VyStar Credit Union is expanding its footprint across Florida and Georgia by opening new branches and merging with existing financial institutions. In doing so, it introduces additional communities to credit union members’ benefits. Brian Wolfburg is the president and CEO of the credit union, which was founded at Florida’s Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 1952 and became VyStar Credit Union in 2002.
Despite the name change, it’s always remembered its roots. Brian Wolfburg said the credit union “had a strong relationship with the city ever since [it] started [over] 70 years ago.” Its commitment to the community, members, military, and Jacksonville makes the credit union an excellent private partner to the public and city entities. It continues to expand operations across the Southeast.
It opened its first Georgia branch — in Thomasville — in 2022. And over the next few years, the financial institution expects to open 25 more branches throughout central Florida and Georgia. Chad Meadows, EVP, and chief operations officer, said, “We opened a branch in Lake Mary, [Florida], already and have plans to open branches in nearby Altamonte Springs and Winter Park later in 2023.”
Meadows continued, “We’ve worked hard to become a trusted financial institution in Florida, and we are committed to doing the necessary work to earn that same trust across the Peach State.”
Additionally, there are plans to merge with 121 Financial Credit Union, also located in Jacksonville. Wolfburg stated, “With a shared history of commitment to our employees, to our members, and to our communities, [the financial institutions] will be joining together to create an even better financial organization for those we serve, one in which we can continue to strive to live up to the credit union founding principles of people helping people, and in which we can all do more good for those we serve.”
The transaction is expected to be finalized in Q4 2023. “We look forward to working together to build on their many contributions to Florida,” Wolfburg added. “It is a partnership that will undoubtedly enable us to do even more for our employees, members, and communities.”
CEO Brian Wolfburg Talks New Branch in Tallahassee
“By having a branch in Tallahassee, VyStar not only offers individuals in the community more access points to the products and services that we provide, but we’re providing more employment in the community,” Brian Wolfburg said at the grand opening in December 2022. “We’re engaging deeper in the community.”
He continued, “Our opening exemplifies who we are and what we stand for.” The credit union is committed to bettering the Tallahassee region with financial services and community philanthropy.
According to Brian Wolfburg, VyStar ’s “partnership with things like Leon County School District, as well as the Boys & Girls Club, and our engagement in the Chamber [of Commerce] just shows who we are and what we do. And when we come to communities, we make sure that we engage, we do more good, and we lead by example.”
The financial institution opened its first Tallahassee branch at 1814 West Tennessee Street in June 2021. It’s committed to establishing stronger communities, and the new spot will help the credit union assist its members in achieving their financial goals. Since the first branch opened, the credit union has made meaningful connections and partnerships. The team looks forward to expanding on its purpose to do good for the local community.
The new branch is located 6 miles from the original location. VyStar opened the second branch in Tallahassee because it’s a popular college town and the ideal place for the financial institution to meet the needs of citizens in the Florida Panhandle.
The branch also contains a regional contact center, which will add dozens of new jobs to the region. It will allow the financial institution to support its entire membership community better.
VyStar is involved in charitable fundraising programs with area sports teams. Those sponsorships have an impact on the local communities. “Our DNA is centered around ‘Do Good, Bank Better’ and lead by example; what a better way to be involved with the community than to support something that is the DNA of Tallahassee, and that’s FSU athletics,” said Kem Siddons, the chairman of the board of directors.
Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the United States — and the Tallahassee-Mahan Drive VyStar branch will get its own shop on the premises to elevate the experience for members. The lobby and drive-thru are open Monday through Saturday to better meet members’ needs.
The credit union also plans to open several branches in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Meadows said, “New branches [are] scheduled to start operating for members in Smyrna, Johns Creek-Suwanee, Marietta, Stockbridge, and Norcross. This vibrant area serves a wide range of residents. We are looking forward to better serving our current members in the region while also welcoming new members looking for convenient options.”
“One of my areas of focus, when I arrived at [the credit union], was to ensure we were one of the best places to work in the area,” Brian Wolfburg stated. As a result, the credit union has toiled to improve employee benefits and company culture.
The credit union considers its employees to be its most important asset. “Our employees help our members get their banking done,” stated Wolfburg. “They support our efforts to be a community leader and impact the world. And they challenge us to grow, innovate, and evolve. They are what separates the credit union from other financial institutions and are the reason why we continue to grow and improve as an organization.”
In June 2023, at Verint’s Global Customer Awards at Engage 2023 , VyStar’s Pablo Diaz de Sandi was recognized as the winner of the Customer Engagement Champion award. It’s the industry’s premier customer engagement event in Las Vegas. The award recognized him for his ability to elevate the customer experience in the organization.
Brian Wolfburg stated that as the credit union “moves forward, we will continue to seek out new ways to ensure [the credit union] is a benefit to our employees, members, and the communities we serve.”