Like most things, we started small. Back in 1955, the military personnel and civilian employees of MacDill Air Force Base were largely ignored by banks around town. Their business just wasn’t profitable enough. A few of the base employees decided to pool their resources to open MacDill Air Force Base Federal Credit Union. A broom closet in a base office building was cleared out to make room for our very first branch, which was open only during lunch hours. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to get a good thing going. The military community of Tampa Bay now had a safe place to save and borrow money, where they could begin to establish their financial security and become part of a local economy that was about to boom.
Around the time we opened our first branch, the Tampa Bay area began to experience the rapid growth enjoyed by cities all across the Sunbelt. People came for the economic opportunity and the affordable cost of living. New suburbs flourished in once sleepy little communities, and what all these new residents needed was a local lender who shared their dream of building a brighter future. While staying true to our traditional military affiliation, we opened the doors of membership to welcome neighbors from all walks of life. And we grew, too, going beyond the city limits of Tampa to serve communities in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco and Hernando counties. By 2006, our credit union had 17 branches throughout Tampa Bay, with $1.6 billion in assets and a
total membership of 179,000, drawn mostly from the employees of more than 1,000 local businesses. We were on the map as one of the leading credit unions in the nation, known for the quality of our service and the diversity of our membership. Not a bad place to be, when you consider where we started.
As we reached our fifth decade, we realized that our original name did not truly reflect what we had become and what we represented. We had grown with Tampa Bay and helped thousands of people grow their dreams. So in 2007, our Board of Directors and senior management team unveiled a progressive new name, a colorful new look and a dynamic new brand identity – Grow Financial Federal Credit Union. More than a name, it’s a clear statement of what we’ve always been about: to provide our members with the financial services and solutions they need at each stage of life, from opening a first savings account to preparing for a comfortable retirement. That was our mission when we opened for business in a broom closet, and it still guides us today
as we grow forward.