Just like the new Family Trust Center itself, Tuesday’s ribbon cutting combined a tribute to our roots with a promise of the future.
“We started at the Rock Hill Printing and Finishing Co. in the mailroom with a cigar box,” Lee Gardner, Family Trust CEO and president, told the crowd that included many of the credit union’s earliest members. “We’ve come a long way.”
More than 150 gathered to celebrate the three-story building that recently opened at 225 W. White Street. The building includes a branch and Family Trust Investment Services, a 24-hour ATM, administrative offices, artwork by six students from Winthrop University and a community room. The brick and glass façade blends historic mill architecture with the clean look of modern technology.
Incorporating the past was important, Gardner said, noting the credit union moved from the mailroom to a guard house and to Russell’s Grocery. Members from the printing and finishing company – called the Bleachery – volunteered their time to help build the first credit union-owned building in 1967 on the same site as the new center. “That volunteer spirits lives on today.”
Mayor Doug Echols said Family Trust’s history provides building blocks for the area – now called Knowledge Park – that is being redeveloped for businesses, retail and living space. “Family Trust is a pioneer, leading the way,” he said.
But for those early members, the day was about remembering the family atmosphere at the Bleachery and how the credit union helped them buy homes and cars and send their children to college.
Lloyd Broome is the second of four generations to join the credit union. His father, James Broome, told him to join and Lloyd told his son, Lloyd Broome II, to do the same. His granddaughter, Lilly, 2, also is a member.
“The credit union has done a lot for us,” said Norma Broome, Lloyd’s wife. “They financed our cars and our house. They’ve always been there when we needed them.”
Early members received a ribbon to honor their contributions. “You truly gave birth to what you see today,” he said. “I want to take the opportunity to recognize you and to thank you for your vision for Family Trust.”
The building was designed by 505 Design, BB+M Architecture and LandDesign, all of Charlotte, and built by J.M. Cope Construction Co. of Rock Hill.
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