, but all co-op businesses run in accordance with seven basic principles, many of which have been part of the co-op philosophy from their beginnings more than 150 years ago.

  1. Open and voluntary membership. It’s important that members choose voluntarily to become members. Coerced membership would be meaningless.
  2. Democratic member control. "Members ultimately control their cooperatives, in a democratic manner."
  3. Member economic participation. “Cooperatives operate so that capital is the servant, not the master, of the organization.”
  4. Autonomy and independence. While governments determine the legislative framework within which co-ops function, this principle asserts that co-ops also have an “essential need to be autonomous in the same way that enterprises controlled by capital are...”
  5. Education, training, and information. This principle says members can play their role in the cooperative only when they understand that role and the co-op.
  6. Cooperation among cooperatives. Cooperators believe that co-ops have a unique opportunity to protect and expand the interest of ordinary people. This kind of one-for-all and all-for-one idea is unique among businesses.
  7. Concern for community. Cooperatives exist primarily for the benefit of their members. Because of this strong association with members, they also are often closely and actively tied to their communities.

Ben Franklin helped establish the first co-op in Philadelphia in 1752. In 1844 a poverty stricken area organized a cooperative in Rochdale, England. That same year, cooperative theories were developed. Credit societies were a part of that effort. » top «