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  • Nov 30, 2021

GFA Celebrates New Branch and Presents $5,500 to Residents and Community Organizations

GFA Federal Credit Union - CC Keene Division hosted their Grand Opening event, inviting the community in to celebrate their new, state-of-the-art location at 346 Winchester Street in the Riverside Plaza.

In early 2019, at a special meeting of Cheshire County Federal Credit Union members, it was voted in the affirmative to merge with GFA Federal Credit Union. This merger brought CCFCU members nine additional GFA locations, access to the CO-OP Shared Branching Network of over 5,600 branches and more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, Investment Management, Insurance Services, Auto Advisors, Business Services, additional banking technology, and much more.

“Merging with Cheshire County Federal Credit Union was a privilege. Giving GFA the opportunity to bring competitive products and services to the Keene Market, not only to members but also to the strong business community,” said Joshua I. Brier, President and Chief Executive Officer, “Together, we outgrew the Marlboro Street location. This new branch will provide us the opportunity to serve and support the city of Keene for decades to come.”

The new 346 Winchester Street location provides members with a state-of-the-art building, convenient drive-up banking and ATM, an open concept design, Universal Bankers, and a Community Room - free to the public for meetings and events.

As part of the effort to further engage the community with the new location, GFA held a photo contest during construction which led to 298 submissions. Of those, 13 winning photos were selected to become part of the branch décor including a floor-to-ceiling community mural that displays the rich history of Keene.

At the time of the merger, GFA Federal Credit Union pledged to ensure continued civic engagement to the city of Keene through annual giving to area organizations in need. Each consecutive year GFA has surpassed the initial pledge. At the celebration event, five area organizations were presented with community support.

These organizations, including A Hundred Nights, Inc., Monadnock Arts Alive, Keene Police Department, The Community Kitchen, and The Colonial Theater, contribute to the community in a variety of ways through education, homelessness, food insecurities, holiday giving, entertainment, cultural appeal, and more. GFA is proud to contribute to organizations such as these who enrich the local community.

A HUNDRED NIGHTS: Nicole Wood shared the mission of A Hundred Nights, Inc. - To provide shelter and crisis related services to those at risk of or experiencing homelessness. To collaborate with and educate the community to see, hear and support those among us who are equally deserving of dignity, but who currently lack the means to live independently.

MONADNOCK ARTS ALIVE: Jessica Gelter, Executive Director shared how the organization nurtures creative businesses, artists, and cultural institutions working to build the creative economy for those brand-new to the field, hobbyists turned professionals, volunteers, and long-time professionals. And that the greater community will take pride in the arts, which are seen as an integral part of a thriving society and economy.

KEENE POLICE DEPARTMENT – HEROES AND HELPERS: Detective LaMears organizes with the Police Department, Fire Department and Public Works to deliver holiday gifts and food to families in need. Pre-pandemic the volunteers would take families shopping and purchase groceries for their holiday meals. During the pandemic, the various departments go shopping without the families to keep everyone safe. Presents are wrapped by volunteers at Public Works, and then loaded up in vehicles for a special delivery. The official’s close streets and use a parade of vehicles to deliver gifts, which includes lights and sirens for the kids.

THE COMMUNITY KITCHEN: Phoebe Bray, Executive Director shared how the organization started in 1983 to provide a meal to those in need and continues to thrive largely because of the wonderful, dedicated volunteers who give their time, annually serving 2,650 families through a Pantry Program and over 24,000 individuals through a Hot Meals Program. When the pandemic closed their dining hall the organization shifted focus, not losing sight of the importance of providing a warm meal to those in need, and now serves to-go meals daily.

THE COLONIAL THEATER: Eric Weisenberger, Director of Development, spoke of the rich history of the theatre which opened in 1924. The Next Act Campaign is transforming the beloved historical venue into a state-of-the-art campus for arts, entertainment and discovery, offering expanded opportunities and greater accessibility to performers, audiences and students. Once renovations and enhancements are completed in early 2022, the theater will be able to serve an additional 10,000 clients, greatly enhancing the cultural appeal of the Monadnock Region and setting the stage for the next hundred years.

GFA Federal Credit Union - Cheshire County Keene Division Ribbon Cutting:

Pictured left to right: City of Keene Mayor George Hansel; Luca Paris, Greater Keene and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer; Gerald Bankowski, GFA Chief Governance Officer; Dave Perry, former Cheshire County Federal Credit Union Board of Directors President and current GFA Supervisory Committee Member; Gregg Rosen, NES Group President; Tammy M. Garcia, GFA AVP/Market Branch Manager - Keene; Douglas Delay, GFA Board of Directors; Joshua I. Brier, GFA President and Chief Executive Officer

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