The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed VyStar Credit Union executives and guests, including long-time VyStar Director and Rotary Club Past President Larry Myers, VyStar CEO and President Terry West, Senior Vice President of Operations Randy Swift and Nassau County School District Director of Career Education Brent LaMonde.


West said the credit Union, begun in 1952, now serves 500,000 members in 17 counties, including Nassau County where nearly 20 percent of the residents are members. He added that VyStar’s primary focus is not on how to make a profit, but how to return profits to its members. In addition, the credit union is invested in the communities it serves, giving back through employee involvement within those communities as well as through more than $650,000 in personal charitable donations.


A former teacher, West said he believes VyStar has an obligation to educate students on the importance of financial literacy. Students should understand the mechanics of budgeting, paying bills, using debit and credit cards responsibly and applying for loans. This mission has led to the creation of nine VyStar branches in area high schools, including one slated to open at West Nassau High School in the fall. The branch will employee 12 students who will actually run it while teaching other students how to manage their finances.


Since its inception, VyStar’s high school branch program has touched the lives of some 5,500 students. West said he believes the credit union is meeting its goal to teach teens to think responsibly about their financial futures.