The thought of having to bag groceries to help pay for his Florida State University education steered Chuck Adcock to a more desirable part-time job as a teller at FSU Credit Union.
Twenty-three years later, Adcock is executive vice president at the $200 million asset credit union in Tallahassee, and a lending and financial literacy expert in his community.
“I just didn’t want to work at the local grocery store,” Adcock says. “After a couple of years as a part-timer, the credit union offered to pay my tuition if I switched majors from criminology to finance. I was poor and jumped at the chance.”
The credit union and the community also benefited from his decision. Adcock was a leader in the drive to establish the Frenchtown Financial Opportunity Center in an economically challenged neighborhood near downtown Tallahassee.
The center, which opened in 2016, is a partnership between FSU Credit Union, Envision Credit Union, and Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. It provides credit union services and financial literacy to the historic and predominantly African-American community. The shared branch offers a walk-up ATM, teller services, an onsite loan officer, and other financial advisers.
“Before this, no one would ever consider putting a financial institution in Frenchtown. We had to do something,” says Adcock, who is chief operating officer of the credit union service organization (CUSO) formed to run the center. “We want people to take advantage of financial literacy resources and see the center as their community’s financial institution.”
In 2012, Adcock also led a drive to establish a CUSO called iDriveLending, which brought together six area credit unions to offer indirect auto loans. Adcock says the partnership—which today produces $70 million annually in auto loans—aggregated the credit unions’ buying power and streamlined the process for car dealerships, which deal with one entity instead of six.
Adcock also is in demand as a guest lecturer on financial literacy topics at Florida State University, other area colleges, local high schools, and area businesses.
“Teaching people about building wealth is rewarding,” says Adcock. “Having a college maintenance person come in and free up $200 a month by restructuring their debt makes an important impact.”