Sheilah Montgomery, retired president and CEO of Credit Union of Atlanta and 1st Choice CU, has been named the winner of the 2018 Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award from the African-American Credit Union coalition.

Sheilah Montgomery, retired president and CEO of 1st Choice Credit Union and CU of Atlanta, and a founding member of the African-American Credit Union Coalition.
Sheilah Montgomery, retired president and CEO of 1st Choice Credit Union and CU of Atlanta, and a founding member of the African-American Credit Union Coalition.

Having spent more than four decades in the credit union movement, including as a founding member of the AACUC, Montgomery has worked to advance “the mission of the credit union movement, while also increasing the economic viability of individuals, communities and credit unions,” AACUC said in a statement, referring to Montgomery as a “transformational leader.”

At both CU of Atlanta and 1st Choice, Montgomery directed mission-critical projects, developed organizational-capacity strategies and created management initiatives to promote long-term financial sustainability. During her time at 1st Choice CU the credit union received both Community Development Financial Institution and Housing and Urband Development certifications, providing more than 25,000 members with access to financial services that otherwise might have been difficult to access as the result of credit challenges, lack of collateral or both. Her efforts for financial inclusion and sustainability earned her recognition from former Atlanta Mayors Maynard Jackson and Kasim Reed.

Today she serves as a board member for the National Federation of Community Development CUs, the National Disability Institution and is board secretary for AACUC, among other positions. She is also certified as a Credit Union Development Educator, African Development Educator and Certified Credit Union Executive.

“Sheilah Montgomery is a titan in the credit union industry. Her passion for mentoring small credit unions has become a hallmark enterprise for the AACUC, said Timothy L. Anderson, AACUC chairman and president/CEO of GPO FCU. The unparalleled zeal to support others epitomizes the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people.’”

Montgomery will receive the award during AACUC’s 20th annual conference, to be held this August at the Marriott Marquis Atlanta.

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