Va. league breaks ground on new HQ

September 22, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (9/23/14)--Virginia Credit Union League board members sank shovels into dirt last week to ceremonially begin construction on the league's new headquarters in downtown Richmond, Va.

Click to view larger imageVirginia Credit Union League board members celebrate the groundbreaking for the league's new headquarters in Richmond. Front row, from left: Chris Williams, treasurer, Henrico FCU, Richmond; Rose Gilliam, vice chair, Argent CU, Chester; Karen Orie, chair, Hampton (Va.) Roads Educators' CU; Catherine McDermott, RiverTrace FCU, Richmond; Suzanne Hodgins, University of Virginia Community CU, Charlottesville; Patsy Smith, secretary, Peoples Advantage FCU, Petersburg; and Rick Pillow, president/CEO. Back row, from left: Joe Thomas, Fairfax (Va.) County FCU; Cliff DeMars, Blue Eagle CU, Roanoke; Dan Morrisey, Queen of Peace Arlington (Va.) FCU; and Gaye DeCesare, Belvoir FCU, Woodbridge. (Virginia Credit Union League Photo)

Construction, which will cost $2.6 million, will include the renovation of four former row houses that sit two blocks from the state Capitol. Once complete, the headquarters will feature 9,000 square feet of office space and 1,000 square feet for the reception area.

"This project represents a milestone for our member credit unions and for our organization," said Karen Orie, league board chair and president/CEO of Hampton (Va.) Roads Educators' CU, with $32 million in assets. "Our primary mission during our 80-year history has been representing credit unions at the General Assembly and working with state agencies to ensure success of Virginia-based credit unions.

"We believe a permanent presence in the heart of Richmond only enhances that mission, allowing us to build on already-solid working relationships with our lawmakers and state agency officials."

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones also attended the groundbreaking ceremony and said the new headquarters will be a "wonderful addition" to the city.

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones salutes the start of construction on the Virginia Credit Union League's new headquarters, just two blocks from Capitol Square. (Virginia Credit Union League Photo)

The league and its member credit unions "are really adding to the vitality of this street and this area," Jones said. "To have the Virginia Credit Union League here in the city only adds another feather in our cap."

When the league proposed moving the headquarters from Lynchburg--where a number of the league's employees will remain--to the heart of Richmond, members were very supportive, according to Rick Pillow, league president/CEO.

"Our credit unions understand the importance of our mission in Richmond and what it means for their future," Pillow said. "After years of leasing space here in the city, we've very proud to see our credit unions' vision realized for a permanent, visible presence."

The first floor of the new facility will be designated the Credit Union House of Virginia and will feature reception space, a kitchen and a history room that celebrates credit union service.

Credit unions from throughout the state are also submitting names of individuals to be included on the Credit Union House Wall of Fame.

The wall will recognize men and women who have played extraordinary roles in building up their credit unions, or who have served the state or national credit union systems.