The Early Years
“Lourdes Hospital Federal Credit Union” (LCU) started with a humbled yet visionary flare by it’s Federal Charter in January 1969. At this time, the administration of Our Lady of Lourdes recognized the need to enhance benefits for its employees, and that they could share in the success and growth of the medical facility through membership. Because many of the hospital’s support personnel worked near minimum wage, they did not have ready access to loans and quality services from local banking institutions.
The first Credit Union office was initially set up in a remote back room behind dietary (in the interior hallway near the pressure washing room). The very first loan was made to a porter in dietary to finance a bicycle for his travel to and from work.
After only four months, Lourdes Credit Union’s shares had risen to $8,800 with 161 members, and by the end of 1969, shares had grown to over $24,000! This led to the very first dividend (4%) that was paid in June 1970 as assets had already risen to $36,000. From that point, members received dividends on a semi-annual basis.
Ms. Truce Jansen became the first Lourdes Credit Union employee, she was hired part-time in 1970 to manage the Credit Union’s growing momentum. The field of membership was expanded to Lourdes volunteers, medical staff, and office staff of our physicians, and family members of their immediate households.
Ms. Truce retired on October 4, 1997 after 27 years of service.
A New Era of Growth
The Board of Directors began earlier in search for a new manager to lead the Credit Union to new levels of growth and services. The Board overwhelmingly chose Ms. Ina Burchett who demonstrated the personality, qualities and skills needed for the Credit Union’s growth. Ms. Ina began on Monday, October 6, 1997 and immediately began rewriting the procedures manual to reflect the industry’s benchmark standards. The document was approved by the federal auditor under NCUA rules in that same year. Ms. Ina moved quickly to begin building services and a staff knowledgeable in the various services in which the Credit Union Board of Directors wished to expand.
With assets standing just below $5 million, the Board approached Dr. C. William Roe and his University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) MBA class to produce a five-year strategic plan for the Credit Union. Through extensive planning, interviewing of members and non-members and compiling data, the MBA class presented their findings to the Board, Supervisory Committee, Credit Committee and the Credit Union Staff. They outlined a list of five primary goals: 1) A new location with more space and easier access, 2) Drive-thru service, 3) 24-hour night drop; 4) Debit card; and 5) ATM access. The Drive-thru and Debit/ATM card service would require the hiring of additional personnel. The MBA team also suggested changing the name to “LCU” for easy promotional identity. The Board contacted their Federal Auditor, to determine what the Credit Union could afford with its capital and financial strength. The guidelines would allow up to $250,000 for the expansion project. The location would preferably be closest to the most populous members’ zip code section of town.
The Winds of Change Turn in Our Favor!
The LCU Board received word from an independent source that IPS Services and Uniform Shop located at 700 St. Landry Street was going out of business, making the building available for a new tenant. The Board Chairman made a recommendation to purchase the real estate. With speedy approval from NCUA, the architectural firm of Guidry, Beasley Architects was contracted. An independent contractor was hired to begin construction.
In August 2001, renovation was completed. A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was held on September 5, 2001. Members began to enjoy a new location. The new building had a spacious business lobby, drive-thru service, 24-hour drop, dual-layer security for employees and assets, private offices for member loan applications, and spacious parking in the rear of the building.
In 2003, the LCU Board embarked on a new strategic plan, which included continued growth in membership. The Board investigated expansion of services that would include Home Equity loans as a way to help assets grow at higher bearing interest.
Also in 2003, with the potential of Home Equity loans, LCU investigated expansion of its field of membership. The Board contacted the administration of Acadian Ambulance to see if the company could benefit by joining this field of membership as a benefit to their employees. Acadian Ambulance was interested in a partnership of this kind, and the company compared LCU with at least one other Credit Union to see what would benefit their employees the most. Acadian Ambulance chose LCU as a partner because of its similar medical environment.
Name Change & Expansion of Services!
Lourdes Hospital Federal Credit Union maintained a strong capital through its five-star rating and with NCUA admiration. Beginning in 2011 the Board received approval from NCUA to expand our field of membership to include all medical personnel, physicians, hospitals and medical services in surrounding parishes. We had also received approval to change our corporate name that would help to meet the strategic plan of growth in services. Your credit union changed its name to “Acadiana Medical Federal Credit Union” (AMFCU) to meet our vision for growth to the beyond our present service area.
This new look and expansion was made possible through the Board’s approach to ULL’s graduating MBA students who both graciously and enthusiastically took this on as their final academic project, presenting their findings with a dynamic plan for our success.
The main Credit Union office would remain in its present location allowing personal window and drive-thru service to our members.
Ina Burchett announced her retirement in 2015 having maintained a “5-Star Rating” during her leadership. Pauline Miller had been under Ms. Ina’s training and guidance and was recommended to the Board of Directors for Ms. Ina’s replacement as Manager of the Credit Union.
Pauline Miller was unanimously approved by the Board by the Board of Directors and has shown her expertise in continuing the growth and services our members expect.
Recognition for Excellence!
The Board recognizes AMFCU’s success through the dedication of its all-volunteer Directors, Supervisory Committee, AMFCU Management, and Staff.